Thursday, June 11, 2009

This Is What I Get For Being Soft-Hearted

In the late winter and early spring of this year, I noticed a pregnant cat hanging around our back deck. I couldn't very well let a cold, pregnant cat go hungry, so I started feeding her.

I couple of months ago, I noticed she was no longer pregnant, but I had no idea where her kittens were or if they'd even survived. Until late last week, when I looked out on the deck and saw this...

There are two more that look just like this one.

Now what?

The kittens and the mother are all feral and run as soon as they see a human. (They aren't too fond of our indoor cats looking out the door at them, either, but they don't run from them.)

What I'd like to do is get a humane trap and capture all of them. The adult female could be "spayed and released" since it's not likely she can be tamed, but the kittens could probably be socialized by a local shelter and adopted out. The problem is, our local shelters are practically giving away kittens right now because they have so many. It's doubtful they will take these in.

Shane says to gradually stop feeding them and they'll move on to find food. That would solve our problem, but would do nothing to help the cats.

I honestly don't mind feeding them, but with the mother "unfixed" and the kittens possibly all female, we could end up with dozens of cats on our back deck before long.

Any suggestions?


Wanda said...

You may not like my suggestion since it is costly, but I think the best thing to do is to capture them all and have them all spayed. It will be easier, cheapest and alltogether best in the long run. Been there, done that. I say 'cheapest in the long run' because if you don't do it, you will have more litters of kittens from the mother and eventually grown kittens and your problem will escalate. Good luck!

Tug said...

Um...good luck. I think I'd do the catch & take them to the shelter thing anyway, poor things.

Anonymous said...

I would go with spay and release for all of them. Some places will do it very inexpensively for ferrel cats. Call around.

Leanne said...

We have a cat spay program here and strays can be taken and spayed free of charge so long as you agree to keep the cats or at the least look out for them and make sure their fed afterwards. The shelters figured out a long time ago that its cheaper for them to offer to spay cats and give them a once over for free rather than ending up with the cat in the shelter, having to do those things anyway and then feed and house the animal which can be expensive. Could you check around and see if something similar is available or perhaps your local shelter might agree to give you a hefty reduction on the costs if you don't leave the cats at the shelter, especially if they're already overrun.

Anonymous said...

They are so cute but I do understand your dilemma. I guess I would go with the spay and release but good luck catching a cat that doesn't want to be caught. Keep us posted.

Heather Solos said...

I second the spay and release program. We're in the exact same boat. I think I have homes for all the kittens. We'd take the mama cat in completely, but I am so allergic that I break out in hives if the kids touch me after touching her. :/ She's such a sweetheart, too.

Frances said...

We ended up with out 3rd cat almost the same way. She showed up at our front door when she was a baby and it was pouring outside. We couldn't stand to leave her shivering outside, so brought her in and dried her off. I tried to put her back outside after it quit raining so she could find her mama, but apparently she liked us and just moved right in. LOL! We have had her for almost a year now.

Good luck with finding a solution to your kitty problem.

Annie Jones said...

Thanks, ladies, for your suggestions. I haven't seen any of the outside cats since we got home from camping yesterday around noon. I don't know if they've moved on or if it's just the rainy morning keeping them away.

I'll keep you posted.