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Response to Samantha (Original post)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 04:59 AM

43. You have gotten some excellent advice and I would like to add some

I trap and release feral cats. What people are saying is an "outdoor" or an "alley" cat actually means feral. These cats were born outside and usually will never adjust to living with humans. Nikita is absolutely not feral. She shows all the signs of contact with humans, including letting her touch you and meowing to you as ferals usually do not meow to humans or communicate beyond hisses and growls.

I'm glad you are speaking to someone from an organization as it seems some of the people who were first giving you advice were, shall we say, clueless. A first time pregnancy in no way means she will have a small litter and thinking a cat will have physical problems because it doesn't give birth at least once is the same kind of thing they used to tell women. Just not so. If you decide to let her have her litter, check with the vet on when is the earliest you can have her spayed--she will need to feed the kittens for a while so she can't be too soon after giving birth. Depending on where you live, there are many programs for low/no cost spay and neutering as well as vaccinations and wellness screenings. Cats can breed into huge feral colonies very quickly. I started trap and release spay/neuter when the neighbor in my apartment building moved out and dumped their cat outside unbeknown to me. It took me months to trap them all as we had a booming feral colony from just that one cat in less than a year. Check the animal charity Best Friends and find an affiliate in your neighborhood (ours is called Fix Nation) for help. And some places will spay/neuter at 14 weeks so if you would like to be truly responsible you can get the kittens done before they go to their new home or at least get a firm commitment from the new owners to get it done right away. The world has too many uncared for cats. The operation is very simple and recovery is overnight, with males being even easier. The cat usually sleeps for a few hours as the anesthesia wears off and then wakes up and eats a little food. Now they do a biodegradable glue so you don't even need to get stitches removed.

People are giving you great advice on flea control and keeping the cat separate before it is cleared by a vet. But if she is coming up close to your dog through the screen door, they will be great friends in no time. If she didn't like the dog or was afraid, she wouldn't do that. And often, though it may take some time, animals in the home adjust very well to blind friends. I have had that with two animals and it seems like they just knew.

If you can at least let her into a garage or laundry room, that is much better than letting her sleep outside. You may hear her yowling in the morning to get out. That doesn't mean she wants to get out forever, it's just what she's used to. Once she understands that your house equals food, warmth, and love, she'll always want to come home.

Good luck, there is also another great discussion today on what to feed your cat. Yes, wet food is better than dry by a long shot. Cats don't drink much and get most of their water from food. Cats also don't need grain or corn of any kind so read lables. Good food now means far less in doctor's bills down the road. Scratching posts and places where she can be up high and look out the window are essential for a happy indoor cat. And I also recommend new cat owners to watch My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet because it is a good introduction on cat behavior and how to make a nice home for them.

Please let us know how it goes!

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LineReply You have gotten some excellent advice and I would like to add some
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