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Old 08-14-2002, 11:50 AM
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I've lived in the country for 20 years and constantly have "drop-off" cats and dogs take up residence. Just continue to feed and water the mamma cat and try to make friends. Don't try to find the babies. If you do, and she's not ready to let you handle them, she will move them. When she finally does bring them to you, be careful. They will probably be scared of you and try to fight. After they see mamma likes you, they should start trusting you.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 08-14-2002, 12:00 PM
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Lightbulb Hi Amanda

As far as not having a carrier for the kitten--try this-I know it sounds "cruel" but it was actually suggested to me by a vet. If you can get ahold of the kitten, put her is a pillowcase and secure the top. Before everybody has a kiniption --let me explain . If the kitten is still on the "wild" side-she might hurt herself by bouncing around inside a box or crate trying to get out. In the pillowcase, it is a small, soft, darkened environment with less room for her to move around in. Just lay it on the floorboard of your car or you can place the case inside a small box to keep her in a safe area. When my mom and I took our "rescued" momma and her babies to be "fixed" -the babies expecially had been outside kitties (we lived out in the country and it was summer) and they were a "little" on the -shall we say- tense side!!! and this was the way we transported them to the vets. At first they didn't like it but within a few minutes they settled down and the trip went very well. The humane society folks thought it was a great idea too!

If you watch wild animal shows on TV-this is the way they transport alot of the animals (not in pillowcases of course-but in small crates with thier eyes covered). In the small, dark environment the animals feel safer.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out--
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 08-14-2002, 01:52 PM
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A word of advise. In all likelyhood, the cat will be able to get out of the box. I have had that happen. If you use the pillowcase - endorsed by my vet as well - WEAR GLOVES when you are dealing with the cat. Even docile cats will scratch when stressed.
Or, if you are in a small city, the vet may loan you a crate. I live in a small community & inhereted a colony of out door cats (10-20)along with a home in the country. When we first moved here almost 4 years ago, we were in a very tight financial position & couldn't do much but feed them. I have watched in agony as nature has played itself out on my front porch. You are right that your family is your first responsibility. As we have slowly (SLOWLY) regained our footing we have fed them better & fixed one. The position I am in though is, like I said, a small community & there is no low cost means of getting them fixed. My vet (one of only 2 in town) charges $30 for males & $50 or more for females. With a 10 % discount after 2. Any little bit helps. You also have to think about the possibility that as an outside cat, they are still more likely to "disappear" one way or another. I once spent $61 on a kitten & couldn't find her the day she was supposed to get her stitches out. Never saw her again. Also, as others have commented, once you get the current cats fixed, more will "show up" to continue the cycle. I only intended to make a short comment, but it turned into a book. Just do what you can & try not to let the rest get to you. They were already reproducing & hungry when they came to you. If you feed them you are not making the problem worse, just alleviating their misery.
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Old 08-14-2002, 05:29 PM
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Again, thank you so much for not only your advice everyone, but your kind words as well. It's funny that you 2 should mention the pillow case, I have actually done that, but it was years ago. I had totally forgotten! Thanks again!
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Old 08-14-2002, 07:13 PM
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I agree with the pillowcase suggestion. It is my preferred method of transport. I would much rather store a queensized pillowcase than a carrier. The larger pillowcase gives you more room to close at the top. I have transported dozens of animals, cats, kittens, squirrels, turtles, etc. in this manner over the last 10 years. Works like a charm every time.
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Old 08-14-2002, 07:58 PM
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One of the biggest mistakes people make...is to feed strays.
If you do not intend to "adopt" them...which includes all the responsibility of spaying/neutering shots, vet visits, etc....then call the animal shelter.
Shelters are NOT in the business of killing animals. They try their best to find homes for them. I'm sure there are exceptions to every rule, but they do what they can to help.
If you want to adopt an animal, and cannot pay to have them "fixed", there are programs to help with the cost, or even try to exchange a few hours of volunteer help at a vet or shelter to "pay" for the cost.
You might even want to sign up to be a "foster family" for animals that are too young to be adopted right away, or are sick, and need some time to become healthy & adoptable.
I fostered my youngest cat for 3 months, before I could adopt her. The shelter gave me all the supplies I needed to help her recover from an upper respiratory infection that killed her sister.
I am in constant contact with my local shelter, who services 3 counties. I do what I can to help them, collecting aluminum cans, donating used towels, blankets, etc., and I know that when I need them ...they are there for me.

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Old 08-15-2002, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bettdev
One of the biggest mistakes people make...is to feed strays.
If you do not intend to "adopt" them...which includes all the responsibility of spaying/neutering shots, vet visits, etc....then call the animal shelter.
I just want to comment on this part. I actually consider these cats mine, even though I can't get near them. I did call the shelter initially, but they told me I had to catch them and bring the cats to them, they would not come out and catch them. So it may not be as simple as 1, 2, 3 all the time. I fully intend to get them fixed when I can catch and can afford it. But like someone else said, there's the cats next door too, and their kittens, and the kittens that will come after that. All we can do is try. I can't take care of all of them, and I certainly can't afford to pay for all of them to be fixed. While I understand what you are saying, and actually do agree with you to a point, there are limitations, there's only so much one person can do.

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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 08-15-2002, 04:02 AM
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You're right, Amanda. Nothing is black and white. All we can do is what we can do. Locally, Animal Services (county shelter) considers an animal yours if you feed it one time. That means that you can be fined for not having the animal fixed and/or not keeping it confined to your yard. Animal control ordinances are different all over, but this is something to consider.

While working for a local vet, we were able to help many people who couldn't really afford to have their animals fixed. Some the doctor did for a special price, some he let people make payments on, and some we had to refer out to other agencies. We are lucky enough to have several very low-cost programs in our area. Check around. The next county may have a great price, just for the asking.

Also, you may end of having to trap the cat. My vet's office will loan clients a tender trap for just this purpose. I've seen it worked out wonderfully in these situations. Check with your vet, or with the local shelter to see if they will do the same. Usually they require a refundable deposit.

Good luck!!
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Old 08-15-2002, 07:15 AM
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Again, each shelter is different. I guess ours is the cities & I live in the country. It would cost me $20 to dump a dog there. I do what I can with the cats, but I've never been around dogs, don't know dogs & can't afford to feed them. The shelter may be improving now but I know they have more than will be adopted & taking cats there is not really something I would think is humane. My town seems to be in the dark ages in some ways & this is one of them. I have checked the surrounding areas too, but it has been over a year. So I will check again. Just had to put my 2 cents in.
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Old 08-15-2002, 11:30 AM
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There are definitely huge differences between shelters. I know in my county they euthanize after seven days if they need the space for incoming animals. The next county over doesn't euthanize at all!!! They have some animals that have been there for months and months. They usually sponser them on the local tv station newcast at noon weekdays and I believe they have a 100% adoption rate!!! Not bad, huh?? I wish my county would adopt this plan.
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