Saturday, January 15, 2011

Just a Stray?

 I don't remember a time in my life when I didn't feel sorry for a cat or a dog that didn't have a home.  If you've felt that same way then you know how I'm feeling about a stray cat that we've had around our property the last several weeks.  I am quite sure it's feral because it runs away anytime it sees or hears me.  I feel lucky that I have been able to take a few pictures of it because it doesn't come too close to the house, but stays on the edge of the woods down by the road.  I read on someones blog that you shouldn't feed a feral cat.  But I have to admit that I couldn't not do that and I've put a bowl out for it a few times, but the meal mostly goes untouched. I am sure it's surviving on whatever it can hunt. Of course with the cold I worry about it and am wondering if I should try to trap it, (I have a small trap) or just let it be.  From what I can see, it looks healthy and who knows, maybe it does have a home or is quite content with the life it has.  What do you think?

46 comments:

  1. I'm just here to say hi. I know very little about cats, but I do know that where I live, feral cats that are caught and neutered and put back out in the wild have a notched ear. From your picture that cat looks pretty healthy.

    Have a great day,
    Lynn

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  2. Is it possible that the cat belongs to one of the neighbors? Some cats, though they have a good home, are very shy and feral seeming when they are outside.

    Try not putting the food in a dish, but just leaving it on the ground. If it is a feral cat, the idea of eating out of a bowl may be foreign to it.

    As you know, I can't not feed a feral cat either. They say you shouldn't because cats are invasive and not native. And, they have a tendency to multiply quite rapidly. But, I've been feeding just one feral for a while now, and, in spite of the fact that there is supposed to be a large feral colony near me, I haven't seen any more come around.

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  3. This is always a dilemma isn't it Kim? After crying my eyes out for 3 days over my last stray kitty "Sparky", who I have received reports on that he is doing well in his knew home, I promised my hubby no more feeding stray cats. We will see how long that last... ;) Sparky wasn't feral though, he was lost or abandoned.

    I am thinking we should feed a feral cat so id doesn't come dependent on us and stop hunting? I'm guessing.

    It just breaks the heart.

    But on the plus side, I bet that sweet kitty is helping keep the rodent population down around your house! :)

    Have a terrific weekend Kim!
    xo Catherine

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  4. He does look pretty healthy (reminds me of my Tuxedo barn kitty). I'd probably continue putting out some food to see if he warms up to it. And if not, I'd probably let him be as he seems to be existing on his own. Poor boy. If he continues to hang near by after a few more weeks, I would probably try to trap him, get him neutered, then let him go again to see if he stays around. Can't believe he's so close with all of your doggies...

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  5. What a beautiful cat. I would just leave it be and let it survive on it's own. It seems to be doing well without anyone's help. The cat is just curious and is checking you all out.

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  6. He looks healthy, maybe he's just a bum. By that I mean, he has a home, but likes to bum around, we had one like that, his name was Maggot, sometimes he would be gone for weeks and then show up at home - out of the blue. With the cold weather, do you have a place where he can get out of the cold? Someplace there may be mice? I hate to see animals out in the cold or hungry. I'm sure it's hard to decide what to do.

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  7. I have taken on a cat recently. He found our barn several months ago and was very scrawny but friendly. Of course I fed him. Now he lives here, has had his shots and just needs to be neutered. His name is L'orange Marmalade and you have seen him on my Journal. Three rescues in one year. (Sidney and Seymour too). I'm a mush.

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  8. I'm exactly the same...and I don't know the answer. I like texwisgirl's suggestion...keep us posted!
    xoxo
    ~K

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  9. I agree with texwisgirl: I just couldn't leave a feral or stray cat without feeding him/her. I feed several stray cats near where I work and they wait for me every morning. I go feed them even during the weekends and when I am on holidays - they are "my" strays and I know they are waiting for me. I make sure they all get fixed as well.. but new ones still arrive from time to time - even small kittens get dropped there :(

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  10. Kim,
    We have a cat that looks a lot like this one. She/he hangs around the property, and, according to our neighbor, belonged to the people who used to live here. The cat never comes close enough to pet or anything, but has eaten food left out for it. One day perhaps the cat will come close enough to determine gender, etc. and perhaps even get to the vet. But, like yours, the cat certainly LOOKS healthy!

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  11. feed it! daddy cat was wild and after a year he came to trust me and now i can put my head on him and talk to him and hold him which is very confining to a cat but he loves his mama and purrs and purrs. yes, the dish would have to go, a little pile of food is perfect under a tree so it doesn't get wet. call for the kitty so it knows your voice each time you see it. it will come around in time. shake some food or tap the bottom of a can each time and call for it and it will stop and watch you pile the food. the canned cat food will be smelled easier and be more tempting. just hoping no coyotes come around. good luck with your new project! this little baby could be a new member of the family in the near future!

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  12. Well Kim all I can say is at this house I have 2 rules..
    Motto...All Are Welcome Here

    And...if it moves I am going to try to feed it.

    I have 13 cats right now, some still partly feral, that will come in the house in freezing temps and then want back out. Only 5-6 are in all the time. As they show up at my door (abandoned by their owners) I trap, neuter and release them. After that they come and go as they please with occasional visits to the vet. But I do encourage them to come in during the really cold temps. There is no bickering allowed and they all get a turn being cuddled.
    Tina xo

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  13. That is such a pretty cat! I think I'd be tempted to put food down (although you don't want to attract rats etc?!) just because it's hanging around your home and is clearly interested, despite the dogs.

    It does look pretty healthy though.................

    Tough call.

    x

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  14. yes I agree, he looks pretty bright and well nourished!

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  15. I reckon it belongs to a neighbour if it's not eating what you're putting out Kim. Just keep an eye on him/her that's all you can do really. Sue x

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  16. It does look pretty healthy and while it's always a question; to feed or not to feed, what harm would it do if it truly needed some nourishment?
    She is also very lovely!

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  17. So, you've posted your own 'Saturday Khaturday'

    ;-)

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  18. I'm also surprised that that pretty kitty hangs around with you having so many dogs. My guess would be that if he didn't eat the food you left out, he's got a steady supply, somewhere. In spite of my belief that "a strange cat is just one that you haven't befriended yet", I'd probably not put out more food for two reasons: one ~ he's obviously not that hungry; and two ~ it could end up attracting possums and coons. I have to admit that I LOVE raccoons (as long as they stay away from my chickens!) but they are not really the best neighbors...

    If handsome "Tux" comes crying at your door ~ that would be a different story but as long as he's keeping his distance and not interested in food you offer, I'd say he's a pretty happy kitty.

    Then again, I could be wrong.
    It has happened once or twice before...

    ;-)

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  19. I always feel so sorry for any dog or cat I see out there homeless. Just wondering why they said not to feed a feral cat? He looks like he’s a good size--so probably eating pretty well but I like you would feed him :)

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  20. All our cats have been strays, but none feral. I'd feed him/her through the winter &, assuming it's really feral & not just shy, consider a trap/neuter/release strategy.
    - A

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  21. I don't know. Cats are so darn independent he or she might be happy as things are. It's been my experience they'll let you know if things change and they need you...

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  22. Kim - as one who feeds strays, I can totally empathize! That cat does not look feral. Skittish, yes. His coat looks really clean/burr free, and he appears to be well-fed, so either he is getting fed somewhere else, or he is one heck of a hunter. My guess is he does have a home somewhat nearby, and likes to roam the woods, playing mighty hunter... And, I could be totally off the mark, that is just my impression from the 2 photos and the fact that he is not eating food. A feral cat will generally attack a food bowl as soon as he feels that you are safely away. Katie

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  23. The reason I've heard about not feeding feral cats is the rabies concern. That will be very hard for me when we move to the farm, because I want to take care of them all, too.

    I would say call animal control and see if they will leave you a cage, and then collect the cat after it's trapped.

    He does seem really healthy though so he may belong to someone and just not like strangers. Must be lots of mice or voles or something for him otherwise. :-)

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  24. Hey Piners,
    Some people moved out of sissy's community and left their cat behind, intentionally. I won't go into anyone else's house though; it just roams the neighborhood. So a lot of the neighbors leave food out for it. It appears to be healthy but everyone was worried about the extreme cold so some people put boxes and blankets on their front porches. The neighborhood call the cat "Gutter Kitty" because it slinks along the street gutter. Dad says he feels like you and that he'd leave small amounts of food out for it as long as it doesn't draw raccoons or other varmints. If it keeps hanging around or starts to look thin then maybe you'd better try to trap it. We confident that you'll do the right as the situatin may call for. thing.
    - TBH&K

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  25. Feral or not, I'd have put out a bowl too, especially considering the cold, chilly weather outside.

    He looks healthy, yes. but you can't really tell from a distance as the fur is usually fluffed up due to the cold.

    Hope it is not someone's lost house cat.
    can u somehow get someone to catch it and find out? If it lives in the wild, u can just release it back.

    Happy weekend

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  26. Probably just a curious cat....with all the 'activity' going on at your place. I'd keep an eye on it but as others said it looks pretty healthy and groomed.

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  27. Somebodys cat that lives to visit
    and roam.
    Livehim alone and he will go home.

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  28. Hopefully he/she will be okay - that is nice of you to try to make sure it has food!

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  29. Kim,
    Your feral cat looks very healthy so I'm guessing she may be a female because they are the best mousers.
    We have a potato warehouse not to far away and I see one cat daily, but it too won't come close to feed it or pat it. It must have some place to keep warm and away from the coyotes because these feral cats have really started to disappear from the wharf areas.
    I'm thinking I would let it be and if it becomes more friendly then maybe I would take some action to help it, but sometimes we can do more harm than good.

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  30. I think he looks healthy enough to be left alone. He may belong to someone around there. But I know how you feel. One just wants to rescue them all.--Inger

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  31. I think that you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat animals. You are a gem, Kim.

    I once noticed a three legged cat following Gracie and me during our neighborhood walk. I felt so sad for it, but it seemed to get around just fine. But then it disappeared. That happened a few times, with the same cat, but then I didn't see it anymore. It must have belonged to someone...

    Good luck with your new friend.

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  32. a tough one...but, if it were a dog we all know what we would do..feral or not...
    there is a program here to capture, spay and neuter, "tip" the ear and release...we get these "ferals" typically from farms..where they are cared for, but free...by altering them, we stop the continuous breeding, that adds to an already huge over- population of cats...
    the cat needs to be trapped and,at the very least,altered and released...who knows, maybe he/she is nice and adoptable.....
    this takes time, effort, patience and resources...i would contact your local humane society and see if they offer any kind of program!
    such a cute cat...
    xoxo

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  33. I would leave him/her alone. Trying to trap it would be super stressful on him and, if he appears to be doing okay, he's probably better off in the wild. I think if he belonged to someone, he would be eating what you put out. I sure don't blame him for not wanting to come close to your menagerie..ha.ha.ha.

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  34. I think like you, and feel very sorry when I see these "lost" (or so we think) animals - cats being the most common. And I've never heard anything about not feeding feral cats. Why not? Aren't they hungry the same?

    I would put food out there for him, always in the same spot, away from the house, or close to a barn or something. Somewhere where it could take cover if it gets too cold. Oh, I would put water too. And I would not try to catch it. If he wants to come close, he will.

    Oh, if that kitty only knew who lives in your house... right? He would come with suitcase and all!

    I admire you a lot!

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  35. I have a black and white cat that comes and goes on our farm I think he/she must be traveling from one area to another..
    Your cat is a beautiful cat.. I love cats and my heart goes out to cats that don't have a home.
    Have a great day...ta ta for now from Iowa...

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  36. I know what you mean Kim, my heart just breaks when I see or hear about strays which is why I always adopt my cats! That way I feel like I am doing something to help them. The cat on your property doesn't look like a stray to me though, he looks more like a 'barn' cat like my cousins used to have in rural Ontario. They had two cats that they kept outside but always left food for them in the barn. They had them to help keep mice out of the barn and house and they could come and go as they pleased. They were not skittish in the least, but then again one of my tow house cats is a bit skittish so it really just depends on their character. I think your good looking feline visitor knows just where he can go to find food and shelter and he's just patrolling his perimeter to keep the mice away!

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  37. I pretty much have no opinion on cats in general, but the capture, alter, notch and release sounds like the best thing for a feral. Out in the country this is probably especially wise.

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  38. Mom is just like you! We had a skinny little feral cat hanging around the horses, and Mom tried to befriend it, feed it and catch it. She graced us with three litters of kittens - the first two we caught young and rehomed and the 3rd we had no luck. We did catch all the babies and the little girl and had them all fixed. Now in exchange for a little food in the evening, they keep the horse yard free of snakes, scorpions and mice. Mom thinks its the best deal she has ever made! Plus, we all enjoy watching the cats - they add a little life to the property.

    Sam

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  39. We've had our share of feral cats here on the farm and I will offer a word of warning, especially since you have so many puppies --

    they can and do carry all sorts of nasty parasites and disease. I would hate for you to get bit or scratched or for one of your lovely dogs to get involved with a cat that you know nothing about.

    I would urge you not to feed it, but rather leave it be.

    Just my two cents worth from years of experience.

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  40. We just watched a program about the cat over population on our CBC TV here last week....check out this website and maybe it'll give you some idea of the magnitude of the problem
    http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/doczone/2011/catcrazed/
    It would seem that capture/neuter and release would be a humane option.

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  41. The photo is from far away so it's hard to tell for certain about the cat's health, but from what I can see it does not look all scroungy... it's fluffy, as if it has a good diet and is well cared for.

    Di

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  42. Woof! Woof! Probably it has a home. There are cat owners that let their car out n most of them goes back. Maybe this cat is just curious what's going on at the Golden Pines. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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  43. Hi Kim
    we have many cats just appear at our home. They are afraid and act like the world is out to get them. We never know if they have been abused or are feral.
    So far, after much time, we were able to touch them , capture them and get them to the vet to get fixed. We bring them home and if they stay close- they at sometime eat..
    we feel sorry for them being hungry.
    it is a big decision, but one thing we know is we do not want them making more babie ferrals
    I know you do not like to see them hungry also.
    So many good comments from everyone.
    love
    tweedles

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  44. It's a beautiful cat. Looks like someone took care of it for a while at least. I would feed it too.

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  45. Wow Kim that is a hard decision. I like you have such a heart for any animal and I would probably be inclined to feed her. But then all the comments about feral cats having dangerous parasites I am not sure what is the best option. Maybe your little kitty is lost--I would check the local paper or vets to see if anyone is looking for her. Just a thought...
    xoxox
    Mimi

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  46. I happened to be at Petco on Saturday when they were having lab adoption day....there was this mama dog, boobies all hanging low, her head was ducked and she was looking all around so nervously. I felt so sorry for her, she looked terrified and cowed and totally unsure of it all. If I had a fenced yard and a husband who was more agreeable to pets, I would have taken that sweetheart home with me on the spot. The memory of her haunts me. I hope she got a forever home. Kim, you are a blessing to the less fortunate creatures who need a home!

    Liz

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Speak--I really enjoy your comments! Thanks for stopping by today!!