Stray cat. Giving it a home ?s

Discussion in 'General Off Topic Forums' started by chaz, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. chaz

    chaz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've never done anything like this before, so seeking advice from others who have.
    We have a few cats that wonder around our neighborhood and my wife has taken to feeding a calico that now pretty much lives under our deck., when she's not sleeping on one or another of our deck chairs. She is quite skittish and as soon as the back door is open takes off to a 'safe' distance, where she watches 'till we go back in.
    Today I went out to the back deck to retrieve my tape measure, when I spotted a black and white tom on the pool deck, who, when he noticed me, trotted over to about 5' and stopped.
    I made the typical noises one does when calling a cat, and to my surprise he came right over and began brushing against my feet and legs as he walked between and around them. Now I've seen this cat a few times before over the past 6 months or so, but the calico has 'claimed' our yard as her own, so he has been an infrequent visitor.
    I called my wife out and she was rather surprised, as she expected my urgent beckoning was due to the calico. After a brief discussion, now with my 6 yr. old, Sophie, a bowl of food and the tom making three attempts to get into the house we decided to get the cat carrier and take him to see if we could get him looked at.
    The town Vet was overbooked and all they could do was scan for a chip - negative on that- and give us an appointment for Friday.
    So we were gonna have this little guy visiting for a few days - gonna need a few supplies. off to get the basics, then we decided to try the local shelter to see if there were any lost pets wit a description that match up with 'ol tom - negative. I asked the woman behind the counter if she'd give him a quick look over to see what she thought (to me it looked like he'd been on his own for quite a while. She did and confirmed that, in her opinion, my guess was probably the reality. Nevertheless, I filled out a found animal form - just in case- and she gave him a quick once over, at my request, to see if there were any obvious sign of fleas. She said again, in her unprofessional opinion there probably weren't any. She also pointed out that from his teeth (one broken K9 and a back tooth with very red gum-line) and general appearance her guess was that he was about 5-7 years old. She also said that from his appearance she doubted there was anyone looking for him, but urged me to do the due diligence on that front which we are in the process of doing.
    So he's been in the house for a few hours now and after scouting around a bit has found himself a spot in the upstairs ante room to the bedroom belonging to my wife and I, where he has stayed.
    This is the reason for my post and the long story. He seemed rather energetic and friendly when I first encountered him, and now he prefers to be on his own, hiding away ( I realize that is anthropomorphizing, but the thought is there and I can't shake it). He doesn't try to get away if I go up to him in his spot and pet him. He'll let me do that for as long as I want, without the slightest complaint. Should I just leave him to himself for now, or should I bring him downstairs to the living room to 'hang out' with the family?
    Lastly, it seems very clear from his behavior, as opposed to the calico, that he was once a house cat, so I am assuming that he knows what a litter box is and how to use one, but how do I get him to realize that there is one here, where it is located and 'encourage' him to use it?
    Thanks to anyone who has read through all of this, and my appreciation to any who can help with my questions.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018

     

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  2. Dave_1962

    Dave_1962 Lunatic Member

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    He might want to go back out to do his business, I'd get him his own fresh litter and give him 24 hrs. to use it unbothered by your 6 yr. old. If he doesn't use it my guess is he's an outdoor cat and may not acclimate to the box. You haven't seen him long yet. I am curious though - what is it those few other cats are wondering about?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  3. butch4695

    butch4695 Super Member

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    No pets in my house , no regrets
     
  4. chaz

    chaz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You mean the other cats that come into our yard?
    I have no idea, beyond the calico (likely female given the genetics of calicos) and the food and water my wife puts out. We have also had a wild rabbit living in our back yard for a few years. He's gone now, probably taken by one of the 4 dogs that live on either side of us. Oh and every year, for the past 3, we get a mallard couple that hang out in our pool for a few days when the spring thaw comes.
    I guess animals just like it here.
    Oh and it is a brand new, fresh litter and he is the only pet in the house right now. Our Beagle Odie got put down 2 years ago. The carrier was his, so I guess it was a dog carrier, not a cat carrier.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  5. beat_truck

    beat_truck Super Member

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    So, how exactly does this answer/help the OP?:idea:
     
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  6. chaz

    chaz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    No worries BT. That kinda stuff is expected. Thanks for speaking up though.
     

     

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  7. arts

    arts Super Member

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    I know people have the best intentions when taking in strays.Unfortunately,having to subsequently deal with a flea-infested house is no picnic.
     
  8. chaz

    chaz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yeah, that was our first concern that's why we took him to the vet and subsequently to the shelter, when there was no room at the vet.
    Granted the woman at the shelter is not a licensed. Vet. which she made a point to tell me before giving her opinion, but I figure she's seen enough cats with fleas that her informed opinion is pretty good. Plus I have not seen him scratching or agitated in the entire time he's been here. So I'm confident that we're ok on that front. Confident, but not certain till we get to the vet on Friday.
     
  9. beat_truck

    beat_truck Super Member

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    We've brought strays in, but most were kittens or young adults.

    I'd show him the litter box. Make sure he knows it is there. Even grab his feet and dig them in it, if he lets you that is. One of our cats developed an odd habit of crapping in the bathtub no matter how clean the litter boxes were (closing the bathroom door solved the issue:dunno:), but all of them easily took to using the litter box once we showed it to them.

    If he's not fixed, get him fixed PRONTO. The male cats we've had started spraying randomly when they became adults.

    It's already been said, but it's worth repeating. Make damn sure he doesn't have fleas. You will be in a world of misery if he does and spreads them to the other cats and through the house. Bathing with Dawn dish soap will kill them and was recommended by people at pet stores and our vet, I believe. Seresto flea collars work very well and are good for 8 months. Frontline or Advantage for cats work too, but not as well, and are way more expensive in the long run. Even though they claim to kill fleas and eggs, they are all pretty useless if they are already infested. Don't ask me how I know these things.

    Oh, and by the way...the cheap generic flea drops from companies like Hartz.... COMPLETELY USELESS.

    Other than that, I'd just let him do his thing. He will get used to you and the surroundings and come around if he is friendly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  10. SA-708

    SA-708 Appalachian-American

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    We had the idiots that rented the house across the street from us move out and abandon a cat. Patches picked us as her new home. We took her to the vet, got her checked out and confirmed she'd been fixed and was healthy.

    We put a cat box in an unused bathtub, carried her to it, and have had few problems since with that. She's been food insecure in the past and it shows; no matter how much we put out, she leaves some behind and still asks for more.

    She was an indoor/outdoor cat when she adopted us, and remains so. She's always nearby and knows how to get away from the local dogs and wildlife.
     
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  11. butch4695

    butch4695 Super Member

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    Sorry man. I like my home clean and worry free from pets. I don't feel obligated in any way to bring in a stray of any kind. I love life and wild life but I'm not responsible for others living it
     
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  12. Oerets

    Oerets AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Where I live unwanted pets are always unfortunately wounder in. I have an empty old powered 15" sub box saved just for this reason. Rapped in plastic and straw for bedding. We have taken in a male cat a few years ago. Almost another male two years ago, it had a chip. Got hold of the owner. She picked him up drove around the corner and let him go. He ran back to my house. Went to someone else who wanted him. Last year a very nice black Tom stayed the winter and spring outside. He was skittish also, always just out of reach. Stayed around one day to long, fear a neighbor poisoned him. Been rumored to have happened before.
    So take a chance you may have a great friend ahead.
    As to fleas use the drops from the vet after a good bath.


    Barney
     
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  13. beat_truck

    beat_truck Super Member

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    I think all cats do that. It just seems to be one of their idiosyncrasies. Even the ones that have been born here have done the same. They have never been without food at all. Far from it, they're spoiled rotten.:rolleyes:
     
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  14. chaz

    chaz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Oh, forgot to mention the woman at the shelter also said he has not been neutered. so hopefully he won't spray till we get that done.
    Gonna try the bath with Dawn tomorrow. Hopefully I don't get too scratched up!
     
  15. chaz

    chaz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    He ate a bit when we first got him in the carrier. This aft. But not since. Even took him to his bowls of food and water - nothing. He knows where they are if he gets hungry. Just gonna go one day at a time I guess an see how things work out.
    Thanks for all the input from everyone though, it really helps.
     
  16. beat_truck

    beat_truck Super Member

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    Some cats tolerate a bath pretty well. Some... watch out. One we had, actually the one that started the flea problem, would go completely psychotic when bathed. He was a handful, and he was small. I would put on an old sweatshirt and wrap the arms in duct tape....

    He liked my dad, and my dad liked him, but that cat HATED me, probably because I was the one that bathed him. He actually deliberately pissed all over me once when I picked him up.:mad: When my dad passed away, I showed the cat the door.
     
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  17. chaz

    chaz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Duct taped arms! Good idea!
     
  18. KLH9

    KLH9 A Double Pair Sounds OK

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    Big difference between stray and feral.

    We had a female tuxedo feral cat the was having litters in the neighborhood (at least 3 litters we knew about). There were a number of feral cats running in the neighborhood.

    One day the wife was looking out the kitchen window and pointed out some flashing in the bushes. After a few minutes of intense staring we realized it was a group of kittens playing (one was all white which is what caught our eye).

    We went out to "capture" them. As soon as we got close they scattered and each jumped into cinderblocks we had in the yard. Cutest thing i've seen. Balls of fur with bright eyes looking up at us. We guessed 7-8 weeks which was the right age to be leaving mom. Into a clean trash can, lid on, and off to the spca to be adopted.

    When we got back home "mom" was under the bushes looking for her crew. She left 2 voles and a chipmunk. Good hunter and provider. She took off upon seeing us but came back with another vole when we were inside.

    We set a large have-a-heart trap salted with tuna and had her in short order.

    Off again to spca where they told us they put down ferals. They did have a spay and release program for farmers which we were not.

    We were able to talk them into doing a spay and release on her to us after telling them about the feral problem in our neighborhood. A spayed feral will keep other intact female cats out of their territory.

    It has been 12 years since our "neighborhood" cat was "released". She has done her job as I have not seen another feral female cat in our neighborhood in all that time.

    She still hates us and a "here kitty kitty" is as good as a gunshot to her

    .
     
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  19. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    My tuxedo adoptee from the Monroe County, Tennessee animal shelter is superb. Baby is 8 pounds, black and white, intelligent, social, and sweet and travels well. She's now over 3 years old. I got her at 2 months, 2 years of age. Baby's a great little feline.

    Rotate the photo if you can. She's beautiful!
     

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  20. beat_truck

    beat_truck Super Member

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    Since we are going to do pictures...
    Here is our current baby, and that he is. A big baby. cat.jpg


    Here are most of our past cats. The tan and white male and the calico female both died suddenly when they weren't old at all, for no apparent reason.:( I suspect it was because their parents were bother and sister.

    The gray one on top of the TV lived the longest before having to be put down. He was more my mom's, but I liked him a lot. Another very gentle soul. The gray and white, rather large, female was the one that chose me more than the rest.
    cat2.JPG cat3.JPG cat4.jpg cat5.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018

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