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How To Care For Feral Cats

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Shelter For Feral Cats

Feral cat caretaker’s story of finding and caring for a colony of ferals behind her work

The cat will look for shelter in a place where they feel that they are safe. There are a few tutorials on how to make an outdoor shelter for cats by using a basic cooler, or plastic tote, by cutting a door in the side and lining it with styrofoam or old blankets. Place it in a low traffic location, away from people and other pets that may want to bother them. Keep the door facing away from any cold winds. You can place the shelter where you have noticed them resting by a bush or under a deck.

Putting their food inside the shelter will entice them to go in, but you can do this gradually if the cat is skittish. Place the food by the door and slowly move it inside and towards the back. Remember not to leave the food out at night to prevent other animals from taking over the shelter.

If you notice that the cat isnt taking to the shelter, keep adding additional shelters around, and if they get cold enough, they will seek out shelter. Vary the shelter type, have one without styrofoam and just blankets or use straw or wood shavings. Adjust the size of the openings, and add branches around the outside of the box. It may take them a few days to get comfortable with these, so start placing them out before it starts to get really cold.

What To Know If You Do Bring An Outdoor Cat Home

Since there are literally millions of homeless cats on the street, it can be difficult to be sure which ones are truly feral, and which ones are abandoned house cats. If you do decide to bring an outdoor cat into your home, know that introducing him or her to home life can be a lot of work, and stressful for the both of you. Cats are generally timid about being put into a new home, even if they have already lived indoors their whole lives. So imagine what its like to go from a life of freedom to one of walls.

If you bring a cat home, its very important that you make visiting a vet the first stop. Have your vet check for worms and parasites , test for ringworm and lice, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Feline Infectious Peritonitis, rabies and common parasites, and of course, be sure to spay or neuter as soon as possible. Most importantly, make sure that you do plenty of research beforehand. Making your cat feel comfortable can happen over a week or over a month. If your gut is telling you to bring an animal in then be prepared to put in the work.

Otherwise, keep in mind that you can help even more cats by organizing a group of volunteers to aid feral cats, while allowing them to keep their freedom.

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Caring For Feral Cats In The Winter

byEmily Cook|Cat Care|January 23, 2015

When the temperature drops, you may have wondered what happens to the feral cat community in your neighbourhood. While feral cats are adept at surviving outdoors, the harsh winter months can make it very difficult for them to find food, water and shelter.

If youre thinking of taking care of feral cats this winter, why not recruit the help of your feline-loving neighbours? That way you can ensure someone is always able to check up on the cats on a daily basis. Whether on your own or as a team effort, here are ways you can help your feral cat community this winter:

Provide a winter shelter

A good shelter is one thats properly sized and well insulated. During heavy snowfalls, make sure the entryway is cleared of snow so your local cats can come in from the cold. Here are some considerations when constructing your shelter:

Access to food and water

The food and water stations should be protected from the cold and placed near the sleeping shelter.

  • Food: You can either use dry commercial cat food or wet, but keep in mind that in very cold temperatures some wet food can freeze. Feeding time should be the same time every day, and cats should be fed larger portions in the winter than in other seasons.
  • Water: Water should be replaced regularly to ensure a constant source of clean drinking water and to make sure the water hasnt frozen.

Check your car

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Cover The Place Adequately:

Did you keep a simple bowl placed on the ground with dry cat foods in it, which got rained on? If yes, then be known of the fact that no ferals will eat such soft and mushy foods. You must offer them fresh food to ensure the best feeding. Thus, ensure that the feeding station is appropriately protected and provides shelter to at least one cat for eating food while its raining outside.

Place the feeding bowl and water bowl inside the feeding station so that the rainy weather does not disrupt it and the foods remain dry. You can make use of large storage bins or other unused boxes at your home to construct the feeding station for feral cats.

Hold Cats Only A Short Time Before Surgery

How to Care For Stray and Feral Cats: 6 Things to Know ...

Once youve captured cats in a humane box trap, hold them there until the time of surgery. Transferring cats to larger enclosures is not recommended for short-term holding, because it increases the risk of human injury as well as cat escape. Cats are experts at escapeand if a feral cat is afforded any opportunity, he will almost always succeed! Recapturing cats can be difficult, and increases the risk of injury to both cats and staff. In addition, escaped cats can be destructive as they attempt to hide and resist recapture.

Holding cats for only a short time reduces stress and prevents unnecessary handling. It may also allow a frightened tame cat to settle down and reveal his true colorstame cats may turn out to have owners or be adoptable, so recognizing them is important. (For more information, see Feral vs. Frigtened Pet?.

Place the traps in a warm, quiet, dimly lit area. Loosely covering the trap with a towel or cloth will help to provide the cat with a sense of security, reducing stress.

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Food And Water How To Feed Feral Cats In Winter

  • Cats can benefit from extra food during winter, so increase food portions to help them conserve energy. Also make sure to set out fresh water twice a day.
  • Wet food takes less energy to digest, but should be served in plastic containers to prevent freezing. Providing dry food, which will not freeze, works for frigid temperatures, too.
  • Warm up canned food and water before serving or use heated electric bowls.
  • Use bowls that are deep rather than wide and place them in sunny areas to keep water from freezing. Check out some bowls tested by caregivers. Avoid using metal bowls.
  • Spray insulation foam into the underside of plastic feeding dishes and water bowls to help prevent food and water from freezing as quickly.
  • Build a feeding station as this is the best way to feed feral cats during the cold months. It will shield food, water, and the cats from the elements. An insulated feeding station that is built in the same fashion as a cat shelter works even better.
  • Put a microwavable heating pad, like a Snuggle Safe, under the bowls. You can even make your own homemade heating pad by filling fabric pouches with rice, and heating it in the microwave.
  • If theres a water source like a spigot, run the water slightlyit wont freeze as fast as still water. You can also use a water fountain or water bowl with a fountain feature.

Returning Healthy Feral Cats

Communities around the country are increasingly using TNR as the preferred method of cat control. Here, we examine the best medical practices for TNR, starting from the moment of capture through the time of release. Some of these steps will likely be performed by trappers and caregivers, others by the veterinarians performing the examinations, vaccinations, and surgeries.

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Who Handles Medical Care For Feral And Street Cats

Medical care for feral cats is what will overwhelm you, both in money and time. Even if you can handle the food and water without feeling as if you’re in over your head, anyone can become discouraged by all the medical care involved in caring for a street cat colony.

For starters, you really should get all of your cats spayed or neutered. Aside from it being the right thing to do, you’ll help yourself out, too. If your colony is currently at five or six cats, you don’t want it to grow to a population of fifty or sixty cats.

Yancey advises finding a local animal rescue and requesting their assistance with medical care. She says that the cost of offering healthcare services for her cat colony of the last two years has been shouldered by a neighborhood animal rescue that has relationships with various veterinarians, which allows the group to get the cats spayed and neutered for a far cheaper price than an individual could on their own.

“That organization also provided traps and helped us with trapping,” she adds.

So far, Yancey said she hasn’t had any experiences with a cat that has been injured or sick. That may be because feral cats tend to hide when they’re suffering, Yancey says. She adds that if and when something comes up, she’ll pay for it out of pocket.

Hold Cats Until They Recover

How to rescue kittens with a feral mom

Make sure all cats are fully conscious, clear-eyed, and alert before release.

Cats usually need to be held for 24 hours after surgery, depending on recovery speed. Cats can be returned to the trapping site 12-24 hours following surgery as long as they are fully awake and do not require further medical attention. In some cases, females may need 48 hours of recovery, depending on their specific circumstances.

A lactating female must be released 10-12 hours after surgery so she can return to her kittens. Once a nursing mother has completely regained consciousness you may return her as soon as possible so she can get back to caring for her kittens. You can also get the kittens and only AFTER the mother is fully awake and alert following surgery put the kittens in a size appropriate cage or crate with their mother . Feral Cat Set-Up for Long Term Fosters.

If the cat is not recovering well from surgery for any reason and needs further care, please seek medical care. Call the veterinary hospital or clinic that performed the surgery.

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Be Cautious About What You Are Feeding Them:

While you are planning to feed ferals at your home, you have to be much concerned about what you are feeding them while keeping their food habit in mind. It is better to choose an overall bowl-styled container for them.

Pick those bowl colors, which nicely blend with the color of the surroundings. Hence, earthy colors can be the best pick for such situations. There is no need to pick any bold-colored feeding bowl, which can draw unnecessary attention.

Monitor Cats Closely Following Surgery

The cat may be groggy after surgery, but should be fully awake by the evening.

The cat might not urinate or defecate during the first day or two of the recovery.

Monitor well to ensure that cat is breathing normally and is not bleeding from the surgical site or ear tip site. Check the cats often for their progress keep an eye out for bleeding, infection, illness, and lack of appetite. If the cat does not show signs of recovering, call your veterinary clinic as soon as possible for further instructions.

Some blood/spotting is possible but an excess of blood is not good. If you witness this, call the clinic that spayed or neutered your cat for further instructions. DO NOT WAIT CALL IMMEDIATELY.

Abnormal behaviors include continual bleeding from the surgery area, prolonged recovery time or getting drowsy or weak again after waking up. DO NOT WAIT Contact your veterinarian immediately.

If a cat is vomiting, bleeding, having difficulty breathing, or not waking up, DO NOT WAIT Contact your veterinarian immediately.

If a cat is vomiting while still unconscious, her head should be turned to avoid choking. Sometimes this can be achieved by gently tipping the trap to no more than a 30 degree angle to change the cats position. Be careful when tipping the trap so that you dont harm the cat by jostling her too much.

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What Happens When You Do Feed Them

Feeding feral cats is a huge controversy. You can look it up online, and see so many articles about why you shouldnt. This is a controversy, because hey, we think that these cats need food, so we should go feed them. Problem is, that actually can be a problem in some cases.

Feral cats can take care of themselves. Remember, they eat a lot of various critters including the following:

  • Rats
  • Other animals they may like

The truth is, cats know how to hunt if theyre feral. They know how to not go hungry. If youve ever seen a cat that is a barn cat, they know how to catch rodents, to the point where they are controlling the population of the farm, and getting a meal. Sometimes, we may feel bad when we see the cats because we think theyre hungry when in truth, theyre totally fine. Lots of times, there are even local ordinances forbidding this, but lots of times, people will feed these cats anyways.

But here is the problem, youre starting to domesticate them. Here is exactly what happens when you feed them.

  • Youre now the caretaker of them
  • You have to be responsible
  • Youre going to get a lot of other kitties to come forward
  • The feeding stations will grow
  • You also may attract the cops if youre doing this

So yes, it is a bit of a problem. While you may feel bad that theyre not even eating or something, at the end of the day, its best to watch out for this.

Make A Place For Other Buddies Too:

Feral Cats

Naturally, your feral feline is going to come up with other buddies, too, if they find that you care about them. Hence, if they come up with other cats, make sure you are giving them a proper arrangement of food as well.

It will keep them away from conflicts within themselves and give them peace of mind while eating. Also, it is vital to make sure that you are mentally prepared to take care of your kids. Suddenly, if you stop giving food to them, it can become a potential reason for stress in them.

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We Rely On Donations To Provide Food For Over 350 Community Cats On A Daily Basis

How to care for community cats. Our mission is to improve the lives of the unowned, community cats and support the compassionate people caring for them in the city of edmonton. The aspca uses the term community cats to encompass any unowned cat. What is a cat colony?

Feral cats are cats who are too poorly socialized to be placed as a. If care has foster space available, we are sometimes able to socialize young, feral kittens and help them become suitable family pets. Donations are also needed for medical care and supplies.

Keep community cats comfortable while in their trap. We also ensure that the cats. It is mid september and even though it is still pretty warm here, i have started to ready the winter shelter boxes for the cold weather.

Returning community cats outdoors is the best live outcome for individual cats and for the community. Our resources cover a wide variety of topics but are not designed to replace veterinary care or advice. If someone has made threats against the cats you care for, or if the cats have already been harmed or killed, you should immediately file a police report.

I will september 15, 2021. If there is a topic that you dont see covered here, let us know and we will work on getting you some advice and the topic added to our list. Improving the lives of stray & community cats.

100% of all contributions go directly to cover the costs of cat care and vet expenses. We don’t have an office. They didn’t ask to be born outdoors or abandoned.

I’ve Got/found A Cat In Labour What Should I Do

If you’ve found a pregnant cat who you think is in labour, please give her plenty of space to avoid disturbing her. The best way to help is to try and locate the cat’s owner. Please post on local social media groups or speak to neighbours to see if anybody knows her.

You can also help by placing a shallow bowl of water nearby for her to use – this really needs to be done with minimal disturbance though so still keep a good distance. Also, depending upon the weather, placing some shelter nearby could help keep her shaded from the sun and sheltered from cold winds.

Please do keep an eye on mum to check she’s doing ok. If you can’t find the owner please call a local animal rescue centre for advice on what to do when the kittens arrive. It’s always best to avoid disturbing the mum which could cause unnecessary problems for the kittens. Many cats give birth without needing any help at all but signs she may be having difficulty include:

  • If between 30 and 60 minutes of intense straining she doesn’t produce a kitten or a kitten seems to be stuck.
  • The mother seems to be noticeably distressed.
  • If she seems lethargic or has passed an unpleasant discharge or is bleeding heavily from her vulva.
  • Although green/brown/red discharge, while the kittens are being born, is normal.

If you see any of these signs or if mum is at risk because she is near a busy road or building then please call a local vet, animal rescue or call our advice line but never put yourself in danger.

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