Catching a Feral Tom Cat

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Diane_Lancs, Apr 21, 2009.


  1. Diane_Lancs

    Diane_Lancs PetForums Junior

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    I desperately need help. Over 4 months ago a feral tom entered our home and got our girl pregnant (who was not spayed at the time and kept indoors). He continued to howl outside the house during the night throughout the entire pregnancy. When possible, he entered our open kitchen window and even climbed up our pergola and entered a bedroom window. He also took the door off the locked cat flap. Each time he comes in he sprays all over the children's toys and the kitchen cupboards etc.

    The kittens are now 3 weeks old and suspecting that he has again got my girl pregnant again and I am fighting a battle with fleas (which he brings in the house). I contacted the RSPCA about the problem and they put me onto cats protection. I also sent out over 100 letters to all the houses on our estate however no owner has come forward. I have had a huge response from residents who have cats attacked by him and problem with the spraying.

    Last week I paid £20 to loan a cat trap and feline welfare agreed to pay to neuter and de-flea the cat when caught. I have set the trap in various places in the garden with cat food and smelly mackrel to lure him. He has never attempted to enter the trap and he sits next to it almost mocking us.

    Today I thought I'd won the battle. I went downstairs this morning and he was trapped in our utility room after again forcing the cat flap door. I was so relieved to catch him and whilst he hissed at me I secured the cat flap door with a chair and a big piece of MDF. I got on the phone and feline welfare arranged with the vets to get him in this morning.

    Whilst on the phone I heard a loud bang. I went in to find that he had moved a chair and and the board and escaped. I am almost in tears. He has sprayed all over the kitchen and I have spent the last 2 hours cleaning. I have no doubt that he has again infested the carpets with fleas.

    I love animals, but I am now considering extreme measures to catch this bas**rd. I know it is not his fault however he is making my life a misery and I cannot bear the thought of another litter of kittens to re-home.
    The lady from cats protection asked me if he has a large head - which funnily enough he has. Apparently this means he has been a roaming tom for many years. I suspect he is semi-feral and used to be owned.

    If anyone can offer any advice I would really appreciate it. I am at my wits end.

    Diane
     
  2. cherrie_b

    cherrie_b PetForums VIP

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    Grrr! :eek: I hope you catch him!
     
  3. joote

    joote PetForums VIP

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    oh dear how awful, can you not sort of capture him with a big towel and put him in the trap? the best thing is really to get him caught and nuetered. I know it must be frustrating..

    if your cat is a house cat why is there a cat flap? Can you not get that filled properly with wood or something?
     
  4. Diane_Lancs

    Diane_Lancs PetForums Junior

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    Hi,

    I cannot get anywhere near him outside to get a towel around him. He keeps his distance and even food won't tempt him. He has attacked my husband a while ago and he was hissing today when I got too near.
    About the cat flap... we have a 13 year old female who uses it. She sleeps in the utility room at night and goes out when she needs to. We were keeping our other girl (a kitten/junior at the time) indoors until spayed. I'll have to get my older cat litter trained again and board up the cat flap.
     
  5. Daisymac

    Daisymac PetForums Junior

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    I love this forum please dont get me wrong, but you may want to look at the forums purrsinourhearts and catchat, there are people on there that deal with catching cats and rescues all day they will be able to help.
     
  6. could you put the cage inside with the open end against the catflap? keep your girls inside, and all windows closed for a couple of days until he is caught? just a suggestion.

    I have caught the odd roaming feral tom, but they always went into the cage without a problem. One went in after food, the other went in when i put some used litter from one of the girls in call inside the trap. - it sounds to me like he's been caught (and prob escaped) before. Mind you, if a girl is calling he wont be wanting to eat anyway.

    Just suggestions, hope you get him soon!
     
  7. Daisymac

    Daisymac PetForums Junior

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    I asked on purrsinourhearts what you should do and they said that you should get the female spayed as soon as possible because that is what is attracting him. (thanks to Dawn)
     
  8. Cyberfyn

    Cyberfyn PetForums VIP

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    That would have been my first suggestion also. There is no real early limit on getting a cat spayed. Some breeders do thier kitters before going to a new home. however I always suggest letting a cat get to 5-6 months first

    Ian.
     
  9. yes but i wouldnt be sending a queen who has 3week old kittns at home to be speyed.
     
  10. Shmitty!

    Shmitty! PetForums Senior

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    That is true ya know. I have a ferral that visits whenever there's a girl in season. He's not quite as brash as your one, but when all the neighbourhood girls finally got done, (after my pestering) he stopped his visits for a while, until one of his kittens was old enough to give enough ;) now he's back!

    I don't know where you live but I am in Kent and Celia Hammond is very very good at catching cats, she may be able to help you, she can also re - home ferrals?
    they can be quite viscious as I am sure you know, possibly I think if you can put the trap in YOUR kitchen with something smelling of your own cat in it, blanket, towel or something, it is a risk that he will again spray in your kitchen when he comes in, but I think it will get him the trap!
     
  11. Shmitty!

    Shmitty! PetForums Senior

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    Contact:

    Celia Hammond animal trust, she will gladly help you as she thinks of NOTHING else but Cat welfare and is BIG on neutering. In fact has a mobile neutering service I think now. Possibly a donation may tempt her your way.

    She is a mad cat lady though and more than a few calls may be needed to remind her of your plight!
     
  12. JANICE199

    JANICE199 PetForums VIP

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    Can i just give a little advice.As the cat is feral i would say put gloves on when and if you pick it up.A chap that worked with my husband was bitten by a feral cat and spent 3 weeks in hospital,had 2 blood transfusions and was off work for 3 months.And the bite wasn't very big.Just thought i'd share this as i hate for anyone else to go through the same thing.
     
  13. Izzie999

    Izzie999 PetForums VIP

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    Oh bless you how awful, I would make out to the RSPCA that he is agressive and a threat to both people and other cats, maybe they will come and get him, I would be so careful trying to catch him even with the trap. A friend of mine lost a finger trying to catch a feral and this was all because the RSPCA refused,complete waste of space that they are.

    Is there anyway you can block his entrance into your house. I would be so furious by now. Hope you get your flea situation sorted. Indorex spray is fab for carpets etc. Best of luck.

    Izzie
     
  14. Diane_Lancs

    Diane_Lancs PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I am in Lancashire so not sure if Celia Hammond could help but I could try asking for advice.

    As for the mother cat - I am not able to get her spayed as she is feeding her kittens. If she is pregnant again I am in a terrible vicious circle as I cannot get her spayed for at least another month by which time she'll be qute far along. And if a second litter comes along I'll again have to wait until the kittens are around 10 weeks. I'm not sure I could abort the litter if she is big and I can feel the kittens moving :(

    As suggested I might try putting the trap inside the house so that when he enters the cat flap he goes straight inside. Not sure if it will work though as he might just be too clever. After catching him this morning he might not try to come in again, but fingers crossed.
     
  15. lizward

    lizward PetForums VIP

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    Don't panic.

    1. What makes you think the cat is pregnant again? Has she shown any signs of calling? Isn't it possible that the boy has just come in because of the food you put down? Getting pregnant at this stage, even if she is calling, is really not very likely - feeding kittens has the same effect for cats as feeding babies does for humans - and even if she is, it's not the end of the world, just accept the fact that you have another litter on the way. I have never ever known a cat have more than two litters a year as long as she is allowed to properly rear the kittens, just get her spayed after the next litter. My guess is that it is highly unlikely that she is pregnant again.

    2. I have caught and neutered tom cats before - they can indeed be a nuisance when you have entire females - but you would need to be aware that if the boy is actually owned, you would likely be committing an illegal act and could find yourself in trouble if the owners complain. At the very least you will have to get him checked for a microchip first.

    3. He isn't feral! Feral cats will not come into someone's house whatever the rewards on the other side and this boy does it with lots of houses - that is a confident cat not a feral one. My guess is that he is owned. He just might live a bit further away - or of course he might be shut out permanently or even abandoned.

    Liz
     
    #15 lizward, Apr 21, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  16. Diane_Lancs

    Diane_Lancs PetForums Junior

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    Lizward, thanks for your comments.
    I think the reason I am panicking is because she has been in call since having her babies although I have not actually seen him with her. I agree there is a possibility that she is not pregnant.

    As for him, as far as I know he has not shown an interest in any food when he has entered the house. Seems like his main priority is to spray. He is even refusing to be tempted by the food outside in the trap (which has been replaced every day for ther last week).
    I honestly think he may have been left behind by someone who has moved house some time ago. As mentioned I have sent out over 100 letters (we live on a newish estate in the middle of fields) and had no owner come forward. Having explained this to the RSPCA/cats protection they agree that the best thing is to have him neutered and then put him back in the area the same day. They will also de-flea him as he is crawling with them. I presume they will check for a micro chip as a matter of procedure?

    Some people might think I am over reacting but it is affecting my life in a big way. My older cat is not able to use her cat flap anymore, I can't open any downstairs windows and I can't let my children play in the garden with the back doors open (I obviously make sure my nursing girl is not able to get out).
    The tom literally watches our house day and night. As soon as I leave the kitchen with the window open he is in there spraying all over. He waits for us to go to bed and then sits peering in the cat flap. I think that even when my girl is spayed he may continue to mark his scent in the house.

    I live in hope that this will be sorted by summer.
     
  17. badbudgie

    badbudgie PetForums Member

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    It's like a plot of a bad horror movie, waiting until you go to bed to peer through the catflap!

    However your situation is so not funny, hope you get it sorted soon
     
  18. joote

    joote PetForums VIP

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    i dont think she can get the cat spayed whilst shes mothering kittens!!
     
  19. Shmitty!

    Shmitty! PetForums Senior

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    Hmmmmm well get her booked in for as soon as she is ready then, and if she happens to be very early into a pregnancy the vet might ask if you want to terminate that pregnancy.

    I also would like to say, yes, getting bitten by a cat is very very bad, I had one bite right through my hand twice and up my arm, (she wasn't wild she was mine and she was being attacked by a dog at the time) and I did have to go to hospital, and even now 7 yrs later I get pain from the bite sights!
    I think it's something to do with their spit and stuff starting to digest your flesh, and the germs apparently are worse than a dog bite!

    My dad was also bitten once when he tried to comfort my cat during a fit she was having. That too made him very ill!

    I'm sure C.H.A.T will give you some advice on catching and neutering though!

    Can you put a cloth from your own cats sleeping area in the trap and just leave the trap laying in your kitchen?
    Get some spray bleach for after he's been in. lol:blink:
     
  20. Diane_Lancs

    Diane_Lancs PetForums Junior

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    Well, my prayers have been answered and last night I came home to find that the cat was caught outside in the trap. I almost felt like celebrating!
    I put our female cats blanket into the trap along with a tissue with her scent on it (yes, I wiped her bottom with it - sounds gross but it worked!!!).

    I brought him into the garage (in the trap) and he seems to be in very poor condition. He appears to have a very lumpy back which may suggest that he is either very old? or has some kind of growth. He is also very dirty with wounds (new and old all over his head/ears).
    The poor thing had obviously tried his best to escape from the trap as he has rubbed the skin off his nose which looks very sore.
    He appears to be quite affectionate in the trap and likes to be stroked through the bars. This leads me to believe that he was once owned - and if he still is he is definately neglected.

    He never ceases to amaze me though - during the night he managed to pull an entire bed sheet into the trap which I placed over the top to calm him down. He also managed to grap a few other items with his paws which were close by including a radio cable!! He was curled up fast asleep on a towel when I came down this morning.

    I am now waiting for the vets to open and after being checked over he'll be neutered. Might take a photo later to post here.

    Thanks again for all your help.
     
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