Category Archives: Feral Cats

Feral Cats – Month 2 and 3

For how it all started, click here

For the first week’s report, please click this link.

For the first Month, click here – month 1 (actually, more like week 2-4)

This starts the log of the second and third months of the feral kitties, January and February 2017

January 2, it has been 1 month and a day for Lacey Girl Kitty Thomasina and 3 weeks for Blue Boy Thomas. They were both inside their bankers box cave in the morning…took feed from a spoon. While I was letting the chickens out and feeding them, they BOTH ventured out into the feed storage room. I heard both their voices. They answered when Socks, the stray came by and called me. Socks promptly disappeared fro the day. Neither one are overly scared, but I do not make any sudden moves. I was able to approach them with feed-spoon and Kitteee sound. Blue Boy is very active, including climbing the hardware cloth fence and I think he would like to get out.

The cats were looking at the chickens and vice versa. They can see each other through the fence and will have plenty of time to get used to each other.

I had not brought my camera as I didn’t expect such activities.

Plan is to leave them free in the feed storage for 2-4 weeks, depending on how they do and how quickly I can finalize the main coop area they will gain access to next.

January 6, 2017

I sure hope you are ready for some feral Kitty pics…because here are some…🙂 – so far they are only allowed free inside the feed storage room, with chicken view, but they cannot get to each other – lots of time to get used to all the commotion in the chicken run.

January 9, 2017

oh dear…this afternoon, girl feral kitty seemed to have disappeared. they were in their afternoon :”i am napping phase” and didn’t come out…so i looked….(had to get a flashlight) …ONLY Blue boy in the cave….the other house (there is a larger animals house on top of the big dog crate) looked empty too …i looked in all the places and behind all the things in the feed storage room…no girl. this can’t be, there is NO way she can get out….so finally i check UNDER the pet bed in the house…and there she was curled up between the pillow and the pet bed….i am not sure why she moved there, only that blue boy looked awfully big in the cave.

January 11, 2017

very short video this morning

and Touchdown  in the afternoon

so the last 2 days i noticed the feral kitties were rubbing each other when it came to eat from the spoon, even trying to rub against the spoon, which is messy as it put cat food onto their fur….and this evening, they came even closer and Blue Boy wanted to be petted… 🙂 you know how cats rub against your legs, tail up…even purring…girl to, though not quite so….and i ended up petting them, boy mostly…so soft…and he came back for more….the short kitty video on the post below is from this morning

Since that day, they have been more and more coming out when called and into being stroked/petted. Blue Boy could be picked up and last evening, the girl to was quite happy to be petted.

I opened the little door between the feed storage room and the chicken run for the last 3 or 4 nights and they were back in they respective caves each morning…

 

Until this morning, January 18 –THEY WERE  NOT THERE.

I have no idea how they got out…but they didn’t get back in…

not in their cave, not the feed storage room, nowhere in the chicken run.

Not the release I had planned.

The good part: Rather then 2-4 weeks as recommended everywhere, they had a total of 5 and 6 weeks respectively to get adjusted, they are neutered, there are a lot of hiding places around the coop. There have been well fed and looked healthy. The release didn’t go quite as I had intended, as I was not able to teach them the cat doors…and then let them out while i was around during a sunny day!!!

Reassuringly, sometimes newly released ferals stay away for 2 or 3 days only to appear again…I hope so.

Update: posted March 7, 2017 for month 2-3 (January & February)

It took several days after their escape for them to be seen in the feed storage again, but the food was gone each morning.

By the end of February (definitely Boy by February 19), they both had learned to use the cat doors and I stopped propping them open towards the end of February.  By then, Blue Boy had started coming around in the afternoons as well as the  mornings. Kitty girl almost always shows up 1-2 hours later than Blue boy in the afternoons, only comes half as many times in the mornings. During bad weather/rain, I don’t see them at all. This first happened February 17…no sighting of either of them all day…rainy, stormy day and I was worried.  During good weather, the now often both come in the mornings  too. It seems weather is influencing quite a bit how much they come out…as well as how hungry they are.

Mornings (I suppose they learned from me calling the cows on my way to feed the chickens)  and late afternoons seem to be the times they look for food. The girl has remained quite shy, much more so than her brother, who I can pick up and he purrs on my lap, though he too still prefers to jump off  rather soon. I still freak out when one of them (usually the girl) does not show up at all one day….wondering if a raccoon got to them.

Blue boy is much bigger than his sister.

In the late afternoons after eating, they stay out for a while, sometimes start to play a little, follow me around in the garden or into the chicken coops, especially the boy. Eventually, I will leave the doors to the coops open for them to hunt any rodents that might still be hiding in there.

And how is it going with the chickens? Pretty well I would say. They got used to each other, the chickens might still make some low alarm noises, though the kitties are still the more cautious ones, and if the feed storage is open and a chicken wants to eat the cat food and starts getting close, as in 4 – 6 feet,  to the feed dish…they make way. As a result,  the people door is kept closed at all times now and so far the chickens have not figured out how to get through the closed cat doors.

How is it going with the other (stray) cats? : seems to be going well. Socks is about twice as big and they respect that, but I have seem them all 3 be in the feed storage at the same time.

What are they being fed:  the 2 feral and the by now 2 strays coming by share 2 cans of wet food/day. if the strays don’t show up, the feral get the wet. Then there is almost a cup of dry for each of them too….however, they don’t finish it all by the time I go up to the house, and I am not sure if the strays end up eating it or even the raccoons.

I probably will cut down on the food once it gets warmer as they won’t need to spend calories to maintain they temperature.

It appears that Blue Boy does hang around the coops in plain sight. Time for some photos soon. When the girls stays around, she is usually hiding under the bamboo or other things and is not immediately  visible. I have not looked for and don’t know where their safe spot is, but they must like it and when it rains, they don’t come out ……unless very hungry.

They don’t appear to ever stay overnight in the feed storage to sleep….despite the cat beds and heating blanket. I will keep them for next winter, but if they still never use it…then the cat beds go to storage.

Feral Cats – First Month

Ok, Reporting as it goes.

For what happened in the very first week, please see this post here.

No sightings until December 11. Generally, I will only post news …

Dry cat food had been disappearing each night, and also, eventually, the soft food offered on a spoon with a long handle when I placed it in the handle-hole opening of the cave (upside down bankers box).

So today, December 11, I did not give them any food during the day, then in the evening, did the wet food offering..and noticed…it was gone after a few minutes, while I was still working in the area….yay…

so then, I offered it a few more times and she seemed to be waiting for it…and then, I saw her taking it from the spoon and eating with me there…me saying Kitteeeeeeeh. Alright, this is progress. After I left and came back, I could see a tail disappearing ….she had come out to check for food I suppose. Shining a light through the handle hole: they were sitting side by side……. it is pretty cozy in there.

more as the months goes on.

December 12, 2016 – some food was eaten during the day. This evening at dusk – eating off the spoon, licked clean – associating Kitteee-kitteee…comes out with paw through handle hole…went outside for food/spoon…saw me….hissed…went back in  🙂

PLAN: slowly leave food out only during the day, less and less at nighttime – to encourage coming out. offer wet food twice a day, morning and evening on spoon.

December 15 – widened the handle opening…as they had clogged it with cloth. Actually, make it bigger in height. Food still disappears, the female will take it from the spoon – plan…carefully open the hole even more…they got scared with the activity at their cave…but i want them to start seeing me…not just hearing….

December 18, 2016

She even looked at me a few times today

December 20

Today, I saw the boy eating from the spoon, saw one of his paws too. and in the evening, the girl came out and went into the wooden box, observing me from there.  She is associating the Kitteeee sound with the wet cat food on the spoon.  From today on, wet food only from the spoon when I am there. Dry food at night. I did make the opening bigger again too

 

December 24

Girl Kitty came out part way for the first time.

December 25

Then again on Christmas day – see image…but then, guess way…after not seeing boy all day (he had been showing up at the window the previous days, he came out alltogether at dusk…while I was there….and he didn’t just dash back in when he saw me…iI just said my KittyeeeKittee word and slowly left while he started eating….:) it is 2 1/2 weeks for him.

I use that word repeatedly, make sounds with the spoon and the wet food can …then offer the food.

Decmeber 24

This morning, little feral girl kitty came out halfway out of the cave for some wet cat food 🙂 – just saying it because it is a first

December 25

A feral girl kitty sighting 🙂 – boy has been eating from the spoon with her for 2 days now too, inside their cave that is, no pic. his eye looks ok as far as visible. (for those who remember he had a corneal abrasion)

this afternoon, little feral boy kitty came out the front …and not only did he not dash back into the cave when he startled after seeing me…he stayed by the food, started eating as i left…he musta been hungry. (for those who might follow this feral kitty adventure)

December 26, 2016

oh, Blue boy feral kitty came out of the cave for wet food this am….his r eye . right upper right cornea…still cloudy, but more grey instead of white. might be scar tissue, in any case, nothing i can do about it.

January 1, 2017

This morning – Blue Boy feral kitty came out and stayed out for a while, investigating…so today I made it the day they got to go out….out of the crate into the feed storage room. Tha was in the afternoon, after clearing out some more things. Girl didn’t take long to venture 🙂 – now I have to make sure the door to the feed storage is really closed.

It has been 1 month since the first of the ferals arrived, 3 weeks since the second. This concludes the first month of report.

Feral cat – the first few days

In the late afternoon on December 1, 2016, we picked up an about 7- 9 month old female feral cat from the vet. She had been trapped the day before, see the story of how it started here.

So here she is in the dog crate…on Day 0willow-kitty-1-20161201_7033

I had prepared a large dog kennel for her with a litter box, food and water, a wooden box and a blanket to hide, and a pet bed with a heat mat. The kennel then was surrounded from 3 sides to protection. Once in there…she has  been hiding during the day.

Leave her alone…be patient. It will take time.

The first night, she pooped on the heat blanket….lesson: put potting soil (or sand?) into the litter box, not cat litter. Feral cats are used to dirt. In any case, I topped the litter off with organic potting soil. The food didn’t look touched. She had knocked over the water bowl.

Day 1, December 2 with us: I saw her try to hide in 2 spots during the first day, her body was visible, but her head/eyes buried. eventually she went into the wooden box.        Night: she ate! , messed around in the litter box, with a lot of dirt ending up in the water bowl.

Day 2: Not to be seen during the daytime – hiding in the wooden box….so this lead to: get a bankers box, cut opening into it, put over the heating blanket.                                         Night: she ate the food, messed with the litter box and bit and scratched the carton by the door…trying to get out I presume. I went out at midnight and YES, she was on the heating blanket inside/under the banker’s box.

Day 3, December 4 – She stayed on the heating blanket under the bankers box all day. I have to get a flashlight to shine it through the handle opening so see her. I realized that it would have been better to set up the environment differently, in such a way that I have access to both kennel doors, but too late now. I moved one of the feed store bins to another area to have more room to open the kennel door.

This was the first evening I offered soft food on a spoon and placed it on the bankers box handle opening. She didn’t touch it.

I knock before I go into the feed storage room, talk to her. Sometimes the stray cat comes by and gets fed there. Neither has acknowledged the other’s existence if one is to go by behavior.

willow-kitty-1-20161201_7052She is under the bankers box, the cat in front is the stray, we call him Socks.

Note: I am a believer in using what you have if possible. This feral cat shelter to tame her is functional, though I think an empty room in a house would work better…but that is not an option. It will take time, maybe more time than I thought.

If trapping is successful,  one of the 4 remaining feral cats will join her next week.

Notice the clawed and bitten cardboard. And that piece of cloth, she gets that inside through the kennel bars.

I am happy that she found the heat mat acceptable now that the box is there.

I wish it all looked more elegant …..

December 5, day 4 – it must have been a wildish night, as the bankers box was nowhere on the heating pad any more and more card board torn to pieces. She had eaten during the night.

willow-kitty-1-20161205_7052I had to fix the bankers box to the kennel metal. and also fixed the inner flap so it would stay up. The Kitty was in the wooden box, it was cold, and I was hoping she would find her way back into the heated “cave”. I gave her more food. She looked more relaxed back in the wooden box. Sometime in the afternoon, she ate and went back on the heating blanket and into the “cave” yay. Socks the stray came and for the first time must have realized there was a cat in there somewhere. Could be that the scented cat litter was covering up the  cat scent. BTW …do NOT buy scented cat litter…it stinks to high heaven. This one was gotten for me, I forgot to say : “non-scented”. She was peeking through the handle-hole again. I talked to her in images. Anyway, here we are ready for the night again.

December 6, Day 5

This morning they are going to trap again. Talked to the first one in pictures this am, telling her to let the others know to go into the traps…and which one she would like to have come live with her. The image I got was that of the grey one.

A couple of hours later…they had caught 3, the grey one being one of them.

She peek out from the “cave” through the handle hole. The cave=cat bed and heating pad covered with an upside down bankers box.

December 7, Day 6 + Day 0

The girl…took the food from the spoon that i had on the handle hole of the ‘cave’. – Progress

Picked up our second feral willows kitty from the vet today. It is  male, probably siblings less than a year old, thinking from a spring litter.  He is staying in the dog crate though for the night…facing her kennel. It turns out he has a corneal abrasion….so in case he looks worse for some reason, I can take him in.

He was very demonstrative in making sure he was not facing me….:)

willows-kitty-2-20161207_7125 willows-kitty-2-20161207_7127

 

Had to take a picture through the side hole to get his eyes. You can see on his right eye the white….I just hope it will bet better.

 

December 8, day 7 …1 week for 1, day 1 for the other. Going by what I see this morning, they had a very active night. Boy pooped and ate and tried to rearrange everything in the dog crate. He eye didn’t look worse and I think maybe a little better. So he was let into the large kennel…now they are both in the cave. He still turns his back to me…what a little character. Pictures…they will all look the same for now, they still have to come out into the kennel space when I am around, but food is gone over night

This concludes the report of the first week of the feral kitty adventure….Plan is to create a post in probably increasing intervals for the coming years to let everyone know the progress or what happened in the adjusting of the feral kitties. Thanks for reading.

Check these links to find out what happened

for the rest of December 2016

during month 2 & 3, January and February 2017