Feral cat rescue is our cat lover’s way of saving a life, helping the environment plus ensuring there will be less unwanted kittens. There is definitely a joy in rescuing a feral cat even though it may not be much fun at times. So we rescue feral cats for the joy of it.
This kitty had been coming around the yard several times and we decided to trap him. I used a live trap that we used to catch other cats and it is safe and effective. Traps have to be monitored regularly so the what ever gets trapped does not get stressed due to weather or panic. Remember that when you set out a trap you might not catch your intended target. Have a plan so that if you catch a skunk or other wild life so you don’t get hurt.
Norbu (The name means Jewel) was captured on June 09,2018. I heard the trap rattling outside and sure enough we caught the kitty. This cat is a real feral cat and did not want to be handled. The adventure begins with getting him out of the cage. Actually when I opened the cage Norbu bolted and now he was impossible to catch. He was now loose in my garage and it took six days to finally catch him again. During this time I made sure the were no garage hazards for this wild cat to get into and he was fed regularly.
The interesting event was that he used the litter box right from the start. Cats are so polite. I caught him on June 15th and took him to the vet immediately. On the 16th of June he was neutered and I brought him home and he was isolated in a separate room. While he was at the vet he was tattooed, dewormed and vaccinated. Shortly after the neuter Norbu developed diarrhea. After 24 hours of watching this I took him back to the vet and it was discovered that he had bacteria imbalance in his gut, plus the surgery and the stress of being rescued all contributed to his diarrhea.
He was then placed on an antibiotic plus a probiotic. This will continue for a week. During this visit the vet and I concluded that Norbu is going to be officially listed as three years old. In another three weeks he will be going back to the vet for his booster shots.
During the last two days Norbu has been letting me pet him. This is the best part of socializing a feral cat. He is still defensive, but there is progress and I am sure he will learn to enjoy his rescue. I am sure that he does not see his captivity as a rescue or even much fun. He does like feeding time though. My friend rescued a feral cat and it took three months for him to socialize and now he does not want to even go outside. We must be Patient.
Patience must be practiced in many forms, bites, scratches and messes need to be handled with love.
What I Have Learned
I have rescued seven cats to date and Norbu has been the most feral cat I have handled. The first lesson for me is that I would not of let him loose in the garage. The garage is a dangerous place and I had to cat proof the building to eliminate the chemical hazards. When I caught Norbu to take him to the vet it was a wild cat tooth and claw experience to put him in the carrier.
I live in a small house and I do not have a quiet room for the kitty to hide in. This would probably be the best way to reduce the stress of a captured cat is to give him a quiet spot. Poor Norbu has to deal with continual noise and people presence.
The importance of the open litter box can not be underrated. The litter box is the key to your cats health and with a new cat with an unknown history this regular monitoring of the litter box keeps you informed of your cats health.
Bringing a cat with an unknown medical history in the clowder makes a period of isolation mandatory until you can be comfortable as to the health of your cat.
Trap Spay/Neuter Release
A person probably adds ten years life to a kitty taken out of the environment. I personally do not agree with free roaming cats, however cat overpopulation is an ongoing problem. This where Trap Spay/Neuter and Release programs come into effect.
If cat owners sterilized their cats there would be less unwanted kittens and less stress on the environment and human temperament. Then there would be less of the inhumane methods of cat control.
I have had two cats now that developed post surgery complications. My little girl Roxanne developed and infection and needed antibiotics. Norbu developed diarrhea and required medical assistance. Sterilized cats require at least three weeks of monitoring before being released into the wild again in my opinion. They probably would have died without monitoring.
In Norbu’s case it has yet to be determined if he is going to be released outside. Manitoba winters are very harsh and I would rather see him in the house. If he will not get along with the other cats he will be put up for adoption.
I have invested $300.00 CDN into this feral cat with no regrets. His booster shots will add another expense. This is the cost of rescuing cats. When a person goes to the shelter and gets a cat for $100.00 or less you are getting a deal.
Should you decide to rescue feral cats be sure to protect your self. Norbu has bitten and scratched me. Handling a cat with an unknown medical history puts you at risk medically. Any loose animal carries the risk of rabies. When I first handle a wild cat I wear a heavy jacket and gloves and I am prepared for a fight. Be careful.
Norbu is not that hard to work with. He is scared and needs a loving touch. My hat goes off to those that service feral colonies and rescue cats that need serious medical attention. We can’t save everybody but it sure means a lot to the ones we save.
That’s my story for today. If you can, adopt a cat. If you can’t adopt foster. If you can’t foster volunteer and if that’s not an option donate to a shelter. We have to protect those that can not protect themselves.
Now hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. Have a look at my Cat Care Products Page for all your cat needs. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I will respond as soon as possible.
It is summer in North America. I would like to leave you with this temperature chart and remind everyone about the dangers of leaving cats, dogs and babies in a hot car.