Dilemma About An Outdoor Cat Hanging Around My House..

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by redhen, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    For a couple weeks now there has been a cat hanging around my house...
    Heres my dilemma, i'm not SURE that hes actually a stray, or just someones pet that they let outside..
    Its becoming very cold here in MA..and i CANT stand the thought of him being outside and freezing and suffering if hes a stray...(i'd rather have him put down then suffer that life.. Plus we have coyotes and foxes in our woods..thats a nasty way to die [​IMG] )
    We had a dead parakeet on our back porch the other day..that was a bit chomped on... (i'm betting it was this guy..)
    Not sure what to do here as winter is coming in quick...
    I CANT take him inside..i already have 8 flippin indoor cats [​IMG] ..plus i dont want to put my cats at risk for disease.. I just cant take the risk.
    What do i do?? Maybe i could keep him in my cellar?? (no heat in there either though, so he'd still be in freezing weather..)
    But what if hes someones cat and goes into a warm house at night?? I'd HATE to bring him to be put down then...
    I hate people... [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I have traps that i can use to catch him... *sigh*
    These things really bother me... i'm just not sure what to do here....if it was summer i could wait a bit and see what happens... but its getting sooo cold at night now. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011

  2. OtterCreekRanch

    OtterCreekRanch Songster

    Mar 16, 2011
    NE Texas
    That's a tough one.

    Anyway you could put a (breakaway) collar on him with a note attached and see if you get any replies from his owners? I would say set him up in the cellar with some place warm to sleep, but not knowing if he is owned I would hate to keep him from going home. I definitely wouldn't have him put to sleep or anything like that with that chance that he is someone's kitty. Maybe put up some found posters and have him scanned for a microchip at least. He could be lost.

    Out of curiosity...where would he have gotten a parakeet?
  3. dewey

    dewey Songster

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    That's a tough situation. I'd be tempted to get the cat tested for safety sake and then give him the cellar with some warm bedding and good lighting as his forever indoor home, if and until he could be transitioned with no threat to the other cats.

    Otherwise, I think I'd let him be unless he showed signs that were contrary to healthy life. Just personally, I wouldn't want to capture & destroy it unless it was obviously in distress/sick or going downhill without hope. There's lots of generational ferals around here that are left to their own (wish it was otherwise) but a pet stray I think I could not resist if I had the facilities and funds to do right by it. My last very young feral kitty was thrust upon me and I took him to the ER vets to be evaluated and destroyed if he had issues that I could not fund. I hoped beyond hope that that would not be the case, and it was not.

    Just me, but I consider any semi tame outdoor wondering cat without any form of ID on it to be a cast-off stray and fair game for the taking to provide it a home, IF possible.

    Could a warmer place outside be provided if the kitty can't come inside?
  4. OtterCreekRanch

    OtterCreekRanch Songster

    Mar 16, 2011
    NE Texas
    I was thinking maybe you could give him a sheltered place with a heat lamp? We used to put a heat lamp out for our barn cats in the winter and they all slept in a pile underneath it.

  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle


    Good of you to care red.

    Does it look well fed?

    Have you asked the neighbors?

    I have 3 outside cats, and contrary to opinion it does get down to 10-0*F here, a couple times each winter. I leave the door to the garden shed open and they have a old blankets to snuggle in. Just yesterday I stocked it up with catnip toys. Zulukhan likes catnip. [​IMG]
    Last winter I found the new feral in the chicken run, buried in the litter, just the eyes showing. Kind of freaky. Heck as a kid we had outside cats in Alaska.
    With a place to get out of the weather, and food it should do fine.

    Imp-I know, I know, I want to bring them all in too. [​IMG]
  6. dewey

    dewey Songster

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    Quote:I have my own feelings about it that the rest of the family doesn't always agree with, but up north at the ranch it gets -40 at times and the barn cats do just fine over winter with good shelter that's provided for them in the barns.
  7. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick 8 Years

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    We have two outdoor barn cats and they do OK in the winter - we have a cat door into the garage AND the barn so they can't interact with our indoor cats, but they sometimes won't even come in. My DH will set up a heating mat and a heated bowl of water in there with maybe a box on top like a doghouse. I also put a litterbox out during the winter so they don't pee in the garage or barn. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011

  8. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Songster

    Jul 9, 2011
    Northern Wisconsin
    I understand you feel poorly for the cat, but I wouldn't put it down! I suggest if you have any type of outside buildings garage? Shed? Barn? To allow the cat food, water, blankets for the winter!

    Or you could always catch it and try to see if you can find a farmer around take it in for a barn cat. Honestly cats are a lot tougher then you think. We have feral/strays come in our barn all winter, its not heated, but we have plenty of hay. They usually end up going into our workshop part of the barn, I have fresh food, water and blankets in there and it tends to stay warmer then in the big part of the barn. Anyways, usually they leave during summer, I have 2 that have been coming come back all winter for the las 5 years and once its spring they are gone [​IMG] werid but they are never skinny, or hurt and seem in good health. They seem content and grateful for the help in the winter.

    I would try other things before ending its life.
  9. Wensbirds

    Wensbirds In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2011
    I tear strips of newspaper and put in a box on my back porch. The newspaper gives them warmth, and its fairly easy to change out when needed. The stray/ lonely kitties usually will be found in the box versus a shed.

  10. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Fred is my outdoor "feral" cat. (You remember Fred the Worthless?) Fred's previous owners tried to transition him inside and he would have nothing to do with it. He is a confirmed wanderer. I confess to being worried about Fred. We too have coyotes and predators. Fred seems pretty savvy though. He is at least 7 years old and seems to manage okay. I put food out for him and do hot water in the winter so he has something ice free to drink. Last winter when it got really cold he figured out how to use the doggie door to my enclosed back porch. I let the dogs out one morning and found him curled up on the dryer in a patch of sunshine. [​IMG] He prefers to sleep on the front porch swing or out in the garden even in weather that I think is harsh.

    Can you set up a shed entrance or a place under your coop? Bringing him in the house could cause real problems. You don't know what illnesses he might be carrying. Your 8 might not like him and it could cause the balance in your house to collapse. Even Fred sleeping on the back porch caused problems here. The indoor boy that hates him could smell him on the laundry baskets and started spraying and generally being cranky. You don't want to upset the existing cats.

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