Cat in garden - Help!!

Queries and discussions about cat rescue & rehoming
Post Reply
sarahm
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:30 am

Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by sarahm » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:50 am

Hi,

I'm new here, sorry if this isn't in the right place, but really need some help and although there's some advice on cat chat it's not really helping me, so am wondering if anyone else can advise?

A black cat has appeared in our garden. It appeared last Thursday and is hanging around locally, but keeps coming back into our garden. It's a big cat and looks very well fed. He's male and he's not been neutered. Wondered if he may have strayed a bit too far from home (either that or he's a feral, but not sure he's showing behavior of feral cat)? I'm really worried about him as he's soaking wet and clearly very cold - I've fed him a couple of times to make sure he's eating, but to be honest, I'm getting a bit cheesed off with it being in our garden as it's also meowing and sounding very distressed during the night and keeping us awake, plus I've got two cats (both neutered!) and he's making them feel really uneasy to the point that they are no longer going out. This black cat actually came through our cat flap and sprayed in our house yesterday too, which just isn't fair on our cats - sent them a bit crazy, poor things :(

I really want to help this little cat, but I don't know what to do. I'm reluctant to feed it, because I don't want it coming into the house again, but I don't want it going hungry either. I've had this happen before (think our garden is a magnet for lost cats!!) Once when it happened before, I was able to catch her and take her the vets been, she was microchipped and returned to rightful owners (who I don't think were local as I've never seen her since), but the other time, I wasn't able to get anywhere near the cat and even if I had, every local cat rescue said they couldn't take it, so I'm not really sure what to do with this one. Obviously if it's a feral, it'd be a matter of getting him neutered and letting him back out (which I don't have money for), or it it was lost, I'd have to find a rescue space and I just couldn't find one last time. The cat will let me get quite close to it, but when I tried to get close enough to touch it and check him over yesterday he scratched me, so don't think I'd be able to capture him to get him to the vets/rescue anyway...

I really don't know what to do, as I don't want to leave the poor little thing, but equally reluctant to encourage him by feeding him as it's stressing my two out so much, and can't have him coming into our house and spraying again. I live in Birmingham - if anyone knows of any rescue charities that might be able to help or has any other advise in the mean time in ways I can help, I'd really appreciate it. Last time this happened, I tried contacting the charities/rescues listed in the cat chat directory, but had no luck at all, eventually the cat just disappeared, so didn't need to follow it up, but this cat doesn't seem to be going anywhere!

Thanks in advance

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: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by bobbys girl » Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:06 pm

Hi, thanks for being concerned about this cat.

I live in a little, rural community, but our local vet works with Cats Protection (via local animal rescue) to trap and neuter strays. They will lend you a trap to get the cat to them and check him for a chip - before they do anything else.

If an out of the way place like here will do that the SURELY there is a vet in Birminghan who would do the same? Hopefully someone closer will have details of a vet or shelters to help you.

sarahm
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:30 am

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by sarahm » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:07 pm

hanks so much for your reply, it'd be really helpful if there are people out there that are familiar with the Birmingham area that might be able to advise. I did contact cats protection last time. Think they would lend me a trap to check for a chip (doubt he's chipped given he's not neutered), but nothing else, and it was the same with the smaller rescues. I could ideally do with working out if he's feral or a stray to start with, as at least then I could try and get him space in a rescue.

It makes me so angry that people don't take responsibility for pets, and also get frustrated that there's not much else I can do. I don't want him in the garden, not because I don't care (I really am so worried about him!), but because it's making our little cats so stressed out. My one cat always comes down with a snuffle when she's stressed and she's all snuffly and sneezy today, so I can tell she's anxious :( Gave in and fed him again this evening though as can't stand the thought of him being hungry. Just want to help and don't really know how best to. Even search the internet for lost cats in Birmingham and can't find any that match his description.

I've attached an image to this post of him, just in case anyone in the Birmingham area knows anything. It's poor quality as was taken through my window - he runs off every time I go outside.

Anymore ideas of how best to help him would be very much appreciated!
Attachments
IMG_3179.jpg
(66.45 KiB) Not downloaded yet

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: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by bobbys girl » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:05 pm

He is a lovely big fella!

User avatar
Crewella
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3627
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:59 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by Crewella » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:47 pm

It might well be worth walking round and knocking on doors to ask about him. I was involved with a 'stray' last year whom I've just discovered had an owner three streets away all along! Somebody might know about him.

sarahm
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:30 am

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by sarahm » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:47 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the responses. Cat still hanging around outside and absolutely terrorising my two :-( came home today to two very stressed out cats and my little girl was growling and hissing and wouldn't let me get anywhere near her to reassure her (she's normally very placid with me)... Turns out cat had been in the house again and sprayed round the house. Left with terrible smell and two very anxious little cats.

Have tried speaking to local people and no one knows a thing about it. Have contacted Cats Protection today and they are going to be calling me back in the next three weeks to try and arrange a trap, nueter and return. I don't think this little chap is able to be re-homed unfortunately, he's way to nervous around humans and every time I've got close enough to try and touch him to check him over etc. he's just ended up lashing out/scratching me. Totally understand they're inundated with trying to help and can't guarantee a call sooner, but really hoping its sooner rather than later.

I guess my next question is, if I manage to trap and nueter the little chap, is there anywhere I can look for a home for a 'feral' cat? I realise they're few and far between, but I am finding t incredibly hard to keep looking after him as its making my two so unsettled. Even though he can't be re-homed in a house, I'd love him to get the love he deserves as I just can't commit to helping him. My one little boy used to roam for quite a way, and now he's barely going out because of this cat.

Thanks again for help.

User avatar
Kay
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1606
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:50 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: West Wales

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by Kay » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:44 am

Everything might be much easier if he was neutered - once his testosterone levels are down he would stop spraying and your cats would probably stop seeing him as a threat, so you might be able to establish him as an outdoor cat in your garden while you look for other options

User avatar
Crewella
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3627
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:59 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by Crewella » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:24 am

Kay's right, life should be a lot easier once he's neutered. It seems a shame to return him, though, and you never know, once he's not so scared he might come round. Here's a link to cat resues and shelters in the Birmingham area - it might just be worth ringing round to see if you can get a space for him somewhere.

http://www.catchat.org/adoption/mids.html

sarahm
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:30 am

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by sarahm » Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:04 pm

Still not been able to get near him and still not able to find a space for him in a cattery. Am at my wits end with him now :-( don't know what to do for the best. He got in again yesterday and sprayed in our bedroom. My cats are so unsettled by it and the house smells grim, can't get rid of smell :-( want to help the poor little thing, but getting no help from anyone to help him

User avatar
MarySkater
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:47 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by MarySkater » Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:20 pm

In your place, I would drive him away. I'd stop feeding him and try to scare him off any time he showed up. I would put the welfare of my own cats ahead of the stray. I know that's harsh, and I know you'd love to sort things out for the visitor, but you've tried, and the only result is to make life miserable for yourself and your own cats.

If you stop welcoming him, he may move away and find someone without resident cats who would be willing to take care of him.

GillianH
Experienced Cat Chatter
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:22 pm
No. of cats in household: 3

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by GillianH » Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:28 pm

This chap may not necessarily be feral. He could just be scared.

You say he's been in your house several times - could you lock the cat flap to prevent him doing this any more?

I have just Googled "cat shelters in Birmingham" and it brought a fair few up.

Have you considered putting flyers up in the area and also in local shops too?

It's difficult if you have cats of your own I know.

User avatar
Kay
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1606
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:50 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: West Wales

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by Kay » Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:03 pm

if this was my problem, I would accept that no one is going to remove it for me, given the current stresses and strains rescues are under - so I'd approach it on several simulanteous fronts-

first, make sure he cannot get into your house, even if that means stopping your cats going outside for a while

second, as a backup, make sure there is never any food of any kind left down

third, establish a shelter and feeding station well away from your house for him, and be prepared to keep it well stocked so he isn't tempted to come looking for more - decent quality dry food doesn't cost a fortune

fourth, beg steal or borrow a trap which can be put out in the feeding station, so his undesirable qualities can be cut off as soon as possible

none of this would have to be for very long, but if it succeeds will surely provide the easiest and best solution for all cats and you

sarahm
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:30 am

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by sarahm » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:47 am

Thank you all so much for your helpful responses. We lock our cat flap between 5pm and 7:30am so may start feeding him in the evening at around 6pm and in the morning at around 7am before our cats go out for the time being and then see whether I can get him into a routine for when Cats Protection offer a trap and neuter. Hopefully they may also be able to give me an idea of whether he's feral or not...

I think the thing that's making this so difficult is the fact that my little boy is just so depressed at the moment. He's normally a very loving little boy who has his own territory and roams around for hours on end. Since this cats been on the scene he's been very subdued, doesn't want love, doesn't want food and doesn't want to go outside as much. It's just hard because I don't want to keep him in and have this cat outside claim his territory, but equally I don't want to force him to stop out as he's always been so used to coming and going, so I've been really reluctant to keep the cat flap shut (either with him in or out). Have taken to shutting it when we go out and leaving it open when we're in and keeping a very close eye on the flap, chasing the intruder cat away when he tries to come in. Problem is, that's not helping the situation in working out whether he's feral or not as I'm ending up giving him very mixed messages.

I just so wish people would take better care of their animals :-( my two are my world, and I hate the fact that there are others out there that don't feel same about their animals, and that shelters are so full. Can't find space for him anywhere :-(

sarahm
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:30 am

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by sarahm » Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:04 pm

Hello!

I realise it's been a long long while ago since I made this post, but our little back garden feral cat has at long last been trapped, neutered and returned! It's taken us three months of regular feeding times for him, conversations with Cats Protection League, them coming out, trying to trap him and failing, and then them lending me a trap to him myself, but yesterday, we finally trapped him and had him neutered. The little fella wasn't chipped and isn't at all social, but the good news is, he is now neutered and fingers crossed that will stop the spraying, fighting, as well as the obvious as no more baby kittens being produced by him :-D

Thank you all so much for your help! He's been released back in our garden today, and he's just come by for food, so already seems to have forgiven us for trapping him! So we now seem to have adopted a back garden cat and will ensure regular feeds for him!

Thanks again all for your help!

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: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by bobbys girl » Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:28 pm

That's good news. :)

We did a similar thing with a feral cat some years ago. We called him Felix 'cos he looks like the cat in the Ad. He stiil calls in for his breakfast and although they'll never be 'friends' he and our cats tolerate each other.

You've done him and yourself a favour. Hope everything works out well for you.

sarahm
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:30 am

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by sarahm » Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:45 pm

We have named him Severus :D he's a lovey little lad, and I appreciate we may never be friends with him (growls and hisses every time we get anywhere near!), and/or our cats won't be, but so happy we've at least managed to get him neutered. He's not been coming into our house as much recently, thankfully, but he has been getting into a lot of fights so really thankful that getting him neutered should at least stop some of that.

Happy to adopt him as a back garden cat and feed him once a day. Generally do it once ours are in at night, and on a whole it works well as means he never really passes ours as leaves the garden once he's eaten and doesn't come back until the next night when ours are back in the house again. Just glad he's safe and the spraying should stop, as hopefully, that won't leave as much of a territorial scent on my cats space!

Thanks again for all your help, it's been huge, and at least means I've managed to help this little man as much as I can :)

User avatar
Crewella
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3627
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:59 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by Crewella » Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:31 am

Oh well done, and I hope that things do improve now. :)

.....and 'Severus' ...... love it! :D

User avatar
Jacks
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 752
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:40 pm
No. of cats in household: 7
Location: Enfield, North London
Contact:

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by Jacks » Mon May 02, 2016 5:45 pm

Well done and congratulations on Severus! We took 5 months to trap a similar wild boy over 2 years ago, and 8 months after neutering he moved in. He will always be a bit of a wild lad but the others have accepted him now and he's part of the family. He likes strokes unless he's feeling hissy fitty, if something's upset him, and he sleeps in the kitchen area at night.

Then at the end of February a black unneutered male turned up, yowling and crying to be fed, and wouldn't go away - the twin of your Severus!! It only took me two weeks to grab him and get him indoors though as he was terrified of all other humans but as gentle as a lamb with us! He's now been neutered (again, not chipped, no response to adverts etc) and he's our boy, part of the family. He's Bobby now and he looks slimmer as you'll find a lot of that thick coat of Severus is from living rough - they lose a lot of underhair once they move it. Bobby has been a house cat now for 6 weeks and I'll keep him in a bit longer until he and the final girl have made their peace.

Again, he was a stinky Tom and they all hated him, especially wild boy Mr Socks. However after 11 days he stopped yowling (thank God) and he smells fine now, no more spraying, and even the male has accepted him as a family member.

So things may well improve quite quickly. Neutered females and males detest unneutered cats, but within a few weeks his smell and demeanor will start to change. I wish you all the best with Severus, and please keep us up to date!

Just to warn you, the more cats you have the more you become a cat magnet. I think they instinctively know that they will be saved and fed when there are other cats around. Unneutered males are a complete liability and will roam miles for females, so often get lost from home - and people who can't be bothered to neuter often won't be bothered to chip either. Your Severus may even have been born wild to a stray, as one of our girls was. We have 6 cats now and they are the light of my life! x

sarahm
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:30 am

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by sarahm » Tue May 03, 2016 6:53 am

Jacks it's so lovely to hear your experience! Sounds like you're very committed to your cats! Severus is a lovely chap. I'm fairly sure he'll always be an outdoor cat though as he's still not happy to be anywhere near us! He'll now wait in the garden while we feed him instead of running off, which is progress. I've only ever got close enough to touch him three times, and each of those he's stuck his claws out and lashed and hissed. We're happy to keep on feeding him though. And yes, you're absolutely right about people who can't be bothered to nueter, not being bothered to microchip either. I pretty much expected that'd be the case, but your thought on him being born feral is an interesting one - I'd never thought of that possibility. Given how he won't let you get close, doesn't meow at all, and the body language, it would surprise me.

I certainly know what you're saying about being a cat magnet! This is the third or fourth cat we've had in the garden over these past 15 months. Two of them have moved on naturally, then we've had Severus and then another little girl who was absolutely beautiful. She was a gorgeous little white cat with tortoiseshell markings and she was the friendliest little thing. We were able to just pick her up and pop her in one of our carriers to take to the vet after a few days of her hang round and yowling day and night - she was chipped so think she got back to the right owners - was gutted as had hoped to keep her!!

I just love cats and would never want to see one come to harm, so will always do what I can for them. Just think my husband is now convinced I am a cat magnet as he doesn't quite have the same level of 'crazy cat person' status as me :lol:

Moggymad 56
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 9:36 pm

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by Moggymad 56 » Tue May 03, 2016 10:21 pm

Just joined & read this story. Think you are all wonderful people dealing with the Tom cat issues. Currently got similar problem but my unneutered visitor is very friendly. Have put paper collar on 2 days ago, so far no response. He does go away but times he is back in garden increasing. Have been aware of him for about a month now. I am adopting my neighbours cat next week when he moves from house to 2nd floor flat & am anxious to resolve the 'visitor' situation before this time as the adoption will be difficult as that cat is a very stressed cat & aggressive to other cats. We have looked after our neighbours cat regularily due to him working away a lot & we understand this cats behaviour & he is used to us so feel we are best placed to adopt him otherwise think it may be euthanasia. How long do you think I should wait for contact before taking steps to rehome/ neuter the friendly Tom? I have called at doors etc, checked Animal Search Uk, his photo also posted on my village Facebook page. Have had this situation in past & ended up keeping the cat & he eventually settled in with my other two females but had to give each one their own space for the rest of their lives! This certainly won't be possible in my current situation. Any advise please?

User avatar
Kay
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1606
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:50 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: West Wales

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by Kay » Wed May 04, 2016 9:49 am

well done you for looking out for both these cats

if a rescue caught the wandering tom in a trap he would be neutered and returned without any questions asked as to an owner, so as you have already tried I think you should fee free to go ahead - it's for everyone's good after all, especially his

User avatar
Jacks
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 752
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:40 pm
No. of cats in household: 7
Location: Enfield, North London
Contact:

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by Jacks » Wed May 04, 2016 11:59 am

Hello MoggyMad - your unneutered visitor sounds very like my Bobby - and would make someone a wonderful pet. If you can coax him into a carrier get him to a vet to see if he is chipped. If he is, then problem solved hopefully and he can go home. If not he will need to be found a home. I suggest you get in touch with local shelters (through Facebook and this forum) ASAP and get him onto a waiting list to go in. I would actually do this straight away as most rescues are very full - however things change all the time and you can always cancel the place if you find his owner.

A good vet will castrate the young man if he's been hanging around, fed by you, and there's been no response to advertisements for him for 2 weeks. This is imperative or without it he's a complete nuisance and will be off as soon as he smells another female in heat...

Good luck with the boy - we decided to adopt Bobby at the two week mark when we found he was unchipped (I was hoping he wasn't by that time) and took him in on my birthday in mid-March. He's now almost completely accepted into the family and an indoor cat at the moment whilst we work out a few issues between him and one of my girls. I don't on principle let them out until they are 1) integrated so will be welcomed home as a family member and 2) know their name well enough to come when called. Better cautious than a disaster, is my feeling...

Moggymad 56
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 9:36 pm

Re: Cat in garden - Help!!

Post by Moggymad 56 » Wed May 04, 2016 2:21 pm

Thanks for the advice. The Tom actually turned up this morning without the collar, which I had reinforced against him scratching it off, but so far still no phone call from anyone. Will get him to vet to check for ID when i get chance. Would love to get him neutered now but in view of collar removal it could be that he has a home & is just a wandering Tom. Like someone else posted earlier, it is so frustrating that people don't get their males neutered. They usually become quite homely afterwards I've found. Will see what happens in next few days & possibly put another collar on with an urgent message that if nothing heard from any owner steps will be taken to get him rehomed. Thank you for your responses, much appreciated.

Post Reply