questionswhat can i do about another stray cat?

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.... continued:

We are hesitant to put up signs for fear nasty neighbor will go after him. (I think he is still under their radar for now.) We haven't spotted any signs for a missing cat, either. Our local shelters are full of cats, and he really seems to be somebody's baby. All he wants is food and affection and he REALLY wants to come inside. We broke down and fed him when we couldn't take it anymore, so now he thinks we're his family but we really can't take another cat. Our Camry kitty is fascinated with him and follows him from window to window (see below), but I don't know how well they would do together in person, and he's already swatted at the two dogs, although they love cats.

Short of trapping him, we can't keep him in our yard to hold him for his owner, and as I mentioned, I don't feel safe putting up signs where nasty neighbor can see them. Any suggestions? Anybody want a cat?

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Your story is a good portrayal of the old saying: "No good deed goes unpunished." If you cannot take the cat in, then don't. You might check into cat rescues in your area. There may be one that can take him, but it's springtime and all rescues get inundated with cats and kittens this time of year. You indicate that your neighbor is trapping cats. If he is killing or poisoning them then he may be violating a local ordinance. If he is trapping and removing them elsewhere alive, then you might enlist his help with the new one.

We have been a target destination for all of the stray cats in our neighborhood for decades. We trap them. We spay/neuter and vaccinate them. Then we turn them loose and continue to feed them at a food station we have set up. Some of them stick around and become friendly. Others disappear. Some we find partially eaten by the local coyotes. It's an ongoing life cycle. Don't get involved unless you are willing to stay involved and can handle it.

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What a truly nasty neighbor, that is heartbreaking. This might be far-fetched, but at the college in the town where I work, during finals week an organization (possibly humane society, I'm not sure) was bringing pets to campus to help relieve stress. I've heard about this sort of therapy before, is it possible there is an organization near where you live that participates in this? Maybe an older person looking for companionship, or a children's hospital. Of course I'm not sure of the logistics, but here's wikipedia's definition of Animal-assisted Therapy. Good luck, hope he finds a good home!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal-assisted_therapy

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Aww, he looks like a real cutie. I hope your mean and nasty neighbor doesn't get hold of him. Remember, some of the best pets are those that adopt you.

I know, I know, I'm not helping. Sorry.

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Trap them and turn them over to the spca. Feral cats decimate native wildlife populations and spread disease. I am sick and tired of cat people who feel that the normal rules of pet ownership don't apply to them. If my dog was shitting in your yard, you'd be pissed of. It's no different with cats. You're no different than the a-hole smokers who feel that littering laws don't apply to them and who throw their cigarette butts on the ground. If you can't keep your pets on your property, you have no business living around other people who don't want your animals in their yards. YOU are the nasty neighbor who inflicts your cats on your neighbors, not the neighbor who reported you for violating city codes.

Oh, by the way, when I trap cats in my yard, I turn them over to the pound, but first I take a picture of the animal an post it on the local mailboxes to let people know where to pick up their cat, if it belongs to one of them.

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by the way, free roaming cats are a serious public health hazard
http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/feral-cat-disease.html#cr

Among the diseases noted is toxoplasmosis, which is what caused me to start trapping them and turning them over to the pound. The cats were pooping in my children's vegetable garden in our back yard several times per day, and I didn't want to take any chances of poisoning my kids, since feces are the mode of transmission for toxoplasmosis.

On top of that, cats are the #1 source of cases of human rabies infections, and are responsible for about 2/3 of ALL rabies cases.

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As a cat-person and a non-littering smoker, I am thankful that I don't have belligerent, angry-about-everything neighbors.

To the OP: So hope you can find a good home for this cat. Thanks so much for caring!

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@belyndag: Check Craigslist for 'lost cat' ads. Keep looking for 'lost cat' signs in the neighborhood. If you cannot take the cat in, you can't. It would be wonderful if you could, but plenty of wonderful things can't and don't happen.

@kamikazeken said, "YOU are the nasty neighbor who inflicts your cats on your neighbors..." It sounds like belyndag is no more inflicting cats on her(?) neighbors than someone with a birdfeeder in their yard is inflicting birds on theirs.

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I think we now know who the nasty neighbor is...

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You seriously want to compare bird feeders to stray cats??? Just more evidence that cat people are mentally ill. Bird feeders feed naturally occurring native birds which are good for the environment, feeding stray cats keeps them around in an area where they kill those native birds; and many of those birds are in fact endangered. Feral/pet cats are not wild animals. Seriously, how would you feel about neighbors letting their dogs roam from yard to yard leaving their droppings in your vegetable garden?

Your stray cats are even killing endangered sea otters http://www.oar.noaa.gov/spotlite/archive/spot_otter.html

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Letting a cat that you own roam around other people's yards may not be acceptable, but the OP doesn't own this cat. Comparing feral cats to dogs that have owners isn't even relevant. Now a pack of stray dogs running around and ruining my yard would irritate (and even scare) me much more than a pack of stray cats...

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@kamikazeken: Oh, my! Thanks so much for the diagnosis. Now I'm "mentally ill." Sweet. And I didn't have to pay mega-bucks to be analyzed. A blessing for me. ;-) And, perhaps, that's an excuse for MY behavior.

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In our community, the program is trap, fix, vaccinate and release back where you found them. This is because cats have a specific territory, and when you place them or euthanize them, it creates a vacancy which fertile cats in neighboring territories will naturally breed to fill. A fixed feral cat will stand its ground for years. I am sensitive to the complaints of cat predation on wild birds. But frankly, getting killed and eaten by predators is a part of being a wild animal. We have to a large extent eliminated the natural predators for these birds, such as snakes, coyotes, foxes, etc, and replaced them with domestic cats. But this is still a part of the cycle of life.

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@kamikazeken: James? Is that you?

Seriously, please re-read my post before you accuse me of being the nasty neighbor. I have ONE cat. She has been spayed, has had all of her shots, and since we rescued her she has only ventured outside on a leash. (She discovered that she doesn't like the outside, which is fine with me.) we didn't own the other cats that came up, and were actively working with a local group to get them neutered and find forever homes for them. We managed to rid the neighborhood of ove 20 stray cats. The cat I'm dealing with now is not feral. He has been neutered and is somebody's pet.

Sorry, folks. I try not to feed the trolls, but I just wanted to clarify.

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@dows: I do pet therapy with my dog. Assuming what you are talking about is the same basic thing, it's not something you would do with a stray. Pets in the program have to pass rigorous behavioral tests and be health certified by a veterinarian. Cats are fairly rare in the program as their temperament rarely is suited for the sort of experiences one may encounter in therapy work. Part of the test is for the animal to remain calm when there is a shouting argument near him, when sudden loud noises are around him, around wheelchairs and other assistive devices, and when a group of strangers crowd around and everyone is touching and talking at him. That isn't to say that a rescued animal isn't suitable for the program, my own dog is a rescue. But he was in my possession receiving medical care and obedience training for quite some time before we applied to the program.

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@kamikazeken: "Feral/pet cats are not wild animals."

Thank you for correcting me, I had always understood the word feral to mean wild. I can throw this dictionary away now, they seem to be mistaken about it as well.

I think the real source of the confusion here is you refuse to see the distinction. A feral cat is noone's pet, and one's pet is not feral. Strays are, by definition, not feral. They are domesticated, but have strayed (the name was kind of a hint there).

As for your claim that strays and/or feral cats are destroying wildlife...all the more reason for someone to gently capture them and have them spayed/neutered, no?

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@kamikazeken: Dogs crap in gardens, so do some people. Mentally ill people make statements like "cat people are mentally ill". Bats and raccoons are the main carriers of rabies, not cats. Toxoplasmosis affects pregnant women, not children. Endangered Sea Otters? Seriously? Whatever crap you are reading is bogus! What did you do, Google "why I hate cats"?

@belyndag: Maybe you could keep it separated in a room? You can never tell, your cat might eventually accept it. The best way to get a cat accepted by a shelter is to tell them "my neighbor moved out yesterday and abandoned his cat"(I discovered this by accident)

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@tooter1952: if you'll note, the link about feral cats spreading disease to endangered sea otters is not being spread by some cat-haters group, but put out by the government and veterinarians at UC Davis.
http://www.oar.noaa.gov/spotlite/archive/spot_otter.html and veterinarians at UC Davis.

I have no hate for cats, I have a huge disdain though, for people who don't keep their pets to themselves and through their ignorance make the problem worse. While I understand some people's natural instinct to care for animals, even programs that neuter and release feral cats are finally being recognized as making the problem worse, encouraging more strays to form large packs and do even more damage to indigenous wildlife. There's a reason they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

In the meantime, I'll just take comfort that since moving to my current home, I don't see any outdoor or feral cats. The coyotes in the field next to our neighborhood took care of that problem. :-P

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@stile99: feral cats are NOT wild animals. google the word and the first definition is:

**fe·ral
/ˈfi(ə)rəl/
Adjective

(esp. of an animal) In a wild state, esp. after escape from captivity or domestication: "a feral cat".
Resembling a wild animal.**

note it says "in a wild STATE" and "RESEMBLING a wild animal"

Common house cats are a domesticated species not naturally found in the wild in the US. They DO cause incredible devastation to native wild birds and mammals.

here's one common sense article about the problem from a source that is usually very pro-animal-rights:
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2011/06/cats-tnr-birds-feral

@tooter1952: toxoplasmosis not only causes miscarriages and birth defects if the pregnant mother is exposed, but some of the more recent studies have found a link between toxoplasmosis exposure and schizophrenia. Science has proven that feral and stray cats are a major carrier of diseases, including the plague.

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There is a Chinese restaurant close to where I live. Problem solved.

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@belyndag: The other stuff in this thread aside, it appears, as you assume, that cat has been taken care of. Pretty clean and not underfed. I only have that one picture to go off of, though.

I'm guessing you don't want to put up flyers because you are worried about being fined from the un-neighborly neighbor. Perhaps put an email address on the flyer instead of your house address or phone number. Arrange to meet the people that contact you in a public place like a park and to wear something distinguishing. Arrange the meet somewhere next to the road. If it looks like funny business to you, drive away with cat in tow.

Personally, I would take the cat to the vet to see if he/she is chipped and to get a basic examination. I would then take in the cat temporarily, cordoning him/her in the spare room when I'm not there to supervise the interactions between the other pets, while checking craigslist, posting flyers and posting pictures and talking to local animal hospitals/vets. Good luck.

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I'm with @curtisuxor

I'd lure the kitty in, take him to the vet, and post his info on Craigslist or something. I'd also contact a kitty rescue/foster group (maybe the vet knows one?) to see about getting him a foster home.

He is too cute and needs a nice place to live.

(That bundle of kittens is attractive and scary at the same time.)

cf cf
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@kamikazeken: "note it says "in a wild STATE""

Yes...please note that.

You're really embarrassing yourself, do you realize that?

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What a beautiful kitty! I do hope you're able to find his home. I wish I could bring him home and love him and squeeze him...

As to all the arguing going on here, I have a few neighbors who allow their cats to wander. I see them occasionally in my yard. I also see bunny rabbits and foxes and big, fat toads. Occasionally, I see a deer or two. I don't particularly worry about any of them being dangerous. And my dog certainly enjoys chasing all of them away when he gets the opportunity. I think it's all part of living in a neighborhood. Possibly, some might be better suited to living far away from neighbors of any kind.

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Thanks for all of the suggestions, folks. I hadn't thought about Craig's List, so I checked it out and also found a Facebook page for missing pets in our area, as well as a couple of other sites. I found similar cats posted on a couple of lost pet sites, but not this kitty. I have also been posting his description on every site I can find. I tried to take a better picture of him, but he it was hard to snap a shot while he was winding around my legs! Then, of course, he decided that the camera was something to explore. Ah, well. I have included the best one I could get below. My fingers are crossed that we will find his family!

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@belyndag: Please keep us posted about what happens with the kitty.

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@barnabee: Will do. I've already gotten a couple of inquiries from the posting on FB, but both turned out to be false alarms. We're having an unseasonable cold spell tonight, so I've got him set up with a warm towel in an unused but enclosed dog house under our covered patio. Right now he is playing peekaboo with Camry through the glass door.

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Some other ideas for you to find this kitty's family.
-Call all the vets offices around. I live in a small town, so I would call all. Cats can wander far, so depending on where you live... figure out some offices in the area to see if anyone is missing a cat and ask them to put up a notice in their office.
- as others suggested . Have it checked for a chip.
- I would get it in and keep in a small BR while you hunt for owner. or new family. At worst case, you could borrow a large crate if you don't have a separate space, It is better than being coyote bait or hit by a car.
-contact your local shelter, rescue groups, etc... Often they are the first to be contacted if someone loses a pet. Ask them to put up a found notice. If there is a no kill group, offer to foster kitty until they have room if no owner found. Or ask them for help in placing kitty. Our group will list such kitties on their web site.
- Most papers and pennysavers have free found ads.
{con't}

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pg.2
-Again, I am in small town, our radio station will often run found/ lost announcements on their local news.
- Glad you found a FB page. YOu can also post on Petfinders . You can post both a found and a new home classified there.
Ebay has classified ads. Along with the local paper ads, ask them to put on their website -- or post it their yourself.
- RE CL. Do be very careful. Make sure you don't give out all ID information. ( this really goes for anyone answering any ad)
Ask for proof of ownership. Sadly their are some not so nice people around. Someone was busted in the "big city" near by taking kids along to claim a pet and then later was arrested for using it for dog fighting bait. There are all sorts of nasty things I will not go into that evil people will do. If no one claims, then as a fee ( it is fixed) ask for a vet reference and check them out a bit.
Again, some not nice folks out there.

I found a kitty last summer -- to be cont

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pg 3

It was not good timing to ad another pet. She was starved, but very sweet and friendly. I put in small BR in basement. Took to vets to check for chip and de-flea and de-worm.
Did all the steps I mentioned. The local group ask if I could keep until they had room to take in
Did I mention kitty was already very pregnant They got her a foster home to have her babies ( Sr. parents situation not good for a litter of kittens) And yes, you guessed, she ended up coming back here. My mom got attached and she and my cat ended up being great friends after an introduction period. Now they are pals. Yes. She got fixed. Babies were adopted right away, and fixed before adopted out.
So happy ending for all. Not saying that will happen to you ;) but you never know. I sure didn't.

Anyways, I wanted to point out that if you are willing to foster for awhile, a rescue group may help out.
Best wishes to you and that very handsome kitty. Love oranges.
ps forgot to say check local pet stores.

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@pinchecat: @belyndag: where aboots do you live

I understand you won't want to put your address or even state...but what about a geographical region of the US? Just in case someone has a more specific idea.

Good luck, sounds like a wonderful cat.

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@jrhusc: turns out he/she is somewhere near baton rouge

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@pinchecat: Yup. Baton Rouge it is. I've been offline all day and just saw this. Couldn't catch "Boots" this morning, but had to visit vet anyway to deal with a medication issue for my aging border collie, and they said a.) they will keep their eyes open for a missing orange tabby report, and b.) they will be glad to check for a chip once I snag the crier and bring it in.

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Update for those still following: Facebook MIGHT be paying off! Someone spotted the kitty picture and contacted a family member who lives in my neighborhood. The neighbor says that this looks like the cat belonging to the folks next door to her. I am just waiting for a call back. Fingers are tightly crossed!

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@belyndag: If this is a neighbor's kitty, make sure you warn them about the nasty neighbor. They may not have heard about him. Good luck!

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you can also send it to people who love small and cute cat.Or to the Animal Protection Association.

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@kamikaziken Bird feeders can actually be just as harmful to indigenous bird species as cats. Read the Wikipedia article on bird feeders. If you are going to try and sound like some kind of expert you should learn a bit more before posting. Are you OK with indigenous rabbits crapping in your garden? Or squirrels? If the problem is animals crapping in your garden, get a greenhouse.

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Why cat we all just get along?

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If anyone is still following this conversation and would like an update on the stray cat I was trying to rescue, I posted a lengthy followup here. Thanks again for all of the advice and support!