If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
I work at the Port of Stockton. We have cats (only two) at present, well three if the sick skinny kitten lives, living under a building. I am going to trap the female and get her spayed, but if I can I an also going to attempt to "rescue" the kitten. Never done this before and will of course get the vet check-up first off and deworm and de flea her (I think she's a her).
ANY words of wisdom either pro or con on "saving" this little thing who I cried over just three days ago because it had been the first time in a month that I had even seen Callie (yeah I named her) and was distressed to see her so emaciated and looking very weak and near death's door would be greatly appreciated. I kinda thought the worst and when I got back to work two days later there she was kind playing around near the food dish. Someone else thankfully was feeding them in my absence and Callie was looking stronger. Before I went home this morning about daylight, I fed Callie a whole can of tuna and white fish mix of Friskies and you would have thought she had found the pot of gold. I'm sure she ate at least half of it. I plan on giving her another can tomorrow morning also. I will build up her strength.
When I trap her mom I will get her spayed and release her.
Am I wrong headed in wanting to convert Callie? Is such a conversion possible? We have other cats, a blind Bengal we call Lola who we love dearly, A Maine Coon 12 years old, a senior grey tabby we rescued 15 years ago, two senior doggies who are 15 and 13 . I don't know if Callie will ever be able to live with other animals. Again any info help us make a sound decision!!
Thanks so much for trying to help these cats, Mike. The best place to ask questions about ferals, I think, would be feral_cats at yahoo groups. The folks there are really knowledgeable.
What you really ought to do is trap the kitten as well and take her to the vet. If she eats regularly and is still skinny, she may have an underlying medical issue.
Depending on how young she is and on how "tame" she seems, it might not be particularly difficult to work with her. But you would need to make sure she was isolated from your cats until you figure out why she's skinny.
It is possible to tame feral/shy cats. Kittens are much "easier" but it takes work and patience. If you're willing once you take a look at some more info on how to tame, etc., please try and work with her. Many ferals are content to live as "house ferals" as well.
I'm in Berkeley, so let me know if I can hook you up with anyone in the bay area who could give you advice as well. We have a GREAT organization in Alameda county that helps make sure that ferals are taken care of and I'm sure they'd be happy to offer you advice.
Feel free to PM me if you'd like =).
Thanks and keep us posted!
Here are a few sites to check out:
There's also a Fix Our Ferals group in Dublin. You might want to call and see if either they could offer you any assistance as Stockton isn't that far, or if they could point you in the direction of another group. It's possible you might be able to get the mom in and spayed with a tax-deductible donation to FOF, too. The clinic is this Sunday and spots fill up very quickly, so call ASAP!
http://www.tri-valleyfixourferals.org/F ... inics.html
We have a terrible feral population here in the deep south. We have a couple of TSNR programs, but you are releasing the cat back into a very unforgiving life here. There are more dead cats on the roads than squirrels. You can change a kitten's life, but a full grown, can never be tamed. They are not so much wild as fearful. The toms eat the young, they all carry disease, s/n and release doesn't follow up yearly with vaccs, especially in my county where rabies is making a grand resurgence. The average life of the feral is 2-3 years, and it is a hard 2-3 years. If you live in the country where they can kill prey for food rather than scavenge at dumpsters, that is more ideal. We have domesticated the cat, taken it into our cities and then dump them to fend for themselves. It is a horrible situation.
You can certain make a difference in a baby's life. And you can work with your local humanes on a solution.
I fed a colony for 3 years, and never in that 3 years was I able to get closer than 5 feet, to dump the food. Tried trapping, to no avail. But maybe they had seen some of their colony get trapped, I don't know.
GOOD LUCK AND LET US KNOW HOW IT GOES!
Karen, Andy's ^i^ mom
Lethal White Aussies Rule!
INTERACTIVE RESCUE SITE!
Mike, I sent this link to Jan, the feral catching queen. She probably won't reply herself, but, typically, I post her reply. She's caught more mamas & babies than I can shake a stick at! You're for wanting to help this little "family."
I would absolutely try to "convert" Callie. The life for ferals is dangerous and certainly not one preferred for cats and especially kittens. I have two ferals Oliver and Frannie who live inside my home. I had trapped the mother Lily in 7/04 and got her spayed. I knew she had kittens out there and so released her. I was able to trap Frannie and Oliver a month later and I estimated there age to be around 3 to 4 months. My understanding is that the socialization period is around 9 weeks for kittens. Frannie and Oliver are wary around me but do come to be fed. They use the litter box and are fine with my other cats. I had continued to try to trap Lily unfortunately I could never catch her again. She would come around almost every day to be fed until the end of July 2008 and I have not seen her since. I would never return a cat and especially a kitten to the outside where they face predators, cruel people and starvation and disease. Diana
OK folks...the decision has been made and permission has been given to try and rescue Callie. Had to get the boss on board for this to be successful. My other half was quite content with our little zoo and did not really want to expand our menagerie. But if we do this right, and thanks to Athenesan, Gabriel, Critters, and Diana, (really thank you so much!!) for all the great info, I think we can pull this off.
Let me back up a bit, my first post was a little sketchy on the facts.
I first noticed an adult cat at the terminal where I work around February this year. I have worked here for 9 years now and have never seen feral cats around. So when one darted behind me in a flash of fur it got my attention. All through the rest of the winter I saw what I thought was one cat till I saw the male and the female together one day about May I think that was. So now I know there are TWO cats living under the office building/truck driver's break room. I started feeding them around this time and was fearful that there would be a litter of kittens in the near future.
It was July when I first noticed a new little behind at the food bowl. Three confirmed ferals. I read then about how ferals will typically have one or two kittens because of their terrible diet and lack of health care. She seemed to be adujusting to the dry food I was giving them, and it was fun to see the Momma play with and teach her kitten how to catch bugs. The days went on, and because of my weird work schedule, there are stretches of whole weeks where I am not around to feed them. Or to help keep the foxes away.
Another story altogether. Suffice it to say that for the moment, there are no foxes at my part of the Port. That could change next week but foxes hightail it out of town when any kind of construction is going on. We are breaking ground to expand and they require unploughed ground and have moved on further west of where I work. But I know they will kill kittens and for a while the entire colony of ferals was at risk from these smart little critters. Of course late at night it is not uncommon to see a fox still or even a coyote follow the railroad tracks in from the west. Skunks too. But I digress...
As the days went on the Momma was leading the kitten further and further away from their shelter and venturing into the very dangerous rail yard and dock areas where there are always lots of traffic...rail, truck, car and they aren't looking out for cats. One night around late august, I saw Callie and her Mom trotting off to the east. At least the foxes would be in the other direction I remember thinking at the time. Then I Callie disappeared till six days ago. I saw her stumbling around the entrance to the shelter and she looked like she was going to lay down and die right there. Very weak and wobbly but she had a little drip of water on her little chin so I knew she had been drinking. I got some fresh dry food and pushed it at her under her shelter and she let me bump her with the bowl. She started eating and I backed off hoping for the best but thinking I may be too late here. Where had she been? Did she drink antifreeze overflow from some truck? Probably not because she ate the raw round steak strips I gave her last night right up! I still don't know what we're up against health wise...I am going to get her tonight.
I will keep you all posted and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your words...
Success!! I used a small fishing net to take her. She tried to turn around and run for her shelter, but there wasn't much fight at all in her poor thing...no hiss no arching of the back no any kind of body language that says stay away. Only innocent looks that wonder about the prospect of another few bites of raw beef.
We'll call the vet when they open today. We wanted to know if it was good to put the Frontline on her right away, or if we should let them look at her first.
Keep ya posted!!
Susan just got back from the vet. All is real good at this point. Tears of Joy!!
Callie is a boy. LOL The name wouldn't do. We agreed on Leo. This little guy has the constitution of a lion!! The vet said Leo is no more than seven weeks old. This does not jive with when I saw her, no HIM first. As I recall that was late August. I do wish I had written it down. That was six weeks ago alone. Is the weaning process accelerated in ferals to this point? Isn't the normal for a kitten to suckle for 6 to 8 weeks? Wow how many many challenges these ferals have just to survive...Ok back to the check-up...
He has tape worm from the fleas. No chemicals of any kind ( save the Drontal Plus F-9) for two more weeks. This includes flea medication. We can bath HIM but use Dawn or J&J Baby Shampoo only. No obvious ear problems...just keep an eye out for the little buggars (mites) and treat if needed. They did a fecal exam that found the worms. He does have LP and that is from the raw beef I have been feeding him. That stops for now. Instead the vet has Leo on a strict diet of CliniCare liquid food, and Hill's a/d Prescription Diet. Gotta put some weight on his bones. I guess this diet is designed to do that. He came up negative for the FELV/FIV Test. He just needs time now to heal and realize that he's in a safe environment.
We have him quarantined in the spare bedroom now that we know he's safe to let in the house. He is exploring and does not dart away when we walk in. He does not hiss when Lola, our blind Bengal comes up to him. He has not seen the doggies up close yet...going to wait on that. The Maine Coon we call BK could care less. The other cat a grey tabby could give a hoot as well so I don't think we'll have any issues with fitting Leo into our little zoo.
Today...the first day of Leo's new life!!!!!!
Michael, I am critters' (sorry critters) second banana, and third, and fourth, and fifth and ad nauseum
My vet always recommends advantage for infants, and like critters says, when he's big enough just a smidgeon will do.
In the MEANTIME a flea comb works miracles. My LWs first line of defense in a tiny infestation is the flea comb. Tapes are nasty worms and keep us apprised of developments. Also keep the anal area very clean a damp wash cloth. He may need help pottying and the damp wash cloth is mama's tongue which stimulates all eliminations.
I foster hour old kittens and once did an entire litter of 7 ferals. Gads. They were wild little things and loved their bottles.
If you need help with bottle feeding, let us know,but I think at his age, he will adapt to a dish of mush and 2nd step. Keep that damp wash cloth handy because they get messy as they learn to eat from a dish. Bathy after every feeding. Just wipe them down and get the food off. Tiny kittens are extremely susceptible to cold, so think about a warming pad under many towels in your carrier (is that where you are keeping him?)
I also fostered feral spotted kits and had to separate them from the younger litter as they were very aggressive and a week older. I was known as the kitten foster, and the humanes would drive by my house and drop off litters.
Karen, Andy's ^i^ mom
Lethal White Aussies Rule!
INTERACTIVE RESCUE SITE!
I am the eighth and ninth bananna!!!
Just loving the way your story is turning out. What a lucky baby this is along with the rest of your little family. We are so happy to have you here and want to hear every little detail of Leo's progression and, of course, we want pictures!
Christine... and Bailey, playing at the Bridge
?/1999 - 10/25/08
Thank you SO much for taking in this little guy! The drontal should take care of the worms, etc. Just make sure he gets as much food as he wants =).
And I'll second the call for pictures once you get a chance.
Thanks again for saving Leo!
on the name change; that's the 2nd one I've heard this week (the other was misjudged by a vet!!!). If he has fleas, I'd still go with a drop of Adv or Top Spot; it's an off-label use, but sometimes it needs to be done.
Concatulations on your new addition!!
Gabriel blind pup wrote:
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY POSSITIVELY NOT TRUE.
It depends on what you want from the cat. Do you NEED to have your pet cat cuddle in your lap and allow you to pick it up whenever you want to? then maybe , MAYBE it will turn out to be true. Can you live with a pet cat who does not like to be picked up? Who seeks you out for petting and attention ? Feral Adult cats can come around to be more affectionate than most non-ferals.
What do you want for /from the mom cat? What do you need to see? Do you want to trap her and kill her so that you do not have to risk finding her dead or sick some day in need of being taken in and put down? It is all amatter of what YOU can live with.
I have feral cats who are overwieght. they get regular rabies shots and monthly frontline plus. they were wild as could be before being trapped as adults and fixed - and I have NO desire to pet them; I didnot MAKE them friendly by pushing the issue. I'd rather they hid and came for food and had no desire for the attention they desire! I'd rather feed them and provide them a shelter from the elements and watch them as watching a wild animal. But they are more attention-seeking to people who they know will not hurt them as any of my house cats.
Some people would rather trap them and kill them so as not to have to have to see them at the dumpster.
Apparently, some people just trap them in thier basements for a life of safe suffering and unhappiness ( as stated they cannot be "tamed")
Believing that all wild kittens CAN be tamed and all wild adult cats CANNOT be tamed is believing in an old wives tale.
You have as many options with t he mom cat as with the kitten. You can leave her be. You can killl her. You can Trap/Neuter/release her. You can take her home. You can build her a home out of plastic totes and insulation with escape holes and hay for warmth. You can look the other way when you pass her. you can feeed her occassionally. you can feed her daily. what you do is up to you.
From the home of 12+ previously feral/strays.
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