Trapping and Neutering 2 Feral Cats
2 new cats had joined my feral cat colony. One Ear is a mature crazy aggressive one eared cat, and the other is a very wild kitten.
One ear arrived and literally bullied his way into the group. Cats can't just join a colony. Usually the territory is defended and intruders attacked and chased away.
That explains why, in a managed colony, numbers often go down quickly when a consistent Trap Neuter Release program is established.
One Ear was thin and covered in battle wounds and scars. I expect his missing ear and scarred face is a result of fighting.
He gradually settled in and put on some weight and started looking better. He was still wildly belligerent towards the others and they would scatter when he came into the yard. Fights would regularly break out. He also enthusiastically liked to mark my front yard and front window.
The second volunteer was a small ginger kitten. I first saw a flash of him when he was probably only about 12-14 weeks old but he was very wild and frightened. This was in the early spring when the weather was terribly cold and we had lots of snow. He was ravenously hungry and quite thin.
Over the following weeks he came around more often and eventually would stay in the yard when I fed everyone.
He made friends with One Ear and the bigger cat started mentoring him and taking care of him. They would appear together at feeding time. I've seen other male cats take kittens under their wings, my big cat Oscar has taken care of kittens for me on several occasions.
I made arrangements to get the 2 neutered and all that was left was to trap them. Easier said than done!
I have a wooden box with a screened end and a sliding door that I used in the past to trap and so I dug this up and put it in the front yard. I fed my 2 candidates in the box. At first they did not like this but eventually they went in willingly.
Another feral checks it out on the left. This is Red. He eventually decided to move into the house and become a quite tame cat.
One morning I fed the cats as usual and when the kitten went in I just closed the door. I did this a second time and had One Ear too. I moved quietly and the trapping was done without disturbing the others.
I brought each cat inside and put them in the bathroom. One Ear went into the puppy crate and the kitten stayed in the trap box. I attached cat carrying cages to the puppy crate and to the trap box and both cats crept into the carrier which was acting as nest box, dark and safe.
No one was very pleased about the arrangement, Here one ear is settled in the puppy crate with his nest box wired to the side. The kitten is not settled yet.
Because both cats are friends I made sure they could see each other. It helped keep them calm. I thought about putting them together but the cages are too small for 2 cats.
They were surprisingly calm considering.
The next morning it was an easy matter to close the doors of the carrying cases and take them to the vet. We picked them up in the evening and let them sleep off the anesthetic. They were hungry by the time I went to bed so I fed everyone.
Both cats had been neutered and vaccinated etc. and were feeling fairly droopy the next day. They mostly slept and kept a low profile.
I keep the males a couple of days to make sure they are OK. By then they are ready and anxious to be allowed back out. One Ear was feeling perky and was very eager to get out, so I just took his carrier outside and let him go once he had had a hearty breakfast. He took off and had a nice wander around his territory.
He came back in the evening for his supper so I guess he is fine. Hopefully he will settle down some and put on a bit of weight. Even more important, stop fighting so much.
The kitten is a bit of a question. I am hoping to tame him. He is much older than ideal for feral cats to tame. It's tricky to get them to trust you when they are his age. I'll keep him for a few weeks and see if he improves. If he does then I will foster him and get him adopted. He is a very pretty cat and not aggressive so he might be saved from the hard outside life of a feral cat.
Read about how I tamed Gingerale. It's a happy cat story.
My photos are taken with a zoom, I'm not really very close. He is watching me carefully after 2 days. He does not run into his nest as soon as he sees me. We might yet tame him.
One Ear is sleeping peacefully in the front yard right now. I guess he was not too badly traumatized!
This article is provided for information only. It is not to be used instead of consulting a VET or working with a rescue organization.HOME