Take A Break From Trapping
If a cat will not go into a trap after repeated attempts, take a break for a week or two . The trap-shy cat needs to be reconditioned to not be afraid to go in the trap. It is important to stop trapping until you have trapped the trap-shy cat. Continuing will most likely result in the cat becoming increasingly reluctant.
How To Help Community Cats And Kittens In Your Area
- Become a cat caretaker and TNRM community cats in your neighborhood. A community cat caretaker is an individual who manages one or more groups of cats in a community. The caretaker keeps an eye on the catsproviding food, water and shelter, spaying/neutering and oversees their general wellbeing. Since caretakers keep an eye out for these cats, the caretaker is most frequently someone who lives nearby.
- Offer your assistance to established community cat caretakers who are doing TNRM. Ongoing needs include feeding, trapping, transportation to and from the veterinarian, temporary housing for cats after surgery, and fostering and socializing kittens for the purpose of finding them good homes.
- Contact local shelters or welfare groups to see if a TNRM program is available in your area.
- If you find kittens outside, check out our guide to decide the best next steps for them: aspca.org/foundkittens;
Tip #: Set Out Food And Water For Your Lost Cat
This comes down to a basic survival needs. Eventually, your kitty will need to start looking for food and water .
When it comes to food, the stinkier the better. Think sardines, tuna, or other types of foods with pungent aromas. Please note putting out food may attract unwanted animals scaring or possibly endangering your cat.
Consider setting up a wildlife camera pointed at the food and water. This way, you can see if your cat has stopped by to eat, which is a strong clue she is probably hiding somewhere very close.
Photo Credit: FOX via Pexels
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How The Problem Of Feral Cats Multiplies
First, what is a feral cat? According to Margaret R. Slater, DVM, PhD, senior director of epidemiology, animal health services with the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , a feral cat is any cat who is too poorly socialized to be handled … and who cannot be placed into a typical pet home.
According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, there are between 60 million and 100 million feral cats in the U.S. They are usually the offspring of cats who were lost or abandoned by their owners, and they grow up not socialized to humans.
Because a female cat can become pregnant as young as 16 weeks of age and go on to have two or three litters a year, the feral cat population — and the problems associated with it — grows and perpetuates. In seven years, a single female cat and their kittens can produce 420,000 more cats.
Safe Diy Cat Repellent
If you still find that feral cats are frequenting your yard, you can try DIY repellants to deter them. Here are a few to try out:
- Fill flower beds with eggshells or sharp pebbles to make them a less appealing place to hang out
- Fill compost bins with orange peels or other citrus scents to deter cats from digging in there for food
- If you notice a particular spot the stray cat hangs out, try covering the ground in that area with aluminum foil, which cats do not like to walk on
- Use homemade citrus sprays to leave an unpleasant scent for cats on any furniture or areas they seem to frequent
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Dr Elsey’s Cat Attract Litter Additive
Designed by a veterinarian, this natural herb blend is popular with cats. Cat Attract works so well that some pet owners used the product only a few times before their cat was back using the litter box appropriately. A few reviews say this product doesn’t have any odor, and cats went back to the box with just a few sprinkles.
Bottles cost about $20 and should last one cat for close to three months. To use, mix one-fourth of the 20-ounce bottle in 20-25 pounds of fresh, unscented litter. When you add more litter to the box, mix in another one-eighth of the bottle.
What Foods Are Irresistible To Cats
Finally, whatever your situation when dealing with luring cats, you need to be sure to use the right type of food. Some cat owners will pick dry treats that they can shake and use for a distinctive audible sound. This could work if it has brought cats to you in the past. However, cats are more in tune with their sense of smell than hearing. If they can smell something irresistible from under the sofa or up the tree, it could work. Fish products, especially canned fish like tuna and sardines, are great choices.
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Find Out If It Is A Feral Cat Or A Stray Cat
Open your door to let the cat in. Usually, a stray will not have a problem coming in. A feral cat is not used to living inside a home and may refuse to come and instead opt to hang around outside.
Try gently calling out to the cat while holding out your hand. A feral will likely not meow, look at you or respond to your calls welcoming them into the house. Do not force the cat to come in as it might scratch or bite you.
Speak To Your Local Shelter
If long-term adoption is out of the question for you, but you can foster it until a home is found, speak to your local rescue centre or shelter. They will help find a forever home while the cat stays with you. If you are worried about the cat being euthanised, you can ask the shelter to put a limited hold on the cat. This means that if the cat isnt claimed by the owner after some time, you have the option to adopt it.
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Spring The Trap Yourself
The problem may be a particular cat is wily, or it could be that hes only one you want out of a crowd of others who keep going in ahead of him. In either case, the solution is to bypass the trigger/trip plate mechanism of the trap and go to manually spring the trap. You can do this by propping the trap door up with a full water or soda bottle and tying a pull string to it. Tie a long string around the neck of the bottle then stand some distance away. When your cat of choice finally goes in, yank the string, pulling the bottle away and shutting the trap door. Be sure to first practice the method at least once so you get the right feel for it, and wait until the cat is far enough in before you pull the string.
Watch these short videos demonstrating how the water bottle trick works:www.youtube.com/WATER BOTTLE TRICK IN ACTION
How To Keep Cats Away From Your Yard
Here are some measures you can take to discourage cats from coming into your yard.
- Remove any food from the yard. Cats are likely attracted to any type of feed in your yard. Avoid feeding any pets outside and make sure any trash with food scraps is properly covered and sealed. Wash any grills to remove the odor of food.
- Create a rough area in your garden. Cats enjoy soft surfaces. Making your garden more prickly could stop them from visiting. Your garden bed could have twigs, pebbles, or chicken wire.
- Block off any shelter. Cats like to find shelter where they can raise their young. Board up any openings in your sheds or garage. You should also cover any opening to any decks or patios.
- Wash down their favorite spots. Cats like to spray to mark their territory. Hosing down the area where they like to congregate will eliminate their odor.
- Set up a security system to scare them. There are lights, sprinklers, and sirens available that are motion-activated. These are very effective at scaring cats away. I have personally used these Orbit sprinklers to get effective results.
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Youve Discovered A Stray Catnow What
The first step is to identify what she may need. Maybe youre her owner, but she wont come to you because shes scared. If your cat is not familiar with the outdoors, all of the new stimulants can make her confused or nervous. In other cases, there could be a stray or feral cat in the area that requires medical attention, such as spaying or neutering before shes released back into the community. But because you need to be cautious with any unknown felines that could have contagious diseases, this method wont require you to pick up or handle the cat in any way.
Choosing A Location For Your Bat House
I know it is exciting to get started! Though before you go ahead with your own bat house building plans it is also good to know where that bat house of yours should be placed.
The best location for a bat house is:
- sunny, with about 6 hours of sunlight each day
- south to southeast facing
- near a source of water
- sheltered by winds, if possible
- high up, 8-20 feet above the ground
If you have a combination of those conditions, you are free to start collecting materials to build a bat house.
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Check For Disease And Schedule Vaccination
Your final option might be to adopt the kitty if you absolutely cannot find the owner and if you have the time and resources to do so.
If you havent had the cat checked for disease or medical issues, do this immediately. Your veterinarian will schedule a vaccination and deworming program and recommend the necessary treatment if the cat is sick.
Ask your vet about sterilizing your new pet. Sterilization can prevent the kitty from going out to mate and in the process acquire a disease. It is also a responsible way to minimize the number of kittens born in the streets and left unattended.
Cant adopt the puss? Take it to the nearest animal shelter.
Overall Dimensions Of Finished Bat House:
width: 19 1/2
height: 23 1/2
depth of box: 3 1/4 with the caps additional overhang of more than an inch
roosting space: 1
If you are building a bat house with more than one chamber, bats will prefer roosting spaces of 3/4 to 1.
You also need to provide the bats with a roughly grooved landing pad.
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Start Your Search From The Point Of Escape Then Move Outward Staying Close By
Try to think like a cat specifically like your cat. Start with the point of escape, if you know how your cat got outside, then move outward. If you didnt see your cat get outside, start from the logical exit points.
Next, look around for the closest hiding places. Bring a flashlight and check everywhere . Look inside drain pipes or storm drains; in heavy brush; inside or under sheds; inside garages; under decks; and inside basement crawl spaces any place where your cat can hide.
Stay close by newly adopted or indoor-only cats are often found within a three-house radius of their home.
Remember your cat may not meow back when you call even though your cat is most likely close by. Your cat is most likely hunkered down to the ground and ready to dart away from any perceived threat even from you! A cats instinct is to hide, stay put, and not meow.
NOTE: Your cat may have traveled farther away only if a dog or something else has frightened them; if there are no good hiding places close by; or if after several hours or days, there is no source of food or water close by.
How To Earn The Trust Of A Stray Cat
This article was co-authored by Molly DeVoss. Molly DeVoss is a Certified Feline Training and Behavior Specialist , a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant , a Fear Free Certified Trainer , and the Founder of Cat Behavior Solutions. Molly specializes in using positive reinforcement to modify and prevent unwanted behaviors in cats and reduce cat shelter surrender. Molly has sat on the Dallas Animal Advisory committee since 2013 and was voted one of the Top 12 Extraordinary Cat Behaviorists of 2020 by Catpetclub.com. She is certified by both the Animal Behavior Institute and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is also the host of the weekly podcast Cat Talk Radio.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 24 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 410,964 times.
Earning the trust of a stray cat can be a difficult but rewarding process. If you see a stray in your neighborhood that you feel compelled to take in, you must first learn to engage with him in a way that is non-threatening. Know the facts about cat behavior, and what to do and not to do when interacting with strays.
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Give It Food And Water
If the cat looks friendly, approach it slowly and talk in a soft voice. Put down some cat food and a bowl of water. A feral cat will keep its distance, in which case you should too. You dont want to be bitten or scratched by a terrified cat. Keep in mind, feeding a stray will encourage it to come back for more, so be prepared to place food in a safe spot outside where the cat can access it.
Stay Very Still When She Eats
After your cat is accustomed to finding the food you leave for her, try staying outside when you leave the food, but at a distance.1;Don’t try to approach her when she appears; instead, stay very still. Remember that a cat’s body language is different than yours. Don’t stare directly into her eyes for long periods of time. If you do catch her gaze, blink slowly. Don’t act overly interested in her, and;she’ll trust you more.
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Take Care Of It In Your Own Backyard
You can also take care of the outdoor cat yourself. Remember that the cat does need to be spayed or neutered and receive its vaccinations. But if the outdoors is the only option, you can still make sure the cat has food and water and a place to shelter during bad weather.
Remember to take up any extra food in the evening to prevent scavengers such as raccoons or possums to move in and eat the food . Read How to Set Up an Outdoor Cat House for Pets, Strays, and Ferals for tips.
Cats that live in feral cat colonies often have an ear that is notched or cut by a vet. This lets caretakers know that the cat has been vaccinated and spayed or neutered.
Can I Simply Ignore A Stray Cat
In many ways, a true feral cat can be seen as another form of wildlife, and some homeowners may regard its hunting of mice, chipmunks, rabbits, and other garden pests to be perfectly acceptable. Just as bird-lovers dislike stray cats, some gardeners may welcome them for the predatory benefits they offer, just as a fox or owl is welcomed. However, if you find that multiple cats are frequently prowling your yard, this is no longer a natural phenomenon, and it’s probably time to take steps to control the population.
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Why A Stray Cat Might Come To Your House
There are an estimated nine million stray cats in the UK and approximately one and a half million feral cats. This means there is a very good chance you will have a close encounter with the feline kind if you havent already.
If you find a stray cat hanging around your house, or trying to gain access inside, it is more than likely looking for a safe haven with food, water, and a little bit of TLC.
Caring For Stray Cats Who Prefer To Stay Outdoors
If your new kitty just wont come inside, you should provide some kind of shelter. You can make a feral cat boxthere are lots of online tutorialsor you could even open up your garage on really cold nights, Phillips says.
If youre not able to make a feral cat box, you can also buy one. There are cat heated beds;and unheated options as well as houses that can be used as shelters for stray cats.
Also, if you live in a cold climate, a heated water dish might be a good investment.
During the spring and summer months, you will also want to make sure that you provide your cat with plenty of shaded, cool areas to hang out as well as access to cold, fresh water.
You can use a cat bowl;like the Neater Feeder polar pet bowl to help keep a fresh source of cold water available for you cat throughout the day. You can also provide a cooling pet pad, like The Green Pet Shop self-cooling pet pad, so your outdoor kitty always has a place to relax and cool down during hotter days.
Its important to be realistic about the outdoor kitty that you found, says Delgado. A feral just isnt going to try to get into your house.
If youre unable to take on the care of a stray cat or a cat is too feral and aggressive for your safety, you still have options.
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