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Old 02-07-2007, 10:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Homeless Cat Situation

I'd like advice on a cat situation I have going on outside my house. I had been seeing these two full grown cats outside around my house for awhile. While seeing their comings and goings I figured they were living underneath my neighbors deck (I live in a duplex so its right behind my house). The deck is enclosed around the bottom with wood on three sides and rocks on the fourth, on the fourth side there are large 6' by 6' boards. However one of the rocks is askew behind the boards and they can squeeze under the deck.

The weather here in PA has been COLD(like in the negatives), so I started leaving food out for them. About a week ago I saw that a little kitten had come out to eat also. It looks maybe a month or so old. It is the only kitten I've seen so I guess the rest didn't make it through the cold. I can't get under the deck to see if there are more. A local no-kill shelter said they would take them if I could get them socialized aka to the point where they allowed themselves to be picked up and petted. The mother lets me pet her, so the guy from the shelter said she probably used to be a house cat. I can't take them into the house because my roommate hates cats and it isn't allowed on the lease. He actually bitched about them living under the porch. A friend of mine said he might be able to take the 3 cats in for a week or so to try to get them socialized so they can be put up for adoption.

Is this the right thing to do? What if there are more kittens under the porch and I take the mother? Wouldn't they have come out for food as well? Any advice from cat-knowledgable people would be appreciated.
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd use a flashlight and look underneath to check for other kittens. Though not all cats have large litters, and ones living outside even less so (many times they kittens won't survive the birth).

I think getting the willing friend involved is a good idea. Have the friend join you when putting out food for a couple days, make sure the friend touches the food bowl, etc.

Then....Get a large box, put a blanket in there and food. If you can make the blanket warm, all the better. Put it near the deck area. You and the friend should touch the blanket, so it smells familiar (they know you're the one with the food). If you can entice them into the box, close it up and put 'em in the car as quickly as possible. This probably won't be a quick job to get them to go in, but it might be.... When y'all get the cats, be calm, move calmly, speak soothingly - force yourself to act rather relaxed. They pick up stress sorts of "vibes" and can get more nervous. If your friend can be soothing, they will react best that way.

This is what I'd do. Also, ask the shelter for any ideas they have to offer as well.
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, this is a tough situation. I'd say you have to do some looking under the porch, because it would be awful to take the mom away. But figure out what you'd have to do if you see other kittens under there, and they won't come out to you. I wonder if you could remove a board temporarily to get underneath, or at least to get a better look.

Thank you for looking out for the cats during this cold time. I just got through something similar (see my "soft touch" thread here), I know it's a lot of work, but it's the right thing to do. I was lucky in that my hubby is very sympathetic to cats too.

Good luck, and keep us updated!
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Last edited by flat5; 05-03-2008 at 02:37 AM..
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