Found 1 Feral Cat and 2 Kitten Litter. What to Do?

Hi everyone.

Woke up to a feral cat who has 2 kittens living in our backyard in St Albans Victoria.

I have called council but they have said to hire a $60 cat trap which seems a bit stiff for a problem i didnt have yesterday. They will allow me to have it for 2 weeks?

Questions for you all.

Has this ever happened to you and what did you do?
Should I feed the cat and what should i feed it with? Even though the cats are a nuisance i guess i should feed it?

any services that would freely come pick up the cat or kittens?

Should I just get the cat trap and get it over with?

Comments

  • +75 votes

    Yes this happened to me, except that the mother cat had 3 kittens. I fed them (tins of cat food from the supermarket), treated them for fleas, wormed them, had them de-sexed (at a cheaper rate through the cat protection society), and adopted out the kittens through our local vet. I kept the mother cat. Seven years later the mother cat is still our pet cat. She is a lovely cat.

    A different option would be to call the RSPCA, although they wont take kittens that are too young (I don't know the minimum age) and they won't keep aggressive cats.

    The cat protection society is another option, although they often don't have space to take extra cats.

    • +22 votes

      Really good work;

      15 months ago we trapped a stray mother with 8 kittens! It took us a while to get all 8 kittens but we go there in the end as the little kittens would never survive at that young age without mum.

      All 8 ended up being adopted through a charity we sometimes volunteer for.

      We still have the mother cat too - super confident, naughty and huge chatterbox. She has claimed the top floor of our home - kicking out the two other cats who we own. Those two cats are nervous to come to our top floor now but all is good - they get along 95% of the time - as long as it is not on the top floor.

      • +6 votes

        Well done to you and wizzy. So you were both able to tame down wild cats?? I wonder whether they were actually wild cats or if they were abandoned pets. Either way, you both deserve medals, and you have helped restore a bit of my faith in human nature.

        • +3 votes

          Thanks Peck, our mother cat must have been abandoned. She is super confident, will come to us, jump on our bed, sit on our laps or next to us when we watch TV, approach us without prompting … however she is frightened of little children (I guess she must have been traumatised by them before us?)

          We have another stray cat in our neighbourhood at the moment who we are feeding. He is super scared :( but over time he has approached me and has reluctanctly allowed me to stroke his ears and back. Over time I hope he becomes more approachable and hopefully catch it and "train" it to allow people to contact him.

          There are some cats which are 'wild' as you say, that is unlikely OR too difficult to socialise - that's a sad fact. Some are able to respond positively to humans. We try our best and hope for the best.

          If I had one dream in the world, it is to ensure all stray cats and dogs have a home to go to.

          • +2 votes

            @DrunkOnTheGoodLife: A great dream. I travel to Thailand a bit, and, from time to time I feed the stray cats and dogs. I know that it doesn't help much though. Maybe it gives them temporary energy to run away from a predator or chase some food. The dogs are almost all abandoned pets, and so are very tame. I donate to a charity called 'Soi Dog' (stray dogs are referred to as Soi dogs = street dogs). I don't know how good 'Soi Dog' is, as they are supposed to catch, desex and release abandoned street dogs, but I have never noticed that any are desexed.

            • +1 vote

              @Peck: To me, every little counts no matter how small or big our contribution is. So well done you as well for your bit.

              If we all live by the notion that we should either do what is kind or what is right - always strive to do what is kind.

              Stray animals are the result of us, so if we can help them out just a little, to make their unfortunate circumstance that tiny bit more comfortable, then count me in and I am going to try and help.

              We've been to Thailand fair bit too, and to another 58 or so other countries, but stray animals are everywhere and this has to be one of the saddest things we see/feel/hear when we travel.

        • +2 votes

          I suspect that our mother cat was an abandoned pet, but I don't really know. I think someone may have dumped her when she got pregnant. She was pretty friendly right from the beginning.

    • +2 votes

      Thank you for doing this. You are a good person.

  • +1 vote

    Call RSPCA??

    •  

      Useless bunch, wouldn't care unless I have to threaten to take the kittens out of my garden.

  • +1 vote

    Pretty much every cat on this side of town that gets picked up by local council is funneled into Lost dogs home the kittens will have a very good chance of getting adopted out , the mother it depends on how old, aggressive and health issues it has

    otherwise get in contact with a shelter like https://www.ingridshaven.net.au/

  • +6 votes

    Ideally it would be put down given the catastrophic role cats play in species loss.

    • +11 votes

      Or desexed and adopted out to someone with a cat run

    • +19 votes

      Spoken by a member of the very species that not only brought felines here in the first place, but also continues to cause record species loss worldwide. How bout ya 86 yourself from the planet first?

      • +11 votes

        An outdoor cat means a loss of native wildlife. Cats are cute and incredibly good killers. Adopted to a life inside or humanely put down.

        • +12 votes

          An outdoor cat means a loss of native wildlife a human being, coaxed by society's ongoing fetish of breeding into existence and otherwise keeping other species as living trinkets, has exercised irresponsibility that goes largely unchecked, but rather the cat - an unwilling co-victim along with the their prey - is blamed and expected to pay the ultimate price for doing nothing more than existing according to their natural instincts.

          Cats don't need to be put down; breeders and the entire institution of pets needs to be shut down. We put existing cats in their miserable position in the first place; if we have any decency we should at least afford them a graceful exit.

          •  

            @thevofa: What is your view on feral cats in Australia? Would you choose letting 1 feral cat live over a bunch of native wildlife?

            • -1 vote

              @Hardlyworkin: My view is that looking at individual cats as problems is a diversion from the real problem. Address the real problem first, then we can talk about the frills.

          •  

            @thevofa: Completely agree - the question is - what to do now with this cat in the backyard

            •  

              @domcc1: I would suggest, as far as possible, giving the cat a graceful exit. That might be taking them in till they live out their natural life, maybe it's having them killed as humanely as possible. It depends…

              The situation is messy because of it's messy genesis. There is hardly a morally justifiable position to take but there may be morally excusable positions. If that interests you then google those terms for lots of information on how to possibly grapple with the situation.

        • -1 vote

          It MIGHT mean a loss of native wildlife. Not all outside cats have the hunting instinct. I say this as someone who 100% thinks cats should be contained inside or outside (enclosure/High fences), as our own cats are. But I have known a few cats over the years who are let outside during the day who just don’t care about chasing anything other than the sunshine. I wonder if the difference is cats who are curfewed back inside between dusk and dawn don’t have the drive as much as those who like the nightlife and got to boogie?

      •  

        Couldn't have put it more beautifully myself thevofa.You,wizzy and DrunkOnTheGoodLife…..a million +'s for all of you.

    • +5 votes

      I think we need to control humans first

      • +1 vote

        Spot on. Why wait till all the resources are gone and 10s of billions fight over scraps.
        No one has the balls to start enforcing unchecked human breeding but one day they will wish they did.
        Then Thanos will come along…

    •  

      Aggressive untameable ferals yes, or desex and release

    •  

      Thank you Diji1, the first sane comment. Put them down, they harm native animals.

  •  

    RSPCA will put them if they are feral. They will do that for free.

  •  

    Is it feral or just wild?

    We had a wild one here a few weeks back, though she seemed pretty tame and would come over for a cuddle. we were debating what course of action to take but got up one morning to find her squished all over the road. But then I saw a different one hanging around the other night too, not sure if they were related.

    • +6 votes

      ;_;

      • +3 votes

        Someone downvoted being sad at an animal getting killed? There's some sociopaths on this forum I guess.

        •  

          Refer said member to comment by thevofa.

        •  

          Dead cat. Alive native wildlife. Good trade.

          • -4 votes

            @jacross: How about you kill yourself then and do the planet a favour by removing your carbon footprint and saving the resources you would otherwise consume

            • +4 votes

              @Quantumcat: People who are smart enough to recognise and be sad about the widespread native wildlife deaths perpetrated by outdoor cats are sociopaths whose only sensible policy prescription is to commit suicide?

              Oh yes how silly of me. You're definitely the rational person in this discussion…

              • -3 votes

                @jacross: The point is that all living things cause harm to their environment so using that as an argument to kill them is the same argument as to why you should kill yourself. i.e. a faulty one. Otherwise you're just a hypocrite.

              •  

                @jacross: I'd think that you as a consumer would do more harm to the environment around you than an outdoors cat…

                So if you're upset that an outdoor cat is doing harm and you are happy it's dead, isn't his logic correct? Unless you can justify how much net positive you generate then you're contributing to the deaths of millions of animals and people worldwide etc. etc. and your death would likely be a net positive from an environmental perspective. :)

            •  

              @Quantumcat: What about the little mammals, birds and lizards?

      •  

        Looks like dracula fangs to me
        Ps did not neg

    • +1 vote

      god damn it, :(

  • -2 votes

    Tell a vegan. Problem solved.

  • +11 votes

    Congrats on adopting some pets.
    What are you going to name them?
    post some photos please.

  •  

    See if you can find a local animal shelter, sounds like your local council doesn't operate one, but there could be non for profit private shelters that would take them.

  • +1 vote

    Should I feed the cat and what should i feed it with?

    That would be a mistake. Feral cats are pests. Relocate them to the boundary line.

    •  

      wowo so mean downvote time >:|

      Seriously why do people not get that cats are literally ecological nuclear bombs. Its one thing to let people have them as pets but to encourage keeping wild ones around…

  • +1 vote

    Call the RSPCA and get them looked after.

    Our little girls have never caught an animal in their lives, they have caught a few insects though.

    • +3 votes

      How do you know that? Are they permanently indoor or in a run?

      •  

        We have a courtyard garden only and we don’t get any native creatures in it. We’ve seen no remains of any creature, and there would be.

        •  

          We had a courtyard garden. basil & Hissey used to fill up on small lizards and skinks. It wasn't noticeable until the snail/slug population started to increase. YMMV

          •  

            @brad1-8tsi: nah, I know what my kitties are like when they've found something live, they make that weird chirping noise. if there was something out there we would be seeing the little ones scrabbling at the garden beds, and they just aren't. They get excited enough when I put some stuff in the compost bin and some flies get out.

    •  

      I found bored cats attacking birds, mice, etc and not eating them.

      It makes sense, cats living with owners often go to work leaving cats outside who get bored. Cats are solitary creatures which make them perfect predators to kill one animal at a time. They're not natural to Australia that has so many diverse small animals.

      If you really want hard brutal proof. Buy a mouse and put it in front of them. I saw my own late cat that was lazy and tame would suddenly get a lot of energy and kill it all in span of 5 seconds after we both saw it appear at same time.

      Please keep them indoors.

      •  

        You put a live mouse in front of your cat, just how sick are you? I have had hunters, in the past, but everything the caught was introduced, like pigeons and rats. I know what my cats are capable of and they aren’t allowed off my property.

        • +1 vote

          I didn't put one in front of my cat. It came in after biting through the window screen; eventually it then ran across the living room in front of me, my mum and the cat. We were shocked at how quick the whole thing happened. I thought it was just a cat being a cat.

          There are cats used to mice tho. Look up youtube unusual couples cat and mice.

          •  

            @orangetrain: Sorry, I was being facetious.

            Our little ones only go after insects, we don't get anything native in the courtyard garden. They are pretty agile when it comes to the insects.

            We used to have a cat that was friends with our rabbit. She would wash the fur between his ears and all.

  • +5 votes

    Call PETA, they should do something, since they are the ones who give long lectures

  • +15 votes

    Thank you for helping the kitties.

    Any canned cat food would be good for mamma. Fancy Feast is especially liked by mine. Some dried food, again Fancy Feast, is good for a snack. Don't forget fresh water, but not milk, as it can cause stomach upsets.

    Please be careful of the RSPCA. They are not a no kill shelter.

    Check here for some organisations near you. https://www.petrescue.com.au/rescue_directory/

    Some Melbourne cat rescue Facebook pages: (Make sure to find out if they are no kill.)

    2nd Chance Cat Rescue https://www.facebook.com/2ndchancecatrescuevictoria/
    Western Suburbs Cat & Kitten Rescue https://www.facebook.com/wscatrescue/?ref=br_rs
    Australian Animal Rescue Inc https://www.facebook.com/aarorg/
    Melbourne Animal Rescue Inc. https://www.facebook.com/melbourneanimalrescue/?ref=br_rs
    Romeo's Cat Rescue https://www.facebook.com/Romeoscr/?ref=br_rs
    Second Chance Animal Rescue Inc. https://www.facebook.com/SecondChanceAnimalRescueInc/
    PetRescue https://www.facebook.com/PetRescueAU/?ref=br_rs
    The Cat Protection Society of Victoria https://www.facebook.com/catprotection/

    • +1 vote

      We’re with AWL and they’re fantastic, helping us with food and litter. We don’t have to worry with vet bills either. So far from the litter of 7 plus the random kitten saved from a carpark all but 3 are still with us and one of those (possibly two because she’s ADORABLE AS HELL) will probably stay lol

  • +1 vote

    I have a similar problem, three adult cats roaming in our backyard and front yard in the night and leaving the poop everywhere. We have a dog that stays inside at night and only in the backyard during the day. During the day these cats come to our front yard too- right in front of us and they are not phased at times.

    We called the council and they sent us paperwork for cat trap and it is free for us. No cost at all and they will pick the trapped cat in a matter of hours during business hours. We decided not to go with as there is a chance they will put them down and we will bear with them.
    I don't mind they eat leftover food from our dog as they need to eat it too, I guess another reason they keep coming back.

    Anyone has any suggestion for the poop situation, it is left all around the house, dirt, plants, concrete, tiles, pavers and sometimes at the gate? It is very annoying. I love animals and can't see any harm done to them. Can't keep them either because of our dog- doesn't go well with cats or even other dogs

    • +7 votes

      If you actually loved animals you would let the council put those feral cats down. They are decimating our native wildlife.

      Out of sight out of mind I guess…

      • +2 votes

        I hope you not serious,they are pets at the end of the day

        • +2 votes

          Feral =/= pets
          Would be hard to tame them enough so they dont run off or scratch the hell outta you when approached.
          Feral =/= strays either, which can be adopted

    •  

      Ammonia really gets them going.

    • +3 votes

      You should trap them and hand them over to a group that does desex and release - no harm to the cats but they won't be contributing to further population numbers.

      • +2 votes

        They will continue to contribute to the loss of native wildlife numbers though, anyone who deliberately releases cats is being cruel to native wildlife.

        • +2 votes

          Maybe, but it is more ethical to prevent further problem animals being born than to kill them

          • +3 votes

            @Quantumcat: I have heard it said that 1 feral cat kills 1000 natives per year. It's far more ethical to kill the one cat that doesn't belong there than let it kill 1000 of the native wildlife a year who do. The idea of catch, desex and release doesn't stack up on environmental, financial or any logical grounds that I can think of.

            https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/gut-wrenchin...

            • +3 votes

              @tryagain: Using that argument means you can kill human beings - think of how many native species need to die to clear enough land to grow food for you, or dig mines to get steel to make your car or get oil for petrol? You don't get to pick and choose and apply an argument only to things you don't like and conveniently forget it for things you do like.

              • +1 vote

                @Quantumcat: This point is just a red herring, but entertaining it, no it doesn't, killing humans is illegal, killing feral cats isn't.

                You don't get to pick and choose and apply an argument only to things you don't like and conveniently forget it for things you do like.

                Yet you are against the killing of any cats, but not against the cats killing thousands of native wildlife.

                • +1 vote

                  @tryagain: Your argument means we should be killing lions because they kill antelopes - lions aren't humans so it is ok.

                  You can have any opinion you like just don't be under the impression that you've made any sort of logical argument for it.

                  I'm "for" not taking a deliberate action that kills currently living things - if I am "for" anything. If the currently living creatures kill other currently living creatures - well that's a bit sad for the creatures getting killed but I don't believe a solution is to go around committing wholesale slaughter of every non-vegan animal. All you can do is encourage desexing of pets (to prevent more in future) and responsible ownership of the ones that currently exist (so they don't need to hunt to survive, and are kept away from creatures they can kill).

                  • +4 votes

                    @Quantumcat:

                    Your argument means we should be killing lions because they kill antelopes - lions aren't humans so it is ok

                    No, it's not, that's a strawman argument. Lions and antelopes are part of the same ecosystem, If there were millions of feral lions in Australia decimating the native ecosystem, then yes, I would be for killing them. Lions in their own ecosystem are fine.

                    You can have any opinion you like just don't be under the impression that you've made any sort of logical argument for it.

                    I have laid out a perfectly logical argument for killing feral animals, so far all you have bought against it is a red herring and strawman arguments.

                    I'm "for" not taking a deliberate action that kills currently living things

                    Perhaps a bit subjective but I would say advocating for the release of feral animals into an environment where there are little natural predators would be a deliberate action that results in the needless death of many native animals.

                    The only real argument I can make out against culling feral cats it "I like cats, so don't kill them" it's not a good argument, but so far it's the only real one I have heard.

                    • -1 vote

                      @tryagain:

                      deliberate action that results in the needless death of many native animals.

                      When I say "deliberate action" I mean killing it yourself. Not avoiding an action that has the side effect of another living thing causing death to a second living thing.

                      Since your new argument is about native vs introduced animals - are you saying we should kill all sheep and cows in this country, as they are introduced species threatening native ones?

                      My simple ethical guideline has no loopholes and is sound, whereas you need to keep doubling back and clarifying things you haven't thought of before.

                      And it isn't that I just like cats - I hate dogs, but just because they sometimes maul kangaroos, possums and children to death I don't cheer when one gets hit by a car. It is just sad. Any human with a heart should feel sad when something dies, no matter how "guilty" you think it is. It is only an animal which can't help but follow its nature, it isn't as though it is able to weigh up good and bad and decide to take a bad action. No court of law would find an animal guilty of a crime, so your lynch mob mindset just makes zero sense.

                      • +1 vote

                        @Quantumcat: My argument hasn't changed and has been well thought out before this thread, it's the same as Government agencies and wildlife conservationists. Your woefully incorrect interpretation of it has changed though as I have had to correct it.

                        Last I checked sheep and cows are vegetarian and aren't feral, cane toads are a more accurate comparison to feral cats and I have no issues with them being culled either.

                        And it isn't that I just like cats - I hate dogs, but just because they sometimes maul kangaroos, possums and children to death I don't cheer when one gets hit by a car. It is just sad. Any human with a heart should feel sad when something dies, no matter how "guilty" you think it is. It is only an animal which can't help but follow its nature, it isn't as though it is able to weigh up good and bad and decide to take a bad action. No court of law would find an animal guilty of a crime, so your lynch mob mindset just makes zero sense.

                        I don't attribute the root issue to Cat's themselves but "Cat People" who don't keep their cats locked up, or those who advocate for the release of feral cats. They are the ones who due to their negligent actions, have resulted with the native ecosystem paying the brunt of the price with feral cats implicated in the extinction of at least 20 mammal species and sub-species, the government now also has to spend literally 10's of millions of dollars to address the problem they have caused.

                        If you want a pet cat and keep it either inside or in a run then that's fine by me, I have no issue with cats being kept correctly, but if you want to let it roam then you are the problem. I don't cheer the death of a cat either, especially if it is someone's pet, much like I don't cheer the death of a cane toad, but any sadness of a feral cat or a cane toad being killed is offset by the benefits that them being removed from the ecosystem bring. Reality says we can either choose to continue having feral cats or the continued eradication of Native species, there are no real alternatives. I know which side I happily sit on, if you have some other miraculous financially viable solution for the millions of feral cats in Australia then I am sure the government would be all ears.

    •  

      If they're definitely someone's pets then they should know how to use a litter box. If you put one outside then that might contain the poo to one area.

      I've known dogs to object to their territory being soiled by other animals and they eat what the cats lay down. Could be an option, and at least you'll be getting your money's worth on the food you buy your dog.

  • +3 votes

    So unfair… I must be the only person to wants a homeless cat or cats to come and adopt me.

    I am between cats, so waiting for my next one to arrive at my house.

    I have spent months taming stray cats in the past so I could adopt them. Just waiting for the next one to turn up.

    • +1 vote

      Volunteer at rescue shelters or be a foster parent. People often call in strays.

    • +1 vote

      Hi Violet :) I agree with Orangetrain, you sound like a wonderful candidate for fostering cats and kittens! I put it off for far too long, then last year my partner and I were kind of forced into it when a litter of seven strays were in desperate help in getting off the street. We took them in and joined with Animal Welfare League who takes care of the vet bills, desexing, microchip, vacc’s, medications etc. Their advertising means that the kittens have a far better chance of being homed properly than we could ever do on our own. In the meantime we’ve had a ball with the hilarious little ratbags, one of them - maybe two - will even stay with us! It won’t really matter which shelter you go with, but we went with AWL for their bigger exposure and possibility of having more money to help out. You may have trouble letting them go, but you’ll see they go to great families and you’ll be happy for them, and happy you’ve made a difference in their lives :D

  •  

    Pay the money, if you really don't want the cats. It's not that much, and the council are obliged to manage the situation in a humane way.

  • +1 vote

    Do whatever you can to get rid of them so they can be disposed of. Our native wildlife will thank you for it.

  •  

    If you feed them you make them yours

  •  

    Happend to us once. Called Lort Smith animal shelter and theytold us to bring them in. This was 10 years ago though. Best to ring them and/or Lost dogs in North Melbourne to see what options they give you. Good luck.

    •  

      Same here. Lort Smith is the way to go. Great organisation that actually care for the pets and find them a home. Please contact them

  •  

    Buy a trap on eBay for $30 delivered. They're easy to assemble, but the latch can be tricky.

  • +2 votes

    I remember having feral cats in the garage area of the unit complex I lived in. The flea infestation was horrendous. Flea bombing did nothing. My legs would turn black within seconds of walking to my car. Scars were around for 6 months after the bites. The itching was crazy and mentally I was losing my mind.

    I bought a trap and tuna and trapped 9 cats in less than 2 weeks. Caught 3 kittens in one go. I would leave them with a neighbour who would hand over to the local council when they arrived. Not sure what happened to them.

    In your case with a backyard I would probably ignore them. They should eventually take off.

  • +1 vote

    This happened to me once. Stray cat followed me home, had kittens a couple of weeks later.

    Ended up giving away the kittens. Mum cat wasn't very nice (a bit feral I guess, didn't like humans, didn't like my other cats), so we gave her to RSPCA.