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View Full Version : feral cats - whats your SOP?



jacksmom
Jan. 5, 2009, 03:32 PM
(SOP = Standard Operating Procedure)

my barn kitty has alerted me that another interloper has breached her territory. she is not pleased, she's also small and old and just doesn't do cat fights.

this is not someones pet, it's truly feral, is not interested in interacting with me in the least - only running off my sweet kitty to eat her food and sleep in her cozy loft. since i haven't noticed any spraying, i'm thinking this is female, and the very LAST thing i need right now is a new crop of feral cats.

what do you do when a feral cat shows up at your barn?

Diamondindykin
Jan. 5, 2009, 03:55 PM
If it were me I would trap it and take it to a local rescue here that spays/neuters for free and have that taken care of. Then bring her back to my farm and tame her. I have done this before with a truly feral cat and he is now the biggest love and a great barn cat.

Laurierace
Jan. 5, 2009, 04:13 PM
If it were me I would trap it and take it to a local rescue here that spays/neuters for free and have that taken care of. Then bring her back to my farm and tame her. I have done this before with a truly feral cat and he is now the biggest love and a great barn cat.

Me too.

Creaghgal
Jan. 5, 2009, 04:29 PM
I have about 6 feral cats milling around. None of which let me within touching distance. I also have one stray cat (Gingin) who I moved into the barn and coincidently, has an appointment in the morning with the vet. I don't think I’ll get out of the office for anything under $100 so the idea of being able to get the feral colony fixed for free is very appealing. Any rescue in PA by chance?

JSwan
Jan. 5, 2009, 04:29 PM
TNR

birdsong
Jan. 5, 2009, 04:33 PM
If it were me I would trap it and take it to a local rescue here that spays/neuters for free and have that taken care of. Then bring her back to my farm and tame her. I have done this before with a truly feral cat and he is now the biggest love and a great barn cat.

Me Three!!

Diamondindykin
Jan. 5, 2009, 04:45 PM
I have about 6 feral cats milling around. None of which let me within touching distance. I also have one stray cat (Gingin) who I moved into the barn and coincidently, has an appointment in the morning with the vet. I don't think I’ll get out of the office for anything under $100 so the idea of being able to get the feral colony fixed for free is very appealing. Any rescue in PA by chance?

Here is the place that does it here in Washington State:
http://www.thenoahcenter.org/Noah_SpayNeuterPrograms.asp

I would think that there are other rescues/shelters that spay/neuter feral cats for free in most areas. The only rule here is that you have to take the cat back after surgery.

TKR
Jan. 5, 2009, 04:53 PM
I trapped 6 or 7 feral cats at my barn last year. I took them to my regular vets, who gave me a great deal to spay/neuter/rabies vax/flea tx -- brought them back home and let them go. Still feed them, not sure who is still around. I have a regular (tame) spayed female barn cat and don't have any problems. Maybe feed them in separate areas. We also have a low-cost spay/neuter program here and you don't have to take them back in after spay/neuter/rabies vax. Good luck!
PennyG

SGray
Jan. 5, 2009, 04:53 PM
I trapped momma kitty and her kittens -- had everyone fixed at the SNAP - cost $55 each -- that's not free but well worth the cost to have no more kittens showing up yearly -- never could dad-cat though

need to get the trap back out as I've been seeing an orange cat around lately -- just hate dealing with the possum/'coon (have had both of those in trap) or god-forbid skunk (thankfully has not happened yet)

Woodland
Jan. 5, 2009, 05:41 PM
We get them all the time! We trap, spay/neuter, vaccinate, micro chip & ear notch and release them back here on the farm - unless I have enough all ready. There is a local pet rescue that provides the services providing I bring them the animals for $25 per animal.

silver2
Jan. 6, 2009, 01:30 AM
Trap them and have them euth'd either by the vet when he comes out or a vet I am friends with (so free). I have no need for cats and most of them are pretty sick by the time we can get them caught.

A friend caught 32 feral cats and kittens at her new barn one year, including 7 litters. wtf do you do with 30 cats? Finally got the tomcat on the neighbors place neutered and no more babies at least.

jilltx
Jan. 6, 2009, 01:43 AM
I trapped momma kitty and her kittens -- had everyone fixed at the SNAP - cost $55 each -- that's not free but well worth the cost to have no more kittens showing up yearly -- never could dad-cat though

need to get the trap back out as I've been seeing an orange cat around lately -- just hate dealing with the possum/'coon (have had both of those in trap) or god-forbid skunk (thankfully has not happened yet)

GO SNAP!! I've had severla done there myself, SGray.

I truly believe in the spay/neuter/release program. it works and no new kittens.

yellow-horse
Jan. 6, 2009, 02:48 AM
if its a kitten i trap it, treat it and tame it, if its an adult, i trap it and take it to the vet, if its sick put it down if not neuter and get shots then turn them back out, my husband and i are the crazy dog and cat people and my vet gives me a huge break

pines4equines
Jan. 6, 2009, 09:23 AM
Previous poster said: "If it were me I would trap it and take it to a local rescue here that spays/neuters for free and have that taken care of. Then bring her back to my farm and tame her. I have done this before with a truly feral cat and he is now the biggest love and a great barn cat."

Me four with a Hav-A-Heart trap! Except it's never free by us. If it's a pregnant female which is what we usually get, we take it in to have an abortion/spay and then bring it back to the farm. I kinda feel bad about that but hope they feel nothing. We've "friendly-ed" up quite a few nice mousers for our barn.

county
Jan. 6, 2009, 09:45 AM
Around here they get shot on sight same as stray dogs.

Bluey
Jan. 6, 2009, 09:49 AM
Around here we don't have any feral or barn cats.
The resident lynx takes care of any foolish enough to think they can stay.
Raw nature at work.:yes:

grayarabpony
Jan. 6, 2009, 09:55 AM
I don't feed free choice, and my cats eat on our back porch when they are fed. We have stray toms that migrate through, but they usually don't stay long.

SGray
Jan. 6, 2009, 10:09 AM
yes, really appreciate SNAP

one year caught a single male youngster that was limping so took him to 'regular' vet so he could get x-rayed along with neuter/rabies vac. - that boy cost $350 (leg had been broken but was healing well by the time he went in so no treatment was necessary for it)

Trakehner
Jan. 6, 2009, 10:54 AM
Bang!
Bang!
Bang!

Remember, feral cats are the number 1 killer of wildlife...bunnies, squirrels, song birds, pheasant/quail/ducks. The Pennsylvania game law book requests hunters shoot any feral cat they find. Great rabies vectors too!

National Geographic had a program called "Tiger at the Hearth" about cats and the destruction of wildlife they cause. A neat show, very enlightening.

danceronice
Jan. 6, 2009, 11:46 AM
If they hang around and tame down, they get taken to the vet, tested (if they come back positive for fe-leuk they're put down immediately), fixed, and brought back. We don't bother to trap. If they are in the barn and eating they either eventually tame or the dominant male runs them off. If they don't tame we ignore them unless they become a problem and then try and shoot them. Though we've never had one that was really that big an issue--too many cars and predators (we know we have bobcats and coyotes and some very nasty possums in the area. And rumor has it someone's sighted a cougar moving down into the area--as the MI DNR *FINALLY* admitted that they exist in the UP and northern Lower, I can believe that.) Usually we'll see one around for a bit, and it'll disappear, and usually it's not really a feral in any case--we get more visitors from the dairy farm up the road.

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Jan. 6, 2009, 01:30 PM
Y'all do realize the OP has an elderly cat in residence, right?

I think you need to get rid of the interloper if you want to keep your old kitty. Feral kitty may have FIV, FIP, rabies, fleas, worms - or she may just take it into her head to beat up your old kitty. Or run her off.

I couldn't shoot one, personally, although I understand the people who advocate that course of action. Feral cats are very environmentally destructive. People who allow unneutered cats to roam ought to be put into stocks and have eggs thrown at them. Talk about not being green.:no:

So I don't know what I'd do in your place. My conscience wouldn't let me take the cat somewhere that would just spay and release her. Lucky for me, the resident bobcat and the coyotes eliminate our feral cats so I don't have to worry. How do you feel about borrowing a few coyotes?:lol:

jacksmom
Jan. 6, 2009, 01:41 PM
Y'all do realize the OP has an elderly cat in residence, right?

How do you feel about borrowing a few coyotes?:lol:

thanks for reminding folks. i'm not interested in having another cat that runs mine off. i don't leave the catfood out for free-choice, but i also don't stand there with my cat while she eats.

i'll pass on the coyotes - we have coyotes, i had one that was regularly coming to my barn, but my little kitty is smart at night and hides well in the hay. she didn't get to be elderly by being stupid ;)

ChocoMare
Jan. 6, 2009, 01:42 PM
Mr. ChocoMare dispatches them with ye ole S-S-S method.

Sorry, I love cats as much as the next person. But the Toms that seem to always find our barn cats (both fixed), fight with them, eat their food, crap in the hay barn, etc. have to go. IF this was our farm, I'd probably T.N.R. but it's not, so they are permanently deterred.

A new tom just started harassing our cats a few weeks ago. Mr. C'Mare already informed the farm owner that if he sees it again, he will dispatch it promptly with his little side buddy....which he always carries ;)

BeastieSlave
Jan. 6, 2009, 01:42 PM
If they stay close to the barn I TNR, and usually end up loving the feral cats.
Those that wander farther afield and stay around are shot. Most of the farm is maintained for hunting (quail, dove, turkey, duck, deer, etc.). Cats can really undo a lot of careful game management and those that like the taste of young quail are especially not welcome!

Ibex
Jan. 6, 2009, 01:56 PM
These are the rules we follow... :lol:



STRICT UNBENDING RULES FOR DEALING WITH STRAY CATS

1. Stray cats will not be fed.
2. Stray cats will not be fed anything except dry cat food.
3. Stray cats will not be fed anything except dry cat food moistened with a little milk.
4. Stray cats will not be fed anything except dry cat food moistened with warm milk, yummy treats and leftover fish scraps.
5. Stray cats will not be encouraged to make this house their permanent residence.
6. Stray cats will not be petted, played with or picked up and cuddled unnecessarily.
7. Stray cats that are petted, played with, picked up and cuddled will absolutely not be given a name.
8. Stray cats with or without a name will not be allowed inside the house at any time.
9. Stray cats will not be allowed inside the house except at certain times.
10. Stray cats will not be allowed inside the house except on days ending in "y".
11. Stray cats allowed inside will not be permitted to jump up on or sharpen their claws on the furniture.
12. Stray cats will not be permitted to jump up on, or sharpen claws on the really good furniture.
13. Stray cats will be permitted on all furniture but must sharpen claws on new $114.99 sisal-rope cat-scratching post with three perches.
14. Stray cats will answer the call of nature outdoors in the sand.
15. Stray cats will answer the call of nature in the three-piece, high-impact plastic tray filled with Fresh'n'Sweet kitty litter.
16. Stray cats will answer the call of nature in the hooded litter pan with a three-panel privacy screen and plenty of head room.
17. Stray cats will sleep outside.
18. Stray cats will sleep in the garage.
19. Stray cats will sleep in the house.
20. Stray cats will sleep in a cardboard box lined with an old blanket.
21. Stray cats will sleep in the special Kitty-Komfort-Bed with non-allergenic lambs wool pillow.
22. Stray cats will not be allowed to sleep in our bed.
23. Stray cats will not be allowed to sleep in our bed, except at the foot.
24. Stray cats will not be allowed to sleep in our bed under the covers.
25. Stray cats will not be allowed to sleep in our bed under the covers except at the foot.
26. Stray cats will not play on the desk.
27. Stray cats will not play on the desk near the computer.
28. Stray cats are forbidden to walk on the computer keyboard on the desk when the human is using it.

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Jan. 6, 2009, 02:03 PM
Ibex - I'm right there with you.:lol: The last stray kitten I found - not at my farm but under a crepe myrtle bush at a gas station in town last summer - is attempting to walk across the keyboard as I type.

He's not outside - neither Clawdia nor Lionel can go outdoors because of the bobcat and the coyotes - so I'm being environmentally correct, right?:)

jacksmom - I guess, if the coyotes don't eat your new visitor, you'll just have to make her a house cat, then.:yes: Or maybe not. I did that while in law school with a feral cat hanging around the apartments. She promptly bit my roommate :uhoh:, who of course wouldn't hear of reporting it for fear they'd kill the cat, so we had a pretty tense ten days.:eek: Worked out OK for the roomie, though - and pretty well for the cat, although she died three years later of FeLV.

gabz
Jan. 6, 2009, 02:44 PM
There is an extreme over abundance of feral cats in my immediate neighborhood due to a neighbor that does not comprehend spay/neuter on her herd of 12 - 30 cats. Consequently, I have cat poop in my hay and in my barn and I do not appreciate pulling down bales of hay and being hit in the face with cat pooh.

Therefore, I trap them and take them to the nearby AC who dispatches them. The rescues are all filled. I cannot see taking a spot at a rescue that could be used for a tamed, domesticated cat, with a wild, unvaccinated feral cat. hence the reason they are euthed. I know that there is always a steady supply of cats to keep little critter population control and I also have at least 1 if not multiple snakes (non-poisonous I believe) to help.

I have a nice assortment of cardinals, blue jays, juncos, mourning doves, chickadees etc. that I like to feed. I don't want it to be a feeding station for feral cats too. I used to have hawks that got the birds and rabbits, but apparently the family of them has disappeared. : ( Someone mentioned poisoned grasshoppers in South America as being the culprit there.

Anyway. Trap and AC for euth for feral unvaccinated cats.
P.S. I have a lovely flame point (think cremello horse, including blue eyes) siamese house cat that came from an SPCA in NY. He suffers from feline herpes and takes meds for it. He also has a damaged eye. All because he wasn't vaccinated in his early life and someone dumped him in a cage outside a rescue.

trubandloki
Jan. 6, 2009, 02:51 PM
I have three that I got thru a TNR program. Best mousers ever.

But since the OP has a resident cat that this intruder is bugging I see two options.

Trap and give to a feral cat program (they can either TNR it some where else or euthanize it) or shoot it.

We have a new feral orange male kitty who has suddenly started hanging out and spraying. If he does not trap easily he will be shot.

JSwan
Jan. 6, 2009, 04:00 PM
My vet and I did our little neuter clinic on my dining table.

No one comes over for dinner anymore. :winkgrin:

silver2
Jan. 6, 2009, 11:14 PM
There is an extreme over abundance of feral cats in my immediate neighborhood due to a neighbor that does not comprehend spay/neuter on her herd of 12 - 30 cats. Consequently, I have cat poop in my hay and in my barn and I do not appreciate pulling down bales of hay and being hit in the face with cat pooh.
Yeah, if they poop in my vegetable garden or anywhere that I can see it basically they are toast. Do not want toxoplasmosis, tyvm.

yellow-horse
Jan. 6, 2009, 11:23 PM
back to the op if her cat is elderly, and an adult feral cat was that bothersome, i'd trap and have it euthanized

Lori
Jan. 7, 2009, 11:20 AM
Trap and shoot or shoot on sight.

I am surprised that even though they have now found cats to be definitive hosts for EPM that people still want a bunch of them around their barns.

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Jan. 7, 2009, 11:50 AM
I am surprised that even though they have now found cats to be definitive hosts for EPM that people still want a bunch of them around their barns.

Really?:eek: I guess I haven't been keeping up.

DeeThbd
Jan. 7, 2009, 11:53 AM
Bang!
Bang!
Bang!

Remember, feral cats are the number 1 killer of wildlife...bunnies, squirrels, song birds, pheasant/quail/ducks. The Pennsylvania game law book requests hunters shoot any feral cat they find. Great rabies vectors too!

National Geographic had a program called "Tiger at the Hearth" about cats and the destruction of wildlife they cause. A neat show, very enlightening.

Bunnies - debark and kill young saplings , eat gardens
squirrels - love the taste of electric wire insulation, to the tune of ; $150 in Christmas lights in one weekend, I have fist-sizedholes in my cottage walls, and a lot of expensive bulbs dug up in my gardens; they nested in my chimney, and I have to replaster and repaint two walls in my house now
song birds - the blue jays do a great job of setting up a warning of predators hunting - it sounded like WWIII when a falcon grabbed a dove in my yard
I don't have any mice or rats because of my cats; how about the diseases those welcome little furry guests spread?
I'll take a cat over the squirrel damage any day - let's save the bullets for the asshats who don't spay/neuter and dump the cats in the first place.
+ETA - Do my cats go outside? Nope. Three of them were dumped by their previous owners, and they were vaccinated and neutered at full cost to me - no price breaks at any vets in these parts. I'm glad that those of you who live in areas where you can get a better price! Yes, there are times that euthanasia is the best option, but I see it as an ultimate last resort.
And.....those of you who are so concerned with the quail and pheasants.....are you telling me that YOU aren't shooting them yourselves? I just see some irony in that!
Dee

Renn/aissance
Jan. 7, 2009, 01:55 PM
Trap and shoot or shoot on sight.

I am surprised that even though they have now found cats to be definitive hosts for EPM that people still want a bunch of them around their barns.

That's interesting, I hadn't heard about that. Can cats be treated for or vaccinated against EPM? Is there a way to know if a barn cat has EPM save by blood test?

gabz
Jan. 7, 2009, 02:07 PM
I was suprized about the reference to cats and EPM, so I googled.

Here's what I found:
http://www.thehorse.com/viewarticle.aspx?id=11110

and
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1774&S=0&SourceID=69

So. Now it's a matter of how does the horse become infected from the cat? and I have to believe it's via the feces and feral cats do NOT bury their crap. GRRRRR and gag. for all those turds on my hay.

So my reply to the OP is trap and euthanize with blessings from this cat owner.

Trevelyan96
Jan. 7, 2009, 02:17 PM
Strangely enough, its my neighbors with only 1 acre and no barn the always seem to be adopted by stray cats.

My 3 cats are mean enough to keep any intruders from getting comfortable. Once in a while I'd find one sleeping in the hay loft, but I don't feed in the barn. If my cats are hungry, they come in the house and eat.

BeastieSlave
Jan. 7, 2009, 02:50 PM
Timely thread...
For the past few days I've been watching two new cats in my pastures :sigh:

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Jan. 7, 2009, 03:07 PM
From the second article gabz posted:

Sarcocystis infected tissue must be ingested by the definitive host and possums are a scavenger by nature and prey on small rodents and abandoned carcasses. One study found domestic cats make up 2.4% of the possums’ diet. Although cats are not the only intermediate host for the parasite, they are possibly an important host in maintaining the parasite on horse farms. Control of the parasite still involves preventing exposure of horses to possum feces.

So, by "intermediate host," does that mean that the cat:
a. cannot transmit the parasite in its own feces, but must first be eaten by a possum and and incorporated into possum poop? Or
b. does that mean the cat itself doesn't get sick with EPM but can transmit the parasite through its own feces?:confused:

:eek: Somebody email Mrs. Murphy and tell her that she and Pewter better watch that Simon!:lol:

gabz
Jan. 7, 2009, 04:34 PM
From the second article gabz posted:


So, by "intermediate host," does that mean that the cat:
a. cannot transmit the parasite in its own feces, but must first be eaten by a possum and and incorporated into possum poop? Or
b. does that mean the cat itself doesn't get sick with EPM but can transmit the parasite through its own feces?:confused:

:eek: Somebody email Mrs. Murphy and tell her that she and Pewter better watch that Simon!:lol:

I hope one of the doctor/ science types can chime in here. That's the underlying question I have too.

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Jan. 7, 2009, 04:49 PM
Hmmm. According to my Medline Dictionary

Main Entry: intermediate host
Function: noun
1 : a host which is normally used by a parasite in the course of its life cycle and in which it may multiply asexually but not sexually -- compare DEFINITIVE HOST
definitive host
Function: noun
: the host in which the sexual reproduction of a parasite takes place --
So I guess those terms don't refer to whether or not the cat can directly infect horses or not.
But that's still my question!:D

gabz
Jan. 7, 2009, 05:41 PM
I PM'd Deltawave.

Intermediate host can carry the disease but will not become ill from it.

Like the mosquito that carries EIA or WNV. It picks it up and then infects other animals with it but never gets sick from it.

So - I'm going to use the assumption that the feces of cats COULD harbor the "thing" that can cause horses to contract EPM. Just like oppossum, raccoon, skunk feces.

Xanthoria
Jan. 7, 2009, 09:36 PM
I was just visiting the nice, stable, 3+ generation feral colony near me in the city, who I've trapped, tested, vaccinated and fixed, or found homes for the kittens, over the last 6 years. One of the last kittens lives with me now (indoor only of course) and is a chunky 5 year old!

They are all fat and happy, do not accept interlopers, and feed on rats and pigeons.

Shoot them? No thanks - I live in a civilized place, TG.

county
Jan. 7, 2009, 10:19 PM
Crazy as it may sound were a civilized place here and some people shoot stray cats.

silver2
Jan. 7, 2009, 10:41 PM
Shoot them? No thanks - I live in a civilized place, TG.
The city? Personally I live in the country where there are a lot of endangered and threatened amphibians, birds and other small critters so I get rid of the cats. There will always be more cats!

I like my bird feeder too much to tolerate cats around the place.

Equibrit
Jan. 7, 2009, 11:16 PM
My dogs (terriers) HATE cats ! I never see any.

JSwan
Jan. 8, 2009, 09:07 AM
This is neither here nor there I suppose, but I'll throw it out anyway.

I was told that one way to figure out if coyote have moved into your area is if the number of stray/lost dogs and cats starts to drop. (shelter numbers)

Not sure if that idea plays out except in suburban/urban areas. Where I live there has been an explosion in the number of coyote. I'm not exaggerating.

I have observed the following, just in the past few years. I've also heard other landowners, farmers and hunters say this as well.

Drop in feral cats
Drop in wild turkey
Almost complete disappearance of quail
Drop in red/gray fox
Increased predation on livestock
Increase sightings of coyote, including packs actively stalking livestock
Reports of small dogs being snatched off porches and out of back yards

I like coyote and don't mind having them around. But the past few years has been downright FREAKY.

Anyone ever heard that "drop in stray/lost animal reports" being an indicator of increased coyote? Or is this merely speculative?

county
Jan. 8, 2009, 09:17 AM
Without a doubt when the Yotes go up in numbers here theres fewer cats to shoot. Also no Fox, the Grouse are almost non existant, Turkeys and Phesants also way down. But we just never allow haveing a big Yote problem here we control them by trapping and or hunting.

Bluey
Jan. 8, 2009, 09:24 AM
We see many rabbits when coyotes go thru a die off from whatever disease hits them, then when coyote numbers increase, we don't see as many rabbits around, jackrabbits or cotton tails.

Quail are more delicate, over 90% die off in the winters, so it depends on how the spring and early summer conditions are to be able to raise many again or not in how many we have going into winter.

I saw a big, young, leggy feral pig yesterday some 120' from my front door, trotting over to the cattle water tank to get him a drink.
Feral pigs are like mice in your barn, for every one you get to see, there are hundreds out there.
Those feral pigs destroy more wildlife, including quail and their habitat, than all the coyotes ever did.
A farmer had a drive last summer with some neighbors and that evening they scared over 400 feral pigs from one 200 acre patch of sorghum, that was ruined.:eek:
He had sown the sorghum after a hail storm destroyed his planted cotton.
Now the feral pigs destroyed that.:(

We need to realize that if people were here or not, the way nature works there are all kinds of situations where species thrive and crash.
Humans should try not to contribute, but there is just so much we can do.
The more we learn about how our world works, the more we come to realize that the only constant is change.

trubandloki
Jan. 8, 2009, 10:14 AM
Shoot them? No thanks - I live in a civilized place, TG.

If you think about it, being shot is far more humane to them than trapping them, shoving them in your car, toting them into a building and having a vet give them a shot.

So, nothing uncivilized about it.


So, now I am confused about the EPM thing - The fact that my (neutered and current on vaccines) feral cats like to use my stalls as a litter box is more than just yucky?

And for the record, because some one said above that feral cats never bury their feces, my three always bury it. Heck, they also use the litter pan that I keep in the barn, sometimes.

Xanthoria
Jan. 8, 2009, 03:21 PM
I didn't advocate euthanasia at all (except in cases of disease) - I advocate trap, speuter, vaccinate, and release to create stable colonies that will eventually die out, as is working well where I live.

While I agree that a precise shot is a very humane death, I am under no delusions that all people who posess guns are perfect shots, either, sadly.

Maybe that only works in areas where EPM/rabies are very rare.
Maybe it only works in places where speuter of ferals is free/cheap and people are on board to do the work.
Maybe it only works where guns are less common - "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

Gandhi said that “the measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members.”

Since a lot of people consider domesticated species to be members of a civilization, preventing additional feral cats etc through speutering and allowing the rest to live out their lives in stable colonies, is preferable, IMO, to allowing cats to breed at will, then shooting the results. Which could mean a long slow death if done incorrectly.

trubandloki
Jan. 8, 2009, 03:37 PM
You must have missed my first post - I am all for TNR. I think it is great. I have three of them myself, relocated from my hay guy's place.

But in some cases that is not an option, like if they can not be caught, etc.

Sometimes the programs are all filled and there are no release areas available, etc.


In the case of the Orange Tom that keeps appearing at my place and chasing my cats away, I do plan on attempting to trap him. It is when he does not go for tapping that I will resort to shooting him.

MintHillFarm
Jan. 8, 2009, 03:40 PM
Well, I have one feral cat I trapped in a humane trap, fixed, given shots etc and is going on 3 yrs with me and while he is not tame, he is harmless and I hope he will come around someday... I had another here that would sneak in the barn, eat and hide out. He liked one of my spayed barn cats, Holly and hated with a vengence, the other one, Lilly. He would lay in wait for Lilly to come out and attack. It got so bad over a few days that my Lilly cat took off and left. I was so upset and at that point, bound and determined to capture that nasty feral cat. I set a humane trap and finally got him. The day he was taken off the property is the day Lilly came home. She knew this rotten feral cat was gone once and for all.

gabz
Jan. 8, 2009, 04:22 PM
So, now I am confused about the EPM thing - The fact that my (neutered and current on vaccines) feral cats like to use my stalls as a litter box is more than just yucky?

And for the record, because some one said above that feral cats never bury their feces, my three always bury it. Heck, they also use the litter pan that I keep in the barn, sometimes.

there's a difference between non-house cats and feral cats. When I speak of feral cats, I mean the ones that hiss and bite people when captured. Ones that run at the sight or sound of a human. The ones that you never see - you only see evidence that they are around. That's a feral cat.

However, the studies show that simple barn cats, not even feral cats, can be intermediate hosts. In fact, one farm studied that had EPM in horses, 80% of the resident barn cats were positive for the "thing" that causes EPM in horses. The 80% was far higher than the general cat population (as tested at a rescue/adoption place).

silver2
Jan. 9, 2009, 12:27 AM
This is neither here nor there I suppose, but I'll throw it out anyway.

I was told that one way to figure out if coyote have moved into your area is if the number of stray/lost dogs and cats starts to drop. (shelter numbers)

Not sure if that idea plays out except in suburban/urban areas. Where I live there has been an explosion in the number of coyote. I'm not exaggerating.

I have observed the following, just in the past few years. I've also heard other landowners, farmers and hunters say this as well.

Drop in feral cats
Drop in wild turkey
Almost complete disappearance of quail
Drop in red/gray fox
Increased predation on livestock
Increase sightings of coyote, including packs actively stalking livestock
Reports of small dogs being snatched off porches and out of back yards

I like coyote and don't mind having them around. But the past few years has been downright FREAKY.

Anyone ever heard that "drop in stray/lost animal reports" being an indicator of increased coyote? Or is this merely speculative?
I really doubt it. I live in CA. We have an over abundance of coyotes and plenty of feral cats. All the shelters are full to overflowing all the time and in CA we have a LOT more shelters than most places, with it being the official state of crazy cat ladies and all. Quail, pigs, turkeys, foxes, deer and livestock also abound. Literally- I had a deer abound into the side of my house the other night at 3am and scare the crap out of me.

Coyotes don't go after livestock anyway (except tiny livestock like baby pygmy goats or lambs). They mostly eat mice and little things like that. Deer are too big for a coyote to bother with, foxes seem to co-exist handily with them, turkeys are also pretty large and quail- well quail are so stupid and noisy that it is a wonder to me that any exist at all but the coyotes don't put so much as a dent in the population.

apprider
Jan. 9, 2009, 12:41 AM
Around here we don't have any feral or barn cats.
The resident lynx takes care of any foolish enough to think they can stay.
Raw nature at work.:yes:

Good grief, aren't there any smart cats where you live? :lol: I TNR, and the ones that want to stick around, can. The predators were smart and moved out of NJ as soon as they could. With the exception of a few fox, there's nothing that really goes after them.

trubandloki
Jan. 9, 2009, 08:54 AM
there's a difference between non-house cats and feral cats. When I speak of feral cats, I mean the ones that hiss and bite people when captured. Ones that run at the sight or sound of a human. The ones that you never see - you only see evidence that they are around. That's a feral cat.

However, the studies show that simple barn cats, not even feral cats, can be intermediate hosts. In fact, one farm studied that had EPM in horses, 80% of the resident barn cats were positive for the "thing" that causes EPM in horses. The 80% was far higher than the general cat population (as tested at a rescue/adoption place).

Thank you, I know the difference between barn and feral. My three cats (and the visiting tom) are feral. I have had them for about a year and they are just starting to come around. They used to run and splat when I opened the barn door. And I mean splat, they would try to get away so quickly as they would run off the hay pile they would basically run into the barn wall. One of them still does. The two smaller cats were young when I trapped them and they are starting to be friendly. Only to me though, the person who brings them food twice per day. The older cat still splats pretty regularly and hisses at me if I get too close to her.

How does one know if their cats have whatever it is that caused EPM?

Bluey
Jan. 9, 2009, 09:04 AM
I really doubt it. I live in CA. We have an over abundance of coyotes and plenty of feral cats. All the shelters are full to overflowing all the time and in CA we have a LOT more shelters than most places, with it being the official state of crazy cat ladies and all. Quail, pigs, turkeys, foxes, deer and livestock also abound. Literally- I had a deer abound into the side of my house the other night at 3am and scare the crap out of me.

Coyotes don't go after livestock anyway (except tiny livestock like baby pygmy goats or lambs). They mostly eat mice and little things like that. Deer are too big for a coyote to bother with, foxes seem to co-exist handily with them, turkeys are also pretty large and quail- well quail are so stupid and noisy that it is a wonder to me that any exist at all but the coyotes don't put so much as a dent in the population.

You must have some awfully wimpy coyotes there.
Ours will eat baby calves and deer for breakfast and attack grown cattle when they are calving or lame and get them down.
They generally don't kill them, just eat on them and when we come around in time to run the coyotes off then have to shot the injured cows.:(
We never leave a single sick steer in a pen, or he will be down and half eaten by next morning, some still alive.
Nature's ways are not kind, to say the least.
Two or more cattle in a pen are ok, one will keep the coyotes at bay, off the sick one, during the night.

Our wild turkeys hatch some 17 chicks and very few make it to grown, courtesy of all, including the coyotes, that would not pass up a free meal on stilts.
Those big flying bomber turkeys also have to get out of the way asap when a coyote comes by, or they too become a meal.

And no, we don't have coyote/dog mixes, these are pure coyote and yes, they do hunt in packs, having seen up to 12 in some groups, although most are made of half that many numbers.

Thomas_1
Jan. 9, 2009, 09:16 AM
First of all we try to trap them. If successful then we have them blood tested for feline leukaemia and aids and if negative they have the tip of their ear trimmed off and then they're neutered and brought back to the farm and become yet another feral barn cat to keep out any more intruders! (We've now got 4 of them!) Then they make their way into the house and I become their servant.

Or else after trapping I rehome to anyone I manage to persuade just has to have a cat on the farm to keep down mice and rats.

If I can't trap them and they're really causing a nuisance so really overrun or they're causing problems with our cats then I would shoot them.

Truth be told though we've mostly always been successful trapping them either here or on friends farms and in my whole life I've only ever had to shoot 1.

gabz
Jan. 9, 2009, 02:15 PM
Thank you, I know the difference between barn and feral. My three cats (and the visiting tom) are feral. I have had them for about a year and they are just starting to come around. They used to run and splat when I opened the barn door. And I mean splat, they would try to get away so quickly as they would run off the hay pile they would basically run into the barn wall. One of them still does. The two smaller cats were young when I trapped them and they are starting to be friendly. Only to me though, the person who brings them food twice per day. The older cat still splats pretty regularly and hisses at me if I get too close to her.

How does one know if their cats have whatever it is that caused EPM?
You would have to test them for the "thing". But, it would be like testing for EIA. They could be negative one day and positive a week later without knowing.

The feral cats around my place? I rarely see them in the barn. I see their footprints and I spot them occasionally as they patrol fields nearby. I see a few feathers and tufts of rabbit fur here and there. I DID find the kittens that one of the feral females left. and eventually I was able to trap the female after her second litter, and her daughter from the first litter. I had HOPED the cats could have become reasonable enough to be a barn cats - but they were too vicious once they were trapped. I trapped one a year ago that was spitting and biting. AC agrees with my assessment when I take them there.

And... there's plenty of barn cats available at shelters that are used to humans and other animals. It was a cat rescue that recommended the trapping and euth of the truly feral cats. I do have a "wild" cat. He's neutered and has no house that he lives in, but several of us in the neighborhood know him. He is missing one of his front paws. He purrs and talks to me when he visits. I've trapped him more than once and always let him go. He likes to sit on the stairs that go from the lower level of the barn, up to the loft, where's theres a window facing the east and the sun. He won't let anyone touch him, but he's at least civil.

So, I guess my definition of feral is different than others.

trubandloki
Jan. 9, 2009, 03:59 PM
So, I guess my definition of feral is different than others.

Not really. Though you seem to think that if they are still not living out on their own they can not be feral any more.

These cats were 'wild' feral. They were trapped. You could not get near them.
After their surgery (why they were trapped) I brought them home and locked them in a very large cage for a bit, and fed them.
When I would feed them in their cage I was taking my life into my own hands.

After releasing them from their cage (it was winter, btw) the barn was closed up so the only way they could get out of the barn was to go out thru a horse stall. There were no horses where they came from, the horses scared them as much as I did.

I continued to feed them, well.

Now they come and go from my barn as they like.

Sometimes I do not see them for many days at a time. Sometimes I see them every time I am in the barn.

If I wanted to take them any where again I would have to re-trap them.

They are for sure feral cats. Neutered feral cats.