Stray kitties! Long...but I need help/advice! *UPDATE*
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 10/4/2012 by notcomputersavvy in NSBR Board
 

notcomputersavvy
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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:58:23 AM
**UPDATE**

All the kitties went to get spayed/neutered today and checked for diseases,etc. All did fine. Big kitty was checked for his eye issue. The vet said his eye was injured at some point and is slowly closing on it's own. Antibiotics,etc. won't do any good. He's not in any pain...it just looks gross. It will eventually just totally close. So I guess his name Socket will stay. She said he's one of the biggest stray cats she's seen...but the fact that he was originally a house cat probably led to his size.

Both male cats continue to get along just fine...and now that they're neutered that should help with any future issues. All 3 of them sleep in the bit tote that we made for them and they seem to be keeping pretty warm. Still trying to find the type of heating pads that heat naturally with their body heat. I'm going to make rice packs if I can't find them.

A few months ago 2 kittens took shelter by our deck. They cried for 2 days and I never saw mama so DH said to feed them...so of course now they think I'm mama. One male, one female. My kids carry the male all around so he's very tame. The female will let you pet her once or twice but she's still pretty skittish.

Now another male cat has taken residence on our deck as well. I'm pretty sure that he's the father of the kittens as his markings are exactly the same as the male kitten. Now here's the sad part...he was obviously at one time someone's pet. He's been declawed. And you can tell he can't defend himself as he shows up with bloody ears,face every few weeks. He also has something very wrong with one eye. At first I thought he was missing the eye, but after holding him in my lap and really looking at him, I can see the eye is still there but it's pushed far back and a massive infection is all around it. He's such a sweet kitty...breaks my heart to think he was just left behind.

So here's my issue...3 tame cats that I absolutely can't bring inside because DH and 1 kid are very allergic! We all really enjoy these cats and I'm willing to continue caring for them. So I need some help with the following things:

How much should I be feeding them? Right now I'm feeding them twice a day. I split a can of wet food between the 3 of them and about 1/4 cup of dry food for each feeding. And I make sure fresh water is always available. But not sure how I'm going to keep it from freezing this winter?

How do I keep them warm this winter? I'm in Ohio and it gets pretty darn cold,let alone the wind, snow and rain! Right now I have 2 rubbermaid totes that I put out to give them shelter from the rain. The kittens sleep in one, the big cat in the other. Not sure if I should make 2 shelters or one big one so they can huddle up together? Also not sure if all 3 would sleep in it together anyways. They all get along fine now, but with 2 males not sure it will stay that way?

How old do the kittens need to be to spay/neuter them? I plan on taking all 3 at the same time. Any idea on cost of that as well?










Jenny
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and my sweet boys Drew (6) Joey ( 1)

Gail OH
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Posted: 10/4/2012 10:43:53 AM
I am in Ohio as well...have hubby make a little dog/cat/house and have straw in it...maybe a hinge top so you can clean it out easier...I have one close to the house out of the wind...

I put out dry/wet food in morning and toward evening but bring in the food by dark because of other animals...In the morning I will add Friskies (pate)and mix it with the Meow mix and add a very little water to moisten it...at late afternoon I do the same or just put out dry but when it is getting dark that is when I bring it in. If kitties are still small feed moist and the dry on the side.

I use metal bowls because of our cold weather....ceramic will crack...the water bowls, I will have 2...I put out water in the morning and when it is real cold the water freezes like it does , I have the other bowl to set out and bring in the frozen one...try and set out water before bed...

Metal bowls are also easy to clean out...

The big kitty needs to see the vet ASAP...and little ones take in to see about how old they are ...you will want the female fixed as soon as the vet says...

Call the Humane Society ( not the animal shelter) in your area and see if they have a spay/neuter program to get the males fixed...female I would want the vet to do and keep her contained til she heals so she doesn't open up her tummy from surgery.

If you can just sit out there and talk...get them use to you...also the big one you can clean the wounds with peroxide and cotton ball if they aren't deep...feel sorry for him if he is declawed..

If the kitties are small enough maybe your vet will take them and try and place them for you...mine does...for that matter maybe the big one as well...doesn't hurt to try...hope this helps...

Glad they have you to care...hugs


Gail

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Posted: 10/4/2012 11:48:53 AM
Can you take the male cat to the vet to get his eye checked. At the very least, he probably needs antibiotic. I am sure that he has to be in pain. It may just be infection and swelling that makes it lok like his eye is sunk in. it may just have a scratch on it that has become infected. Poor kitties.

They have igloo dog houses that do not have seams that let cold air in. You could get one of those, put straw in it (change it out frequently to keep it dry) and face it to a wall with enough space for the cats to get in. If you have the males fixed, they should continue to get along.




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Posted: 10/4/2012 11:55:23 AM
Someone went to the trouble to declaw but did not neuter!? Idiots, all the way around. He is going to have to come inside if he doesn't have claws.

I would get him to the vet ASAP and you may hear that he needs to be put down. What you describe sounds pretty severe injuries.

VERY glad you are giving these babies love and attention!



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Posted: 10/4/2012 12:07:43 PM
You can try looking up any feral cat organizations in your area for some help and ideas. I know the one in my area is indyferal.org and there is one called alleycat.org that has lots of ideas on caring for strays in winter weather. I know I recently saw a house you can make from rubbermaid containers to keep them warm in the cold weather on one of those sites.
Awesome of you to be showing them such care!

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Posted: 10/4/2012 12:21:34 PM
Be careful handling them. We took in a stray cat a few months ago that was orphaned and it has cost us in the $100s to get her just well. She had ringworm, another skin infection, a tape worm and ear mites. She was worth it though, but all of my kids got ringworm at one point or another and the vet said that was to be expected from a stray. Glad you are helping the kittens!

scrapmaven
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Posted: 10/4/2012 12:30:47 PM
About a month ago a really sweet kitty adopted us. She wouldn't leave our yard and she looked like an abandoned kitten. So, we started to feed her. Long story short, she was dumped by someone. I took her to the vet, because I wanted to see if she was chipped and also ensure that she was healthy. Turns out she's healthy and she's approximately 10 years old, just small. The vet told me that she has lots of life in her. So, she's ours and she's the one bright spot in an otherwise crummy month. For now, she's an outside kitty who will not leave dh's side when he's working in the yard. Very cute. My huge indoor cat wants to eat her for breakfast. Once I get them used to eachother then I hope to bring her in, so that we can spend more time together.

Gail gave you great advice. I would get them all examined and then get ready to enjoy your new furry family.


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divinghkns
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Posted: 10/4/2012 12:33:30 PM
Thank you for taking care of these guys! You have a really kind heart.

They make heated outdoor pet bowls. You should be able to find them at a petstore, farm store or maybe even a target or walmart. The only other option you have for keeping it from freezing (that I know of) is to replace their water often enough that it doesn't freeze. Or, does your garage temp get below freezing? If not, could you put the water in their and add a kitty door somewhere?

Since you've already dedicated two rubbermaids to them, I would leave both rubbermaids out there. That way they can decide whether they are cold enough to pile into one "room" or not. You might want to consider adding hay or another insulator to flooring of their rubbermaid rooms. You may need to replace that every so often - cats are usually very good about not going potty in their own spaces, but keep an eye on it.

When I got my cats 9 years ago, I had two of them declawed and neutered at the same time and it was around $150 per cat. You probably wouldn't want to declaw your kittens since they will be outdoors cats, but the biggest cost of the surgery is anesthesia which they will do for the neutering part, so I guess what I'm saying is I don't think you will see significant cost savings just because you aren't having them declawed. It sounds like you might be in a rural area - seems like rural vets here are more reasonably priced than city vets.

You also might want to have the vet look at the big kitty's eye and quote you the price on that. Antibiotics are less than $20 if it's just an infection. But I would ask the doc for a shot (injection) of antibiotics rather than pills. Pilling a cat is very hard.

Definitely ask the vet for suggestions on helping the cats through the winter.

Good LUCK!!! They will be forever grateful to you, I'm sure!!!

ETA: I would read the labels on the food to determine serving size and feeding frequency. As for age to spay/neuter - I think you can do it as soon as 8-12 weeks but would call vet to be sure. Neutered male cats will get along just fine. My two 9-year olds are both male and I have never had any problems. They love to play together and they curl up together to sleep. As for the big kitty's eye - it may look worse than it is. Cats have three eyelids per eye. Their third eyelid sweeps over their eye sideways - from the nose across the eye. When they have an infection, that part swells and doesn't usually open/close all the way - so it sometimes creates a weird look - so it might look worse than it really is. My former in-law's had a cat who ended up losing his eye and the vet just glue it shut and he did fine - lived a full life. So there is hope for your big kitty too.


hop2
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Posted: 10/4/2012 12:38:45 PM
Try this website friends of animals

You can buy a certificate that makes the spaying/neutering less expensive at participating vets. (look on the site to be sure there is one near you first. ) The certificate covers everything besides blood tests and medical waste disposal.

Look around your town for an inexpensive clinic or veterinary school because it can be less expensive there as well.

Artbabe
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Posted: 10/4/2012 1:34:54 PM
If you are in central Ohio contact Colony Cats- I think it is .org. They are great with helping with feral and stray cats. I donate to them every year because they helped me out several times. Also look up RASCAL mobile units. They have super cheap spaying and vet stuff.


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notcomputersavvy
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Posted: 10/4/2012 1:43:52 PM
Thanks all for your suggestions!!

I just got a bale of straw to put in their containers. If I see that they're all huddling together then I'm going to buy a much larger tote and will set that up for them. DH suggesting putting insulation around the totes then putting another layer of plastic on top of that to keep some extra warmth in...good idea or no? Going to go to the local stores here and see if I can find the heated bowls.

Made an appt. to take big kitty in. After sitting with him in the sun this afternoon I can see that he's definitely got ear mites and some sort of skin infection too. I have a feeling this is going to be an expensive visit! But it's just inhumane to leave him to suffer like that He just loves to curl up on my lap and be loved. My kids named him Socket because of his eye...hoping they can help with the eye and we can give him a new name

Trying to find a place that will spay/neuter them for cheaper. Called both vets here ( I live in the city) and they both quoted be over $200 each! We just paid $600 for our sick dog last month that we had to put down...he was 13 and we all miss him dearly. But these cats have helped fill a void even if they do have to stay outside. I've tried for 2 months to find the kittens home but no luck...vets won't offer to help because they have hoards already! So I will do the best I can to keep them well fed, dry and warm this winter!





Jenny
sahm to my adorable girls Hannah (16), Brooke(12)
and my sweet boys Drew (6) Joey ( 1)

notcomputersavvy
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Posted: 10/4/2012 1:47:13 PM
Just checked the friend of animals site...nothing close to me Off to check the next ones suggested.





Jenny
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and my sweet boys Drew (6) Joey ( 1)

divinghkns
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Posted: 10/4/2012 3:09:42 PM
I think your hubby's insulation and another layer of plastic idea is great...I'm assuming their rubbermaid rooms have "roofs"? If not, maybe you want to figure something out for that. Sounds like you are on the right track!!!

Knotlazy
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Posted: 10/4/2012 3:24:51 PM
bless you for taking care of the kitties! Wish I could help you financialy with the vet bills, but I have a bunch of dogs myself.

For 5 years, I had an outside kitty...I let him inside but he refused to become and INSIDE kitty....he would NOT use a litter box and would literally climb the walls to get outside when he wanted to...

Texas winters are not too harsh, except for the occasional blue norther....we had a large cardboard box wedged into a patio chair (up off the concrete) that we covered in a tarp for wind protection, put an old down sleeping bag inside and when it was really cold, I put a heating pad between layers of the sleeping bag on low. That kitty, and his buddy who came around for a couple of years....snuggled inside and seemed to be happy.

good luck with the kitties! Sorry for the loss of your dog...

lovetodigi
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Posted: 10/4/2012 3:38:05 PM
If you have a Petsmart, they sell a pad that animals can lay on that will reflect body heat back up and help to keep the animal warm. I think that I found them in the cat section. We have one a piece for both cats and all three dogs. They love it in the the winter.

Okay, I checked on Petsmart on line and they no longer have them, at least not online. Here is a link to a site that has the information on the beds. Maybe you can find one in the stores or somewhere else online. Thermal Cat Cushion




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Posted: 10/4/2012 3:56:07 PM
I have some contacts in the cat/animalmrescuemworld, can you pea mail me your town and I can ask around for low cost spay/neuter/shot options? the big guy with the eye is tougher- hopefully just antibiotics will do, but if not please don't feel guilty if you can't spend 100s on care and he has to be put down. At least he had some love in his last few months, and being euthanized is far gentler than dying in pain of infection. the only guilt belongs to whoever declawed him and dumped him assholes like that just burn me up!

notcomputersavvy
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Posted: 10/4/2012 4:09:23 PM
That cushion sounds like the perfect thing for our cold winters! Definitely will look into that! The totes have the lid on them and my DH cut a small entrance on the side so they can get in and out. Big kitty spends a good part of the day just snoozing away in there. I think he's had a hard few months and he's enjoying the comfort now. Really hoping something can be done for him as he really is just the sweetest kitty. He's as ugly as could be with the messed up eye and previous battle wounds on the ears,etc....but when he curls up on my lap and purrs and purrs you can't resist him.

Gyroagain~ I peamailed you!





Jenny
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and my sweet boys Drew (6) Joey ( 1)

gotcreativity
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Posted: 10/4/2012 4:57:12 PM
Our feral kitty people take 2 plastic totes. One smaller than the other
Fill small one with dry straw
Place in larger one and surround it with more straw.
They use a large PVC tube to connect them together as a door to the outside
My outdoor guy uses a insulated igloo filled with straw and his afghan inside a large cardboard box to give extra insulation. Our other one that was dumped off sleeps in the barn


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Gail OH
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Posted: 10/4/2012 7:01:52 PM
you ladies are the sweetest people to care...if you can please post a picture or two of them...


Gail

Gail OH
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Posted: 10/12/2012 8:33:18 PM
just wondering how they are doing ?


Gail

notcomputersavvy
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Posted: 10/12/2012 9:58:51 PM
All 3 are doing well. We ended up buying a 45 gallon tote for all 3 to sleep in together. Cut an entrance into the side and lined it with straw. They're plenty cozy in there for now. Will be adding insulation and plastic sheeting to it in the next few weeks as it gets colder. Still trying to find the self heating pads...no luck so far.

They'll be going in to get spayed/neutered in 2 weeks. And big kitty will be getting his eye,skin and ears seen at that time. They will also all be getting bloodwork drawn to check for various diseases. I'm not so worried about the kittens but concerned about big kitty. Worried that we'll have to put him down. But all 3 continue to be very tame and let us hold and pet them. It's weird too how they seem to know when the kids will be home as they start hanging around the front porch at that time. The male kitten has become quite the little rascal too. Keeps climbing trees and can't get down! He reminds me of a pesky toddler

I swore that I would NEVER allow myself to become so attached to an animal after losing my sweet dog in August. And here I am,completely attached to cats that I can't even bring inside!





Jenny
sahm to my adorable girls Hannah (16), Brooke(12)
and my sweet boys Drew (6) Joey ( 1)

sharon217
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Posted: 10/12/2012 10:24:34 PM
My daughter has a cat that lives outdoors (stopped using litter box). She has a heated cat house that was ordered online. It is heated by a large light...even has a thermostat. It keeps Monty warm in the NJ cold winters. Even his ears remain toasty.

chocluver
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Posted: 10/12/2012 10:33:16 PM
Amazon has the thermal cat mats listed. Good luck! You have a wonderful tender heart

Gail OH
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Posted: 10/13/2012 10:00:40 AM
Thank you for updating us and taking care of them.

I just took in a mommy kitty ( Lucy ) and she was just spayed so she is in the garage with "Linus" her only kitten who is a stinker...lol he is a yellow kitten. She is gray.

We have so many strays out here but she was the only female so i knew we had to get her in. She is small herself , healthy , even the vet said she was small . Around a year and a half on age...

Getting some cool night s now here in Ohio...stay warm...hugs



Gail

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Posted: 10/13/2012 11:35:33 AM
We have been feeding stray cats for years.

We put out a small pile of dry food for each cat twice a day.

They have lived thru several bad winters here bc our crappy neighbors have junky garages that should be condemned. They go inside one and sleep curled up together for warmth.

It's a hard life. We have had several kitties die bc they were just not strong enough. We tried to make sure they were fed and that's all we could do.

Bless you for taking care of them.


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notcomputersavvy
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Posted: 11/1/2012 6:46:46 PM
Update in OP





Jenny
sahm to my adorable girls Hannah (16), Brooke(12)
and my sweet boys Drew (6) Joey ( 1)
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