Unwanted Cats

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Lilandra, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. Lilandra

    Lilandra talk little, listen much

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    what do you do with farm cats that you don't want?
    We started out with the right amount and from strays to abandons to too many kittens last year I have too many cats and my gardens are looking like litter boxes.

    help!
     
  2. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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  3. whiterock

    whiterock Well-Known Member Supporter

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  4. coydog

    coydog Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like my place and I have no cats. I dispatch the feral ones. I tolerate the neighbors. They know how I feel about there cats tearing up my garden. They also take out the rabbits, baby pheasants, and the barn swallows in my shed. mtman has the right idea, kitty and noodles.
     
  5. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Make sure you can identify the cats you want to keep. Any cat you can't handle is by definition wild, feral, out-of-control, a bad thing. You might find you've got excess cats you can handle as well, but that's an easy fix - you can handle them one at a time in private without upsetting the other cats.

    Make sure you can afford to keep the cats you want to keep. As you've seen, you need desexed cats or you'll get excess kittens. As you've also seen, there is no shortage of kittens in the world - you don't need to make more of them - you can get all you want any time you need more.

    Practice shooting your .22 rimfire. This (the noise) in itself is likely to cause some of the excess cats to go elsewhere. Some cats know what it's like to be shot at. That won't be a solution to the problem - the cats will still be somewhere, but it will help your problem.

    Start penning the cats you want to keep for an hour and feeding them somewhere safe and out of sight. Also start feeding the others somewhere where you have a concealed shooting position and a safe background for overshots.

    Invite friends and acquaintances who will help out. This is not a fun occasion, but they will be helping you. The more shooters, the more effective.

    On one particular day, wipe out as many cats as the group can manage.
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Shame we all have to deal with 'drop offs' and 'boot outs' and their wild offspring. You do what you have to do. Not only do they wreak havoc with the birds and your garden and spread disease; their lives are frequently short and miserable. Most places you cannot get 'free spay and neutering' but will be charged for taking the unwanted ferals to the pound IF you can catch them. And lots of pounds will not accept cats unless you state you own the animal, then you pay and go thru the third degree as to why you are bringing it in. Makes you feel like a criminal. I agree with Don's solution. It is the most humane to my thinking.
     
  7. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that 4Hmom's problem was caused by more than 'drop offs' and 'boot outs'. She said: "We started out with the right amount and from strays to abandons to too many kittens last year I have too many cats"

    Strays and abandons come from other people, but too many kittens come from unaltered cats. So, lack of spaying and neutering is part of the problem. You can shoot 20 cats today and have the next generation of unwanted cats move in a few months down the road to breed like rabbits again. If you keep your own, fixed stock of farm cats around, there'll be a lot less cats to kill.

    I hear you about the drop-offs though and wholeheartedly agree. There's some moron who keeps trapping feral cats in the small neighboring city to bring them down here. I think it's one of the people who lives "in town" and only has a weekend home down here. We have a gopher problem, so I guess the idea is to add cats to this area to cut down on the gophers. Trouble is, the cats that are dropped here are feral tomcats with a nasty attitude.

    I've had one move in on my cats' territory (our yard) and fight them, even to the point of the tom trying to come into the kitty door, not to mention he marked everything from porch furniture and posts to door frames and any reachable window screen. He was too smart to risk getting caught by my husky, and he was too smart to be caught in the trap. He was also too smart to hang around whenever I snuck outside with the gun. It took several months before I managed to catch him in the right spot at the right time, and even though I felt awful for shooting him, I was glad to finally be rid of him. The risk of disease, the stink around the house, the fighting and the potential injury to my cats, all because some moron thinks he needs to drop a cat out here for whatever selfish reason.

    They keep coming though. Dispose of one, wait for the next one to show up. The last one I managed to trap after a few weeks of trying. If feral cats elsewhere are anything like the tomcats we get dropped here, shooting them isn't as easy as it sounds on a discussion board like this one. Unless you have the time and energy to sit quietly outside for several hours sometime after midnight, and you can shoot to kill a running black cat in pitch-black darkness from a distance of about 50 feet, that is. Ferals don't survive by being stupid and careless, which is something to keep in mind when getting all gung-ho for shooting them.
     
  8. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

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  9. Kellkell

    Kellkell Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine just had the same issue. There is no program by her for the feral cats. All the cats are semi-tamed barn cats. So she was able the get a few discount vouchers for spaying the females from the local rescue. Then the large animal vet she uses came out, knocked out all the males, lined them up and did a lot of snipping. The vet only charged her $10 each. Of course once all the boys were done, while waiting to bring the females in, she noticed one was preggers so......
     
  10. DW

    DW plains of Colorado Supporter

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    Vera is right: spay/neuter. We are very selective with our 4-legged friends and many were strays, we trapped, tamed and had fixed. The last one of those was 21 when she died of old age. I had a friend that saved her farm (egg)money to have all her cats fixed and she had 18...all fixed!!!! It's not how many you have but to put a stop to more. I would not hesitate to shoot any that were ill...they can really cause problems. We now have another past the age of 21...I think we do pretty well with cats...the trick is not too many and all must be fixed.
     
  11. qtkitty

    qtkitty Well-Known Member

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    You may want to check with your local Humane Society, SPCA, or Animal Control to see about spay/neuter programs... Some of them have free or reduced programs for feral cats.

    You might also if you have kittens that would make good pets if they would find them good homes therefore reducing the # of cats around.

    Also Sprinkle Diatomachious earth around your gardens and flower beds.. This makes the cats paws itch and drives them batty so they will back off ... also it cuts the tar out of slugs so they back off to .. moles do not like it either .. so it's a good deterant.
     
  12. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

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    To find shelters and all sorts of groups who deal with pet rescue/adoptions/help in your area, go to http://www.petfinder.com/, and in the "quick pet search" menu on the left, type in your zip code and below that, choose "expanded". It doesn't matter what you choose or leave blank above those two fields. You're just putting your area into the menu so that you get area-specific information. Then click on the "Go" button.

    Next, once the screen changes (it'll most likely show dogs for adoption in your extended area, which you ignore), scroll down to the "site map" field on the left and click on "local shelters". This will bring up a list with an amazing number of shelters and rescue groups and whatnot in your extended area. It doesn't matter if some of them are a fair distance from where you are. You need these contacts for information, not for visiting.

    Start at the top and click on each one to get their e-mail addy or phone number, and write or call to ask for information about financial help with spaying/neutering. Needless to say, if you need help with spaying farm cats, a dog breed rescue isn't the group to ask for info, so you'll save time by ignoring those groups which appear to be unsuitable for your specific concerns.
    Most groups are run exclusively by volunteers who have full lives of their own, so e-mails may take a while to get answered. You might get faster results with phone calls.

    Describe your problem in a short and concise manner, state what kind of help you need, and ask if they can help you with this or if they can tell you who else might be able to help. Take notes of which group you've contacted and what they told you. This helps with communication (no, ma'am, I spoke with Group D already and was told that...), and you'll have an easier time to remember who said what and who gave which (if any) quotes.

    If you still don't get any help after calling, say, 20 animal groups, then you can be reasonably sure that there's no help to be had even from those who made saving pets their personal interest, and nobody will be able to fault you for dealing with the problem according to your own abilities.
     
  13. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    If you were close we would take them, we need some good barn cats here. If you are along I-80, or close, let me know, we would be interested. Cant' find any around here!
     
  14. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid I will dealing with this once I move. All of my cats are spayed and neutered, but my neighbor has 10 cats, 2 pregnant and one with kittens borned about 3 weeks ago. He has brought them up and turned them loose. None of his cats gets shots and I'm worried about my indoor/outdoor cats. I don't want them getting into fights and getting sick from his cats. He's a great neighbor and has already helped me a lot and will continue to do so. I don't want to cause ill feelings. As hard as I know it will be for me, I think I'm going to SSS on some of those cats.
     
  15. MeowMix

    MeowMix Active Member

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    Best advice on here, yet!! I agree. They have done nothing to be soup or shot! :soap: :waa:
     
  16. MeowMix

    MeowMix Active Member

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    :no: The first thing that you can and must do is to not get so many in the first place. You MUST spay and neuter! Yes, Cats do kill for the pleasure of the kill, but I have also fixed that problem with mine. I bought break away collars with bells on them so, now they can't sneak up on the other critters. I am thinking that you may even be able to make your own break aways. It is worth a try.
    People drop off strays at my place all the time. I wish I could catch them doing that. It is not the cat's fault that some ignorant, uncareing people can't take proper care of them. Killing has to be the last resort for this problem. I know that a lot of people disagree with that, but, oh well. That is my feeling on the matter. I deal with them all the time. And I am by no means a rich person, myself. Good luck in whatever you decide to do. And selling them to someone for research is an awful thing to do. They will be tortured for the rest of thier lives! That is a horrible thing to do. :soap: I am done now.

    Katt
     
  17. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    No, you haven't fixed the problem. Studies (one of the very good studies done in England if I remember correctly) have shown bells to be ineffective in reducing stray cat predation on wildlife. The undeniable fact is that a roaming cat is a killing machine that can decimate local wildlife. They are outstanding hunters. They are designed for it and they do it extremely well. I had a stray out stalking some of my nesting songbirds today.

    As unpleasant as it may seem to well intentioned and kindhearted people the most effective and humane way to deal with the problem of feral cats or a farm cat overpopulation problem is to simply kill them. I love cats but those are the cold, hard and unpleasant facts.

    Anyone who catches a feral pest and then releases it back into the wild should be fined just as heavily as someone who dumps a cat out of a car in the country. They are just as bad.