Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Queries and discussions about cat rescue & rehoming
silverchariot
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by silverchariot » Wed May 23, 2018 6:09 pm

I've been getting visits to my garden from 4 cats pretty regularly for the past few weeks during the mornings and evenings. I'm concerned one of them might be stray and/or unneutered as it has been spraying (pungently) everywhere (incl. front & back entrances) for the past 2-3 months and is the most 'aggressive' out of the lot - it seems to be their leader as it usually arrives first for their meetings :lol: It's also been outside our house till around 11pm at least twice from what I remember. Am I wrong in thinking it/they could be strays, and not just outdoors cats?

We've had quite a few cats resting in our garden or visiting us over the years, but never any spraying or meetups - they would always be individuals. I want to find out who their owners are so at least I could ask them if their cat is neutered, but I'm stuck on how to do this. I got advice from the RSPCA and Cats Protection regarding asking neighbours and putting up posters along with paper collars, but I'm scared their owners (if around) will get annoyed at me :( I know it's a silly reason but I have problems with talking to people and very often get negative reactions. They might think I'm a dodgy guy for interacting with their pets or wasting their time. Am I being paranoid? What should I do to make sure the cats aren't strays? Sorry for the essay, I really don't know how to write my thoughts out properly.

User avatar
Lilith
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3572
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 pm
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: West Yorks

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Lilith » Wed May 23, 2018 7:34 pm

Hi and welcome - and I can sympathise, me too when it comes to trying to talk to people (except on this forum where we're all like-minded :) )

I think you're being very patient - many people would be outraged about the stinky messages this cat (and he does sound like an entire tom) is leaving but yes, neighbours ... I don't blame you for not wanting to put yourself in the firing line if these cats have owners who are the type to enjoy having a go at you.

I suppose a very crafty solution might be to fit the cats with paper collars enquiring, 'is this your cat as he comes and shares my dinner, but I don't want to feed him anything he shouldn't have in case he's on meds/special diet' or a similar message (perhaps other people on here could suggest something better?)

But I don't think you're being paranoid - and thanks for being concerned, good on you.

silverchariot
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by silverchariot » Wed May 23, 2018 8:57 pm

Lilith wrote:Hi and welcome - and I can sympathise, me too when it comes to trying to talk to people (except on this forum where we're all like-minded :) )

I think you're being very patient - many people would be outraged about the stinky messages this cat (and he does sound like an entire tom) is leaving but yes, neighbours ... I don't blame you for not wanting to put yourself in the firing line if these cats have owners who are the type to enjoy having a go at you.

I suppose a very crafty solution might be to fit the cats with paper collars enquiring, 'is this your cat as he comes and shares my dinner, but I don't want to feed him anything he shouldn't have in case he's on meds/special diet' or a similar message (perhaps other people on here could suggest something better?)

But I don't think you're being paranoid - and thanks for being concerned, good on you.
Ahh I'm glad my fear logic isn't completely flawed haha! The paper collar message seems like a good idea, but I have no idea how to get them to wear one :oops: In the time between my first post and now, two of the gang (one small black and one mainly black) came and sat in the garden but they were really fearful of me. The black one immediately hid under the swing as soon as I turned the key, and ran to the back with the other one, they both ran away as I got closer while crouching. Does this mean they're scared of me or feral? Anything to perhaps make them okay with my presence? I need to find a solution quick as my mum is considering shooing them away with a stick if it gets worse!! :shock:

https://imgur.com/a/lIj76b6

User avatar
Janey
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 953
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:04 pm
No. of cats in household: 1

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Janey » Thu May 24, 2018 6:14 am

Hi and welcome. It’s good that you’re caring about these cats, and definitely don’t be concerned what anyone says. If there’s 4 of them it does sound like a group of ferals to me, especially if you can’t handle any of them. I got a group of ferals near me trapped and neutered 11 years ago with the aid of Cats Protection, when most were kittens, and we have cared for them outdoors since. I still look after 3 of them now, some passed and a couple just disappeared over the years. The eldest of the 3 is about 17 now, and it’s only been in the last couple of years he’s let me stroke him! and now I can lift him up a little of the ground, just before he eats :) Anyhow, if they are feral, and unneutered they need sorting before things get out of hand. This information should help you:

https://www.catchat.org/index.php/about-feral-cats

If you think they are cats that belong to a neighbour or are strays (although I personally think that’s unlikely if there’s 4 of them, unless they are all gathering from the neighbourhood) then this information should be helpful:

https://www.catchat.org/index.php/cat-m ... ound#found

Best of luck!

silverchariot
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by silverchariot » Thu May 24, 2018 1:15 pm

Janey wrote:Hi and welcome. It’s good that you’re caring about these cats, and definitely don’t be concerned what anyone says. If there’s 4 of them it does sound like a group of ferals to me, especially if you can’t handle any of them. I got a group of ferals near me trapped and neutered 11 years ago with the aid of Cats Protection, when most were kittens, and we have cared for them outdoors since. I still look after 3 of them now, some passed and a couple just disappeared over the years. The eldest of the 3 is about 17 now, and it’s only been in the last couple of years he’s let me stroke him! and now I can lift him up a little of the ground, just before he eats :) Anyhow, if they are feral, and unneutered they need sorting before things get out of hand. This information should help you:

https://www.catchat.org/index.php/about-feral-cats

If you think they are cats that belong to a neighbour or are strays (although I personally think that’s unlikely if there’s 4 of them, unless they are all gathering from the neighbourhood) then this information should be helpful:

https://www.catchat.org/index.php/cat-m ... ound#found

Best of luck!
Wow, I didn't know ferals could live that long and become friendly! Thank you for the links, I've contacted a local shelter from the list and an animal welfare officer should get back to me in a couple of days so hopefully they'll be able to come round and check the cats :) They all look really healthy so maybe they could just be gathering from the neighbourhood as you say - hopefully that's the case so at least they have a home.

User avatar
Lilith
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3572
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 pm
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: West Yorks

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Lilith » Thu May 24, 2018 5:52 pm

Hi, sorry, with your mentioning paper collars I got the impression that you were on stroking terms with them but yes, even the most domesticated cat can be wary of someone it doesn't know; I have one who never appears when an old friend calls and another, who, while very possessive, doesn't permit stroking (from me) above the shoulderblades lol.

It could be that these cats have chosen your garden as part of their special territory, but also could be in search of food/support ... even the best-fed cat likes a 'second string' - they'll never say no to a free meal, the little gits :lol:

Rather rude to spray everywhere though! :shock:

I hope the rescue agencies can give advice and help - please keep in touch :)

silverchariot
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by silverchariot » Tue May 29, 2018 5:47 pm

Not much of an update, but one of the welfare officers recommended I set up a feeding routine so they can come round and catch the visitors. I suppose they want set times they know the cats will definitely be around so their time isn't wasted. I don't mind feeding them but I'm worried that if I offer just a little food, then they'll keep coming back for more when I'll be off to uni (my parents aren't too keen on feeding them either). Any idea of what I could feed them? The officer wanted me to try and see if I could stroke/pet them after offering food.

User avatar
Lilith
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3572
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 pm
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: West Yorks

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Lilith » Tue May 29, 2018 8:06 pm

Yes, that's the problem with offering food - and not only your regulars but every cat in the vicinity, even those with good homes, will be along for a free meal. Certainly I wouldn't leave food down; the idea of getting them into a routine is good, but if catching them is the idea, I'm surprised traps haven't been suggested. Very few cats will become hand-tame after a meal or two, and of course, once you start feeding, you've entered into a commitment. You can't just stop feeding and leave them hungry.

I'd be inclined to discuss trapping with the rescue agency, but, if you decide to feed, I'd buy a modestly priced dry food (say Purina 1 or Sainsbury's 'Perfect Fit' - that's if you're in the UK) which won't attract flies as much in the warm weather or go off like wet food.

Sorry if I sound a bit hard-hearted by the way ... I'm afraid I'm a complete sucker and have ended up feeding everything that's called in on me (and often stayed) but it IS a commitment; the cats are dependent on you after that.

If your parents are reluctant to adopt these cats, I'd recommend trapping the cats by a no-kill shelter that will rehome them.

Wish I could help more - all the best with them and please keep updating.

User avatar
Janey
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 953
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:04 pm
No. of cats in household: 1

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Janey » Wed May 30, 2018 6:21 am

silverchariot wrote:Not much of an update, but one of the welfare officers recommended I set up a feeding routine so they can come round and catch the visitors. I suppose they want set times they know the cats will definitely be around so their time isn't wasted. I don't mind feeding them but I'm worried that if I offer just a little food, then they'll keep coming back for more when I'll be off to uni (my parents aren't too keen on feeding them either). Any idea of what I could feed them? The officer wanted me to try and see if I could stroke/pet them after offering food.
It sounds to me like the rescue want you feed them regularly so that they can come along with their traps and get them, and that’s the best way. Usually what they do is trap, neuter and release back to the area - if you’re prepared to see to them like we did. If not, they will usually advertise for someone else to adopt them, e.g. a small holding or farm. Best of luck and keep us updated.

silverchariot
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by silverchariot » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:28 am

Damn this is hard. I've been giving them dry food for the past few days at certain times but the little **** don't seem to have a schedule! Only two of them are eating and that's at least a few hours after I put the food out - put out around 7pm, they eat after 10pm/put out 1pm, they eat at 5pm. What's worse is that one of them seems to be a very young cat or it's really tiny so I got worried it would go hungry if it didn't eat for a day. :cry: It keeps trying to mate with the big female cat too during the evening which makes for a strange spectacle as she's at least twice his size! :lol:

Today I put out wet food at 11am in the hopes that they might be attracted to its smell, but no luck at all. After a while, the lid blew off from the wind and flies went into it so I had to throw it away. How on earth do I get them to eat when I want them to? With the way things are going, the shelter will never come around to trap them haha (none of the ones near me loan traps)

User avatar
Lilith
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3572
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 pm
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: West Yorks

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Lilith » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:25 pm

Ha, the awkward little gits!

Having spent time rehabilitating ferals myself, I must say this is typical, brings back memories!

I have a cellar with a window which used to be called the 'drop in centre' :lol: Made it easier with food and water and a tray too although it ended up reeking of tomcat spray. Oh and one evening I got a litter of kittens delivered. :o By their devoted Mamma, who's still with me.

Talking of kittens, what a randy little devil, and this I'm afraid could be serious - have you told the rescue people about this as it's quite likely she's pregnant now. Kittens are what none of you need. Could be a good idea to catch Mamma and spay her pdq. To say nothing of the great lover.

Is there any way you could obtain traps, from the RSPCA, from vets? I know how you must feel; it's very hard to go on pestering, especially when it's difficult, talking to people.

At the moment you may have to harden your heart, leave food out for say half an hour twice a day and if they don't turn up then, they'll have to wait ... I know, I'd hate to do that too, but ... They can be canny though; they'll learn.

Cats!!!

Again, all the best and looking forward to the next instalment.

silverchariot
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by silverchariot » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:18 pm

Lilith wrote:Ha, the awkward little gits!

Having spent time rehabilitating ferals myself, I must say this is typical, brings back memories!

I have a cellar with a window which used to be called the 'drop in centre' :lol: Made it easier with food and water and a tray too although it ended up reeking of tomcat spray. Oh and one evening I got a litter of kittens delivered. :o By their devoted Mamma, who's still with me.

Talking of kittens, what a randy little devil, and this I'm afraid could be serious - have you told the rescue people about this as it's quite likely she's pregnant now. Kittens are what none of you need. Could be a good idea to catch Mamma and spay her pdq. To say nothing of the great lover.

Is there any way you could obtain traps, from the RSPCA, from vets? I know how you must feel; it's very hard to go on pestering, especially when it's difficult, talking to people.

At the moment you may have to harden your heart, leave food out for say half an hour twice a day and if they don't turn up then, they'll have to wait ... I know, I'd hate to do that too, but ... They can be canny though; they'll learn.

Cats!!!

Again, all the best and looking forward to the next instalment.
Oh wow, your drop-in centre was quite busy :lol: Really cool that you're still taking care of the mum! I was thinking of making a feeding station/shelter thingy since I suppose that would make it easier? I've informed the RSPCA about the happy couple but they didn't mention anything about giving me a trap to use myself, maybe they're reluctant to give them to people without being asked? I didn't know vets give out traps too, nice idea! I'll call and few and ask and will try my local rescue shelter for the 100th time now haha (maybe if I pester them enough they'll come round just so they don't have to answer my calls :D ) Unfortunately I don't have a Cats Protection branch near me otherwise they could give me one.

As much as I feel bad, you're totally correct about having to harden my heart. I've decided to put food out at 9am and 7pm everyday for only half an hour following your advice - they better be there this evening, I think they've gone on a daytrip due to the good weather!! Thanks for the advice once again! :)

User avatar
Janey
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 953
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:04 pm
No. of cats in household: 1

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Janey » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:38 pm

I would ring round all the rescues in your area, I’m sure that one will have a trap you can loan. it’s in their interests to help you out otherwise they could have more than 4 to sort out soon - you could remind them of that maybe ;)

silverchariot
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by silverchariot » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:01 pm

Janey wrote:I would ring round all the rescues in your area, I’m sure that one will have a trap you can loan. it’s in their interests to help you out otherwise they could have more than 4 to sort out soon - you could remind them of that maybe ;)
Called as many vets and shelters near me as possible today, all said they don't have any traps or they won't loan one :( I'll have to stick to the original plan I guess. One bit of good news I suppose; the third cat has started eating today! :D It even made a trilling sound but is still nervous of me, so I think that one might be a stray (it's also the only one to drink water from a saucer thus far). Only one more to attract and he's quite good at running away.

User avatar
Lilith
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3572
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 pm
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: West Yorks

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Lilith » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:54 pm

A trill is a good sign!

Maddening about the traps though - do you feel comfortable about posting your area in case there's a small rescue near you who could help?

Good on you and all the best :)

silverchariot
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by silverchariot » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:19 pm

Lilith wrote:A trill is a good sign!

Maddening about the traps though - do you feel comfortable about posting your area in case there's a small rescue near you who could help?

Good on you and all the best :)
I live in North-West London; think that limits me a bit

Sniper1
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:49 pm
No. of cats in household: 18
Location: West mids

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Sniper1 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:25 pm

Just a thought have you tried general animal rescues not just cat ones and be sure to say its for neuter and return so any rescue you ask is not refusing you traps as they can't accommodate the cats if you say you are unsure if the cats are owned or not it will also put some rescues off as its no ones right to trap and neuter an owned cat sadly people have a right to keep unneutered cats and there can be consequences for trapping and neutering a cat who has an owner if they find out whose been responsible its not just a case of trap and neuter any cat willy nilly and there's also the question of who pays for any neutering and accomadates for any aftercare if you did trap any are you able to do that or are you asking any rescue who lends you a trap to do that

Sniper1
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:49 pm
No. of cats in household: 18
Location: West mids

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Sniper1 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:39 pm

Here's an example of why rescues are cautious with lending traps many years ago as a new rescue worker someone convinced me they had a stray borrowed a trap caught the cat and dumped it in a forest miles away and a week later returned the trap saying the cat had disappeared long story cut short the cat was their neighbours and the trappers hated cats they were stupid enough to boast to the cats owner they had got rid of it as it dug up their garden luckily the owners searched relentlessly with adverts etc and the cat was found hence I only ever trap myself I never lend or leave a trap for anyone else to use however genuine things seem

User avatar
Lilith
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3572
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 pm
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: West Yorks

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Lilith » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:02 pm

Hi, I'm completely ignorant about London but there are Blue Cross facilities there - a charity I forgot about -

https://www.google.co.uk/search?client= ... :1,lf_ui:4

They offer help to stray and neglected animals.

Again, all the best :)

silverchariot
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by silverchariot » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:38 pm

It's been a while since I last posted an update since nothing really happened in between then and now, thought I should give one now. :?

The RSPCA TNR-ed one of the boy cats yesterday, returned him today afternoon and he surprisingly came to eat dinner (2 days' worth in one go) this evening; thought he would run off! :o I made sure to give him some nice wet chicken food and treats as an apology. One thing I noticed however was that his ear wasn't tipped after the surgery, so I'm going to call them tomorrow to ask why that is and find out some more info about his general health which I forgot to ask today.

They'll return to catch the other three some time soon - if that's even possible! I put out some straw beds and made a spacious shelter they can use in the meantime so they get even more comfortable. :D Thanks for all your suggestions on the various charities to call though

User avatar
Janey
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 953
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:04 pm
No. of cats in household: 1

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Janey » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:19 am

silverchariot wrote:It's been a while since I last posted an update since nothing really happened in between then and now, thought I should give one now. :?

The RSPCA TNR-ed one of the boy cats yesterday, returned him today afternoon and he surprisingly came to eat dinner (2 days' worth in one go) this evening; thought he would run off! :o I made sure to give him some nice wet chicken food and treats as an apology. One thing I noticed however was that his ear wasn't tipped after the surgery, so I'm going to call them tomorrow to ask why that is and find out some more info about his general health which I forgot to ask today.

They'll return to catch the other three some time soon - if that's even possible! I put out some straw beds and made a spacious shelter they can use in the meantime so they get even more comfortable. :D Thanks for all your suggestions on the various charities to call though
That’s great news! :)
It is odd about the ear tipping, although I don’t think all vets do it, my vets do. I know you said you were off to Uni soon, have your parents come round to the idea of seeing to them when you’re away? The reason I ask is they will come to rely on you for food and shelter now, so if you can’t do that then a rescue needs to try and rehome them.

I know what you mean about them coming back to eat. When I TNR my lot I thought they'd disappear too, but they know where their bread’s buttered lol. I brought mine back from the vets, kept them in a couple of hours in their cage, then released them. They ran off to their siblings then all the lot came back for tea an hour or so later :lol: (The same happened with my neighbour and the ones she got neutered).

Cats Protection showed me how to do the trapping and left the cage with me, the only issue I had was getting a cage, when they weren’t using one, and ensuring they got it back asap. I was lucky in that I only it a day or two each time. Best of luck with the rest, keep us updated!

PS the “top cat” of my lot, now lets me stroke him and I even managed to brush him and sit him on my knee the other day :o It’s only taken 12 years btw :lol:

User avatar
Lilith
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3572
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 pm
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: West Yorks

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Lilith » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:58 am

Congrats - one more neutered :D

Lol yes I remember my old ginger tom, Finn. who moved in with me. He was in a rotten state, ears, abscess ... and balls. I managed to get him to the vet's and he came home that afternoon rather woozy and cocked a leg for a wash of his manly pride ... only to find that some was missing. He folded himself up in shock!

He forgave me though :D

Good luck with all the arrangements and good on you :D

silverchariot
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by silverchariot » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:37 pm

Janey wrote:
silverchariot wrote:It's been a while since I last posted an update since nothing really happened in between then and now, thought I should give one now. :?

The RSPCA TNR-ed one of the boy cats yesterday, returned him today afternoon and he surprisingly came to eat dinner (2 days' worth in one go) this evening; thought he would run off! :o I made sure to give him some nice wet chicken food and treats as an apology. One thing I noticed however was that his ear wasn't tipped after the surgery, so I'm going to call them tomorrow to ask why that is and find out some more info about his general health which I forgot to ask today.

They'll return to catch the other three some time soon - if that's even possible! I put out some straw beds and made a spacious shelter they can use in the meantime so they get even more comfortable. :D Thanks for all your suggestions on the various charities to call though
That’s great news! :)
It is odd about the ear tipping, although I don’t think all vets do it, my vets do. I know you said you were off to Uni soon, have your parents come round to the idea of seeing to them when you’re away? The reason I ask is they will come to rely on you for food and shelter now, so if you can’t do that then a rescue needs to try and rehome them.

I know what you mean about them coming back to eat. When I TNR my lot I thought they'd disappear too, but they know where their bread’s buttered lol. I brought mine back from the vets, kept them in a couple of hours in their cage, then released them. They ran off to their siblings then all the lot came back for tea an hour or so later :lol: (The same happened with my neighbour and the ones she got neutered).

Cats Protection showed me how to do the trapping and left the cage with me, the only issue I had was getting a cage, when they weren’t using one, and ensuring they got it back asap. I was lucky in that I only it a day or two each time. Best of luck with the rest, keep us updated!

PS the “top cat” of my lot, now lets me stroke him and I even managed to brush him and sit him on my knee the other day :o It’s only taken 12 years btw :lol:
Lilith wrote:Congrats - one more neutered :D

Lol yes I remember my old ginger tom, Finn. who moved in with me. He was in a rotten state, ears, abscess ... and balls. I managed to get him to the vet's and he came home that afternoon rather woozy and cocked a leg for a wash of his manly pride ... only to find that some was missing. He folded himself up in shock!

He forgave me though :D

Good luck with all the arrangements and good on you :D
Turns out they did tip his ear and my eyesight was just poor haha. Found out that Addie (his new name) is also only 2 years old; which I guess means he had just moved on from being a teenager when I first saw him :) My parents don't seem to mind putting food out for them after I've gone, but a local rescue is keen on relocating the entire group to a farm once all have been neutered - so I might have to give them away by winter (I selfishly don't want to though since I've never owned cats :( )

Going by your TNR experiences I hope that's the norm and not the exception for the rest of the lot :) Though, no idea how shocked Addie was upon self-inspection :lol:

silverchariot
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by silverchariot » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:38 am

Alright. Two more cats have been neutered, one more to go! Turns out all are male, so no idea why they were mounting each other :lol: I'll have to trap the last one myself so that'll take a few weeks apparently, especially since he's not as reliant on me for food. RSPCA have been really helpful though.

Only issue now is that my family are planning to go on holiday for 4 days in a few weeks and I'm not too sure how to feed the group while I'm gone. Can't get anyone to come over due to certain reasons (neighbours are a bit dodgy too). Two options I've thought about are putting enough dry food in a rabbit/tortoise house, or inside two medium pet carriers. They'd be put on top of the garden table which should hopefully be out of sight of the foxes. Would put food in their roomier cat house, but they might knock it over and get lost in all the straw.

Any suggestions?

User avatar
Lilith
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3572
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 pm
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: West Yorks

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Lilith » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:39 am

Congrats and well done! :D

Mounting can be a dominance thing - I've known a neutered girl mount a breeding queen in call :o :lol:

I'm glad the RSPCA have helped - most of us have had negative experiences so it's good to hear of a positive one.

About the feeding, you have a problem. The table won't be a barrier to a fox, they can jump anywhere, and I wouldn't put food in the cats' dens, as the foxes would leave their scent in there and deter the cats ... if the cats were microchipped they could use those electronic dishes that only open when the right cat approaches - but even a closed dish would probably be stolen by a fox and carried off for investigation.

Is there a local rescue who you could ask for help, asking if someone could come over once a day and put down fresh food and water - preferably in the morning so that the cats have first chance at the food? You could make a donation to the rescue as payment. Failing that, there are pet sitters. I had to contact one two years ago and he charged (then) £8 per visit. For four days that or a little more might not work out so bad, and they needn't have access to your house, just the garden, so there wouldn't be the worry of strangers in the house.

Others will have more advice but hope this helps for now - all the best and hope you get sorted - and again congrats :D

User avatar
bobbys girl
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:58 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Co. Fermanagh

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by bobbys girl » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:00 pm

There must surely be a local rescue with a volunteer or two who could do as Lilith suggests?

This has made me realise how lucky I am living here in NI. I know that if needed there is a network of people who could do such a thing - and they are not even cat lovers! It's just something you do for a friend or neighbour.

I hope you find someone and have a good break, content in the knowledge your charges are being looked after.

silverchariot
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by silverchariot » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:17 pm

Hmm, the two foxes that have been visiting only seem to come and drink from the water bucket and don't seem to eat the food whenever it's been left out too late (based on camera footage). Should I take the risk and leave it where they won't be bothered to check on the table? As a last resort I mean.

We have an alleyway that can access our garden but it's blocked and overgrown on both ends and some houses have started burning rubbish in between for some stupid reason. Council won't do anything since it's "private land" :| So someone could potentially get in and feed the cats if they really wanted to, but would get stuck on a burning day anyway. I don't want to risk a volunteer getting injured too :shock:

Suppose one downside of living in London is the ever-increasing lack of community (and poor maintenance) haha :D Maybe I'm worrying too much for something a few weeks away :?

Voskhod_02
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:20 am
No. of cats in household: 3

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Voskhod_02 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:42 am

Eh, males mounting each other isn't unheard of ; I once a male cat who was, well, gay, and only interested in other males. And yeah, there's the whole "authority" thing as well ; but at least, it means that they can go at it as much as they can and you'll never have to care for stray kittens :mrgreen: anyways, do you have any updates, did you manage to catch the last one or has he gotten wary of you due to what happened to the others?

User avatar
Lilith
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3572
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 pm
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: West Yorks

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by Lilith » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:35 pm

Hi Silverchariot - sorry never spotted this. The urban fox must be well-fed, but then they are ... I live in an inner-city area where the rats and foxes grow fat on the wastebins of the fast food joints of the main drag and retail park. A neighbour once spotted a fox, at 6am, taking a dump outside the local chippy ... charming eh? :o

I hope you find some help for these cats while you're away - everything crossed here.

silverchariot
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: Possible strays in my garden. Need advice

Post by silverchariot » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:52 pm

Voskhod_02 wrote:Eh, males mounting each other isn't unheard of ; I once a male cat who was, well, gay, and only interested in other males. And yeah, there's the whole "authority" thing as well ; but at least, it means that they can go at it as much as they can and you'll never have to care for stray kittens :mrgreen: anyways, do you have any updates, did you manage to catch the last one or has he gotten wary of you due to what happened to the others?
Oh my lord I've heard of gay penguins, but never gay cats! :lol: The "last" one is still to be trapped probably this week as I think the local RSPCA have a trap available now. He's only about 6-7 months old and isn't that afraid of coming close to me for some reason, and he spends most of his time cooped up inside the shelter, so trapping him should be easy *fingers crossed*
Lilith wrote:Hi Silverchariot - sorry never spotted this. The urban fox must be well-fed, but then they are ... I live in an inner-city area where the rats and foxes grow fat on the wastebins of the fast food joints of the main drag and retail park. A neighbour once spotted a fox, at 6am, taking a dump outside the local chippy ... charming eh? :o

I hope you find some help for these cats while you're away - everything crossed here.
Hi Lilith, it seems your neighbourhood foxes are quite spoilt for choice :) Fortunately we didn't go on holiday so all that worrying was ill-founded oops. The only thing that annoys me is the two fox siblings come and mess up the straw beds where the cats lounge. Although they get a nice surprise when they sniff a bit too close inside a shelter :p

I'll give an update when I've trapped the young one.

Post Reply