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Okay all you animal lovers and experts...I need some help.
A barn cat has found her way into our house...probably through our garage door as we were carrying in groceries.
Anyway, as some barn cats are tame-ish, this one is not. She has been meowing on and off. We have two separate stair cases that she will come part of the way up, and when we try to coax her with food she'll come a little closer then dart off down into the basement and hides behind the furnace. She is doodling on the basement floor. She is just too afraid to come near us. She is eating cat food and she comes out at night( we can hear her) but we need her back outside....where she wants to be....with all her other kitty friends.
Maybe we need to find a live trap and bait it with cat food.
I would suggest the live trap. You will probably not get her up the stairs if she is real skittish. I think the trap would be the easiest on both you and her.
Awwww poor baby....and poor you when you do rescue her....having to clean up the doodles.....
We just had to re-locate a dozen or so feral cats from our property. We used a live-trap baited with sardines - was catching two at a time! The sardines worked better than cat food - smells more probably.
I would say the live trap as well........it may scare her, but she's already scared anyway. This would be the quickest, safest, and easiest way to get her back outside where she wants/needs to be. Be prepared though for her reaction when she finds out she's trapped. She may turn into a little wildcat! Good luck Judi! :hug:
Once you catch her PLease take the opportunity to have her spayed. She will live a much longer healthier life !
Some animal welfare groups will loan you a trap and also help with spaying.
Thanks for the posts everyone. I think we'll try the live trap. That's probably the best way.
Donna, spaying is certainly a good idea. There is an organization that spays and neuters at no charge.
I caught a 5 month old kitten under my older neighbor lady's bushes with a live trap a couple of months ago. I bought it at a local Home depot store. I did use tuna fish. It worked great!!!!!!!
And I am happy to say my neighbor gave her a new home. Unfortunately she passed away at the first of the year, so I had promised her if something happened I would take the kitty myself. Her family still has not decided if they are keeping her or if I am. They still have many things to do with the house.
We've caught dozens of cats over the years (we have a sanctuary) and we know from experience that cats will often turn into absolute tigers once they realise they're in a trap!!
So it's a good idea to cover the trap with an old sheet or curtain as this will calm her down. You can cover it when you set it but be sure that the fabric doesn't impede the trap mechanism and use something you are happy for her to ruin (it's amazing how much fabric a cross cat can claw and pull through the bars).
Pilchards in tomato sauce work well as bait - yuk!
As she is doodling all over the basement floor, it might be worth putting a litter tray down for her - even if they are completely feral most cats will use one.
I was going to recommend covering the trap as well. And do be very sure the children stay well away once she's trapped. We've had to livetrap the cats before and they do turn very, very wild for the most part. I highly recommend leather gloves for turning her loose.
What a brilliant idea to get her spayed at the same time :clap:
Amazing enough our little Skippy who is feral went right to the litter box when she was in our garage with babies. In fact, she would come into the garage...use the litterbox, peek in on her sleeping babies and then go right back outside...sometimes she wouldn't even peek in on the kids if they were sleeping. Who needs to dig around in old hard dirt when you go clean fresh stuff to do ya bidness in. LOL
Good Luck, Judi!!!
I agree with all the advice. We've caught feral cats with a live trap and it works very well.
Sounds like you've gotten some good advice Judi! Best of luck!
Just curious...what's Pilchards in Tomato Sauce?
Judi I am sure with your kindness and help this little creature will soon be back to where she wants to be. My vet often catches the stray cats and spades them realizing them back to where she found them, or finds home for those that need one.
pilchards in tomato sauce I believe is what we would call sardines.
Thank you very much for suggestions. We were able to lure the cat a little way with a can of tuna. He/she came upstairs and we opened the door to the outside. We all strategically positioned ourselves so the cat would go towards the door...but instead the cat jumped through the banister rails and straight back to the basement.
Last night we heard the cat meowing by the door so I quietly sneaked into the kitchen with the lights off to see if I could quietly open the glass door so kitty could get out. Well, he/she heard me and darted back downstairs.
One of our hired guys who works on our farm has a live trap. I think we will have to just use that as this kitty is just to feral. Thank you very much for the advice about covering the cage. Last night my daughter got close to the kity with the tuna but then he/she scratched her.
Unfortunately if we leave the door open, even just a little bit, four more barn cats will come in.
We just wish this pretty little kitty would know that we mean her/him no harm. Poor little thing.
Thanks very much for your suggestion. We'll keep trying until the live trap is here.
:hug: A feral cat usually will not tame down, so better to keep you and your family safe first and foremost. :hug: At my grandma's they had feral cats all the time, and they really aren't for petting or touching, no matter how close you think you can get to them.
My sister has worked with a group that catches, neuters and then releases feral cats, in Nova Scotia. Apparently there is something called a "touch barrier" and if cats haven't been socialized and petted a lot by the time they are 3-4 months, then they will never be tame enough to be someone's pet kitty, because they can't tolerate being touched. It's best with an older feral cat to neuter it, if it's caught and then release it where it was caught. Feral communities are self regulating, and stay at a reasonably constant size, but if your remove some of them, there are always more to take their place. It's really interesting.
This is probably a silly suggestion but it may just work. I have succeeded in the past to get rid of a cat by using a playful approach. Not many cats can resist something fluffy on the end of a piece of string so you could use this to "play" the cat out of its current position. It may then become less frightened by events and wander to where you want it to go without realising it!
It's worth a go while you are waiting! a bit more enjoyable too!
Marilyn, thats a good idea.
Last eve we went out for a short time and when we got back there was a cat in the live trap.......but not the cat we wanted...it was our house cat, Shamu, and he was not very happy. Now the feral cat seems to be avoiding the trap. It came up in the kitchen again last night and I tried to speak kindly while slowly moving towards the sliding glass door. It ended up darting back through the banister and down to the basement.
(Sigh). Now, we have found a way to block off part of the basement where we know the cat is hiding so hopefully he will be forced to get the cat food in the trap. My goodness this is not easy.
We never thought it would this difficult.
Oh Judi, honey...
You haven't heard about my Skippy have you? :crackup: :crackup: Three years and two litters of gorgeous kittens later and we STILL haven't caught her. She WON'T be live trapped...looks at the trap and then us and laughs...I seriously thinks she laughing at me. A tranquilizer gun is what I need. I'm kidding folks, don't anyone get excited.
I feel your kitty scratches, Judi...really I do.
Oh Shantell...THREE YEARS! Wow.
I sure do hope we can catch this cat. I think he/she so desperately wants to be outside. They certainly are smart animals.
When we came home and found Shamu in the trap we almost laughed as we half expected it to be our little dog Mandi (malti-poo). Thank goodness though we were only out about an hour so he wasn't in there very long.
We have it set up now that our house pets can't get into it. Fingers crossed for tonight that we can resolve this and everyone can be happy....especailly the poor little kitty.