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Old 01-30-2011, 05:49 PM
 
169 posts, read 515,039 times
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Default So, is it a bad idea to feed a feral kitten? & Any Feral cat laws in NC?

So, we have had a feral kitten coming up to our house the past few nights - meowing - tonight I gave it some food. It's young enough that it did let me near it. Is it a bad idea to feed a feral cat & are there any laws in NC or Cary about feral cats? Any advice or organizations you can direct me to would be great - we already have a dog - don't think we can adopt the cat but I would like to make sure it's healthy...
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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I don't know about the laws in NC or Cary - but if you feed it as far as Raleigh Animal Control is concerned, you own it. So sad - that there's a little baby kitten running around without food - or a mom? I don't know what I'd do, frankly. Just know that your HOA could force you to fence or keep it inside if anyone knows you are feeding it - and that if your neighbors don't like it coming around and don't appreciate it being in their yards (or gutters, trees, whatever), it could be taken by Animal Control.
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
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Are you sure it's a feral or just a stray orphan? There's a BIG difference, and it's hard to tell when they're that young. However, if you don't get the kitten to trust you enough to make physical contact and get used to being handled, you can forget about making it a pet. Kittens must have human interaction within the first 8 weeks or else they can not be domesticated. Unlike dogs, which are more or less genetically inclined to seek out human companionship, cats just one generation removed from human contact will remain wild for life. BTW: I live on one of the suburban coastal islands between downtown Savannah and the beach, where feral cat populations are huge. Makes sense when you think of it: How's a stray cat gonna get off an island? Swim? Anyway, the good thing is that we have several non-profit feral cat rescue groups that work to trap the cats, have them spayed or neutered (local vets do it free as a service, or at a greatly reduce cost), then release them back into the wild where they were caught. Then, volunteers come around in the morning and night to feed the cats. There's really no other humane way to do it because these cats can't be adopted out. Sad reality is they don't live too long in the wild ... but at least they're well-feed and not making more kittens. In my neighborhood, we had about 50 feral cats 2 years ago. We're now down to about half that, and we've only had one litter of kittens in the past year ... that we know about anyway. My two cats are actually quite social with the strays --- they come up on the porch and play, beg for food, etc. But they won't turn their backs on me or let me get close enough to pet them.

ANYWAY: If Savannah has such a large and successful feral cat survival project going, I'm sure Cary does. Whatever you do, don't call Animal Control. You know what will become of it if you do that. Good luck!

Islands Feral Cat Project - Savannah Georgia lost wild hurt feral cats & kittens
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:12 PM
 
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Please call Cheryl at Second Chance Pet Adoptions. I am a foster family for them. They do a lot of work with strays--that's where most of the kittens come from--and I know that if I were in your shoes I would feed the kitten and do whatever I could to socialize it. Kittens that go without human interaction and get to be about 3 months old have a far less chance of becoming adoptable than those who have human contact earlier.

Send me a DM if you like. The website is Second Chance Pet Adoptions: Second Chance Pet Adoptions. Adopt a cat or dog at our shelter in Raleigh.. I'd be happy to help if I can.
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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I second the advice to befriend the cat. We took in a stray youngun many years ago and although it was hit by a car and injured and was largely an outdoor cat, it spent 14 years sharing love with us. It's a domestic animal and it will respond positively to your overtures.

It's really a wonder that while having outdoor cats up in MA, for many years, aside from other cats they were not attacked by wild animals. Down here in NC, I would really worry about hawks swooping down on cats. Never seen it happen, but they are sitting, er, cats.
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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I would google for any organizations in the area that do TNR (trap, neuter, release). If it's coming up to you though, I'd take it to a shelter. Maybe it will find a home! Outdoor cats on average live something sad like 4 years, while indoor cats can live well into their teens. For truly feral cats though, TNR is the best option.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:39 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
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I have three feral cats living at the North end of my yard, just beyond where my garden goes each year. Last year,those cats arrived and I lost nothing in my garden (about 6000 ft. sq.)to rodent predation, the dogs take care of raccoons and deer and I called them off from the cats twice so they no longer consider those feral cats as something to chase. If those cats want to hang out on the edges of my woods and rid my garden of rodents, more power to 'em. I will augment their diet, make life a bit easier for them.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:05 AM
 
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Default ferals

Quote:
Originally Posted by dianeh View Post
So, we have had a feral kitten coming up to our house the past few nights - meowing - tonight I gave it some food. It's young enough that it did let me near it. Is it a bad idea to feed a feral cat & are there any laws in NC or Cary about feral cats? Any advice or organizations you can direct me to would be great - we already have a dog - don't think we can adopt the cat but I would like to make sure it's healthy...

Had many feral cats in my backyard in Raleigh- I fed, took care of, and adopted all of them- including a pregnant mom and eventually her 4 kittens.

One guy took 3 years of feeding on my deck before he adopted me. As I was taking my garbage can to the curb one morning, I looked down and saw that he was walking alongside me. From that day on he was my constant buddy for the next 12 years and also became close pals with my other ferals.

After they trust you, ferals become the most loving, loyal, devoted pets.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:39 AM
 
1,832 posts, read 2,979,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferro28 View Post
Had many feral cats in my backyard in Raleigh- I fed, took care of, and adopted all of them- including a pregnant mom and eventually her 4 kittens.

One guy took 3 years of feeding on my deck before he adopted me. As I was taking my garbage can to the curb one morning, I looked down and saw that he was walking alongside me. From that day on he was my constant buddy for the next 12 years and also became close pals with my other ferals.

After they trust you, ferals become the most loving, loyal, devoted pets.
Thanks for sharing this. It's true. I have a friend who adopted 2 feral kittens and it took time, but now several years later, she has the two most loving, friendly cats. I am currently fostering 3 absolutely gorgeous siblings who are taking their time opening up to us, but it's happening, and I know eventually they will be perfect companions. It's just hard for potential adopters to see that when they see a terrified kitten.

I think it's probably best to leave it to experts and make a friend in one of the many organizations who spend their time and money helping out in this situation. I love the one I work with because I can tell you, these are some incredibly devoted people who give up their free time (as volunteers) to commit themselves to caring for these cats. It's really changed me!
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
192 posts, read 254,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferro28 View Post
Had many feral cats in my backyard in Raleigh- I fed, took care of, and adopted all of them- including a pregnant mom and eventually her 4 kittens.

One guy took 3 years of feeding on my deck before he adopted me. As I was taking my garbage can to the curb one morning, I looked down and saw that he was walking alongside me. From that day on he was my constant buddy for the next 12 years and also became close pals with my other ferals.

After they trust you, ferals become the most loving, loyal, devoted pets.
That's a wonderful story. I think the most challenging thing would be seeing to it that they all get spayed/neutered. Otherwise, the problem will .... (sorry) reproduce itself.
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