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Old 08-09-2013, 07:07 PM
 
532 posts, read 908,659 times
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I got up real early one morning and driving in my neighborhood, noticed how many cats were outside. Most of them looked happy and healthy, and I think (this is a nice neighborhood, quiet, not much traffic) that many of them had good homes and mommy just let them out in the morning, though I don't ever let my cats out, ever.

But every morning when I'm making breakfast and feeding my babies, I open the back door and have been feeding three cats that come around. A siamese, a pure black, and a gray. All three looked like they were starving, and though I won't let them in the house (I think the siamese has mental problems), I refuse to not feed them -- I'm not going to let them go hungry.

At first they were very shy, the little all black one the least shy, and the gray was so pitifully thin I think he would have eaten me if I hadn't feed him...the siamese won't eat until I shut the door. But now the gray is fatter and happy, and lays around by the door, "talking" to me and mine, inside. The first time the gray ate, a couple of days ago, he was so god-awful hungry, he made yummy noises as he was eating, and seemed to be talking to the the other two, that this was really, really good food. His little sides were just pitifully thin.

My next door neighbor used to put out food and water all the time for strays (she had two inside), but I think she has either stopped doing that or moved.

Is this somehow a bad thing I'm doing? There is a shed out back they can sleep in, if they want to, and I intend to go on taking care of them, at least with food, and any others that show up hungry.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:46 PM
 
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You cant save every cat, no matter how much you want to. I saved one starving cat that showed up one day. I would never start feeding many strays that showed up at my door
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,661 posts, read 3,667,925 times
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I feed four feral cats on my back patio. All of them are black, so it made it difficult to determine how many there were, but now they all show up at the same time to be fed so that makes it easy. Two have been TNR'd, and we need to do the other two as well.

The lady across the street feeds them occasionally, I think, but I feed them twice per day. They went from looking like woefully thin ragamuffins to being bigger and healthier looking. I also have two indoor cats who seem perplexed at why there are all of these black kitties on our patio, LOL. They sit in the slider and look at each other, but they will never meet face-to-face because mine are not allowed out and these are not allowed in.

It's not the best solution, but it's better than letting them starve. The best thing would be for me to find homes for them, but they're feral and not friendly. They hiss and sort of keep their distance from me, but occasionally will run right to me in order to get to the food more quickly. Maybe one day they'll be friendly, but until then, I'll just feed them twice a day and leave them alone. Hopefully they don't gather up any friends, though; my husband has drawn the line and said no more!
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:33 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 36,402,646 times
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Having done the TNR gig and learned the hard lessons - I wouldn't ever feed a stray cat that I wasn't prepared to attempt to adopt. I wouldn't feed a colony of ferals either, because that just perpetuates the feral population and does nothing to treat any diseases they might be carrying. Basically - if I'm not in a position to take permanent responsibility for the life and health of an animal, I won't feed it.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Montreal, Quebec
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Some of my neighbours moved away and abandoned their little orange cat. He started coming by my house to eat the bread I was putting out for the birds. He was nothing but skin and bones, starved and sick. He seems to be quite elderly and I think he's going blind, poor old man. He comes by now at the same time every afternoon and waits patiently until someone notices him. I feed him every day and sit with him while he eats, because some of the neighbourhood cats who have good homes try to bully him and steal his food.
I don't give a damn about the ethics of it. I'll keep feeding him as long as he's hungry. I don't know how he'll make it through the winter.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
4,800 posts, read 6,120,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
Having done the TNR gig and learned the hard lessons - I wouldn't ever feed a stray cat that I wasn't prepared to attempt to adopt. I wouldn't feed a colony of ferals either, because that just perpetuates the feral population and does nothing to treat any diseases they might be carrying. Basically - if I'm not in a position to take permanent responsibility for the life and health of an animal, I won't feed it.
AnonChick, If it's not too much of a tangent, I would be interested to hear a few lessons from your experience with TNR.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:47 PM
 
Location: FL
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Tough one. I guess it's how I look at what I do at work. I work in psych and some of our patients will improve, some will get worse and some will recover. I never know which ones will do what. Often I'm surprised. I learned early on to think, 'we can't save them all.' It's impossible. We do our very best. I give 100% of what I have every day. I don't, like today, always have much to give, but whatever I have I give 100%.

With the cats I think if you choose to feed feral/abandoned cats it's kind to trap/spay/neuter them or you're perpetuating the problem. I also feel if you've made the commitment to feeding them you should continue because they become dependent. I haven't done it only because I don't see any strays here, at my last residence I tried to catch what I thought was a stray only to discover it was my neighbors' cat who was an escape artist and a sweet little beggar, LOL
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:59 PM
 
532 posts, read 908,659 times
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It's just so sad, how one animal is loved and cared for and safe, and another animal, equally deserving really, will be utterly alone, in danger of starvation and all kinds of other horrors, and no love at all. It just seems profoundly unfair.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:01 PM
 
532 posts, read 908,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion2 View Post
Tough one. I guess it's how I look at what I do at work. I work in psych and some of our patients will improve, some will get worse and some will recover. I never know which ones will do what. Often I'm surprised. I learned early on to think, 'we can't save them all.' It's impossible. We do our very best. I give 100% of what I have every day. I don't, like today, always have much to give, but whatever I have I give 100%.

With the cats I think if you choose to feed feral/abandoned cats it's kind to trap/spay/neuter them or you're perpetuating the problem. I also feel if you've made the commitment to feeding them you should continue because they become dependent. I haven't done it only because I don't see any strays here, at my last residence I tried to catch what I thought was a stray only to discover it was my neighbors' cat who was an escape artist and a sweet little beggar, LOL
What problem is that?
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:48 PM
 
Location: FL
1,117 posts, read 1,716,359 times
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The problem of cats being abandoned or feral. Spay/neutering strays reduces the population. The Animamobile (a mobile clinic that offers low cost/free spay neuter in this area) has a flyer that shows the offspring two cats produce and it's horrifying. I'm not suggesting that people NOT feed them, just that we be truly kind and take it one step further if possible. I realize not everyone is able to due to but those who can should.
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