Feeding a stray cat

A stray gray tabby has been hanging out in my back patio for the past few months, presumably dining on the birds that were nesting in the rafters. Now the birds are gone, and the cat is visibly starving. :frowning:

For the last few nights I’ve been feeding it some leftover chicken scraps, though I’ll probably have to buy regular cat food soon. (Or more chicken.) Is there anything else I can do, or anything I should be aware of? I’m not planning to “officially” adopt the cat, and calling Animal Control is right out, since they want to charge $50 just to trap the cat and eventually euthanize it anyway.

Check to see if it’s been neutered, if not, have it done. Then, get it immunized and treated for fleas.
Even if you’re not going to let it into the house, those are the things a responsible pet friend does to protect him or her and other pets in the neighborhood.

Oh, and BTW you have a cat. :smiley:

congratulations on the new addition to your family :slight_smile:

No need for scraping up your chicken bones…that’s work for you, and not what the cat needs anyway…
Buy a large (i.e. cheaper!) bag of generic cat food. Fill a bowl and keep it on the patio, so the cat learns it has a steady and dependable source of food.
Love will follow…

The only problem with taking it to the vet is that it’s too skittish to approach – every time I go outside, the cat jumps on the fence to a place I can’t reach, where it sits and stares at me with that haughty, superior expression cats are famous for. :slight_smile: It only shows up in the early morning hours, too – in fact, I haven’t seen the cat today at all, but the plate of food I left out last night has been picked clean.

Guess I should leave out some water, too? It’s probably getting water from another source, though God knows how fresh it is.

I can’t check for you, since your profile doesn’t say where you really are - but you can try Alley Cat Allies website to see if there are any shelters in your area that do TNR. It’s possible they can help you with renting/borrowing a trap to get the cat to a TNR-friendly (and usually low cost) facility. If you’re really lucky and in an active area, they (rarely,maybe) might have a volunteer who can help you. More likely, they can make a trap and facility available but the rest is up to you.

Start with checking out the Alley Cat Allies site (alleycat.org), there’s a lot of educational information on ferals there. Making sure the kitty is altered should be a priority, because if not, and food and shelter needs are being met, the next need is to breed and next thing you know you have a cat family and a huge problem!

Definitely keep water out. Cats have a hard time ‘lapping’ up water, and they don’t intake it nearly as easily as dogs, so that will be appreciated mucho, even if it’s not particularly hot out.

My family started feeding a hissy, skittish feral in December or so. Would pretty much run away if you blinked at him.

Now? He’s all cuddles-addicted. He literally follows us around the house meowing for a petting.

If you do take in the stray and already have a cat or several and they are exclusively house cats that do not go outdoors, be sure to get the stray tested for communicable feline diseases before you actually bring him into the home.

Thanks for the info, I’ll definitely check them out.

The cat may have already been fixed, since it’s definitely not feral – most likely it was recently abandoned by its previous owners. Even though it’s been hanging out in the backyard for a while, I didn’t think it was homeless until it started to resemble an Auschwitz victim. :frowning:

Good luck with that :slight_smile: Small Clanger, former non cat owner.

That kitty quickly learned he had it good! :wink:

There are other programs that do TNR, check with the local humane society (if your county has it). Even contact animal control, they may have the information for those programs. Some would even have specific dates for their neuters, so if the cat is trapped the day before, it can be fixed quickly the next day. They also get some shots (and may also get tested for some feline diseases). That way the cat you’re feeding won’t increase the cat population and diseases in your area.

Do NOT feed the cat stuff with:

  • Garlic or onion or related

  • Xylitol or other artificial sweeteners

  • Chocolate, caffeine, and related products

  • Exclusively raw fish or exclusively red meat

  • Milk/dairy products

Yep, that’s what we do with the two ferals who came with our new house. :slight_smile: They get two squares every single day and I regularly see them blinking lazily at the local birds, because why bother? Human Slaves will just set out some more food soon. (They’ll even let us scritch them while they’re eating. :slight_smile: )

You’re a very kind person buddha david and I hope you manage to catch the kitty soon so it can be looked over and checked properly. Lucky cat to have found you :slight_smile:

Thank you for feeding a hungry baby - you get karma points as well as a new friend!

You may not have a new cat, but that cat sure does have a new human.

Please take it in and keep it as an indoor cat. Cats are horrendously damaging to native bird populations, which are is extreme decline anyway.

And maybe possums and racoons, too. That’s the main problem with leaving cat food outside.

ETA: I don’t have a better alternative, though.

Here’s to a beautiful new friendship :slight_smile:


Also where are the pictures?

I’m pretty sure you’re in violation of board rules by not including them.

Funny how that works, eh?

As for the local wildlife, I’m not terribly concerned – I live in a condo complex in the heart of the big city, and haven’t ever seen any raccoons or possums, though I’m sure they do exist. (My “backyard” is really a glorified patio with a very high fence that makes it resemble a supermax exercise yard.) I’m already thankful to the cat for chasing away those damn birds which were always pooping on my patio furniture! :cool:

Pictures, huh? Settle down, people – I haven’t even named the cat yet!