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Concerned about pregnant outdoor cat--UPDATE!


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In the new apartment complex I am living in (which I am loving, by the way! :D) there are lots of stray cats. There is one in particular that I am worried about. It is a pregnant female, and a skinny one at that! I fed her some wet cat food.

I am not sure what to do. I really don't want to see that cat have its kittens in the wild. I have been considering two options.

1.) I turn the pregnant cat in to an animal shelter. I will call around and see if there are any "no-kill" shelters in my area.

2.) I take the pregnant cat in to my home. Personally I have never owned a cat, but my apartment and my roommates allow them. I would keep her until she had her kittens, and then turn the mother and her kittens in to a shelter. If I need to take care of them until they are old enough for adoption, I would have no problem.

The thing is, cats are hugely overpopulated in southern Florida. I would not take the mother in to a shelter if I thought there was a possibility that she would be killed due to lack of room in the shelter.

What do you all think? I just want to have the kittens born in a safe place, and all of them (including the mother) to go to a good home.

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Update: I found the mother yesterday in the bushes, with four kittens! The kittens are about 3-4 weeks old. My boyfriend and I caught the kittens with no problem (and without any concern from the mother, either!) but were unable to catch the mother.

So we took the four kittens to the animal shelter. When we arrived at the "pet drop-off" area, an employee informed us that because the kittens were under 2 lbs, they would most likely be put to sleep. Of course my boyfriend and I snatched them back up and took them home.

We bathed the kittens with a flea shampoo and have gotten them to eat solid food. Since the animal shelter cannot take them, I'll be searching for a rescue group in my area.

Just thought I'd give you all an update! :)

23 Replies (last)

There are rescues and shelters with no-kill policies.  Seek one out and give them a call.  :)

Also, I cannot express how much I love your avatar pic.

i wish this wasn't even an option because it sounds so awful, but i wonder if you could find somewhere that would do a spay abort....

i mean, if there is already an overpopulation problem, the kittens chances are pretty bad anyway. then maybe the mother could be adopted out.

ugh, pet over population makes me so sad. just had a woman at the pet store when buying my dog's food the other day bragging to me about how her friend just bred BOTH of his female pit bulls and had like 20 puppies. she was nice and seemed so clueless that i just held my tongue, but i wanted to throw up.

What SSS said.  Call around, but if you get told that there is no room, please keep this info in mind.

There is a huge cat overpopulation problem everywhere.  I have helped with several no-kill shelters and rescues over the years.  It's not professional for them to respond like this, but I will.  Not every animal can be saved.  Most rescues make money by donations and adoption fees.  Believe me, there aren't people just throwing money at them.  It takes hard work and writing grant request after grant request just to stay open. 

Each shelter/rescue has to pick one or two cats to save out of hundreds or even thousands every day.  Each and every day they have people that call them in the same situation you are in.  To get a cat spayed, take care of kittens, get them all spayed/neutered and find homes will be expensive.  They will need to do Felv/FIV tests and vaccinate for both.  The average vetting cost plus spay/neuter where I live is $300.  A low cost clinic still costs $125-$150.  On top of medical cost, there will be food and litter costs while the cat is waiting for a family.  How likely is it that someone will adopt a cat for a fee that is close to the vetting cost?  If your overpopulation problem is as bad as it is where I live, there are free cats/kittens in paper every week.  You can't really go anywhere without seeing signs advertising free kittens.

Some rescues will take a stray cat that needs everything done, and then take a cat found in a shelter or is an owner surrender that is current on vetting.  At least if they try to balance it out that way, they might actually afford to help more animals.  Some rescues will not take feral cats at all.  Some only help ferals. 

Mu suggestion is to call around, but offer to help.  You can offer a donation to help cover costs.  You can offer to foster her until she's ready to find a home.  Fostering is a great option because you can help one cat at a time and stop anytime you'd like.  There's no commitment to the animal.  If nothing else, please do take her to a shelter.  Also, mentioning a feral cat population would help.  There is some funding available in certain areas for catch and release.  The cats would be trapped, altered and put back, but at least they wouldn't be having anymore kittens there.

Good luck!  I hope you are able to get some help.

Original Post by jules817:

i wish this wasn't even an option because it sounds so awful, but i wonder if you could find somewhere that would do a spay abort....

i mean, if there is already an overpopulation problem, the kittens chances are pretty bad anyway. then maybe the mother could be adopted out.

ugh, pet over population makes me so sad. just had a woman at the pet store when buying my dog's food the other day bragging to me about how her friend just bred BOTH of his female pit bulls and had like 20 puppies. she was nice and seemed so clueless that i just held my tongue, but i wanted to throw up.

Almost any low cost clinic will do this at no extra charge.  Unfortunately, this would probably be the most humane thing to do.  Each kitten born will keep another from being adopted.  Either way...something dies.

Jules, the mother is pretty far along, I'm not sure if an abort could be done. She's not just a little swollen, her tummy is swinging around like a sack full of potatoes. Her kittens are coming soon.

Augustnkate, I think I might end up fostering her and her kittens until they are old enough to be adopted out. I think kittens need to be 8 weeks old. I will also ask my local shelters if they will do catch and release in my apartment complex.

My boyfriend and I have discussed (well, pretty much decided) that we will adopt one kitten each from the animal shelter in January. The prices suggest the cat overpopulation: Puppies are $75, Dogs are $60, and Cats/Kittens are two for $35. Pretty big price difference, hmm?

Why don't you keep mama kitty and one of her babies.  One thing you should think about.  What are you going to do if you can't get rid of the kittens?

Original Post by rosieblue:

Why don't you keep mama kitty and one of her babies.  One thing you should think about.  What are you going to do if you can't get rid of the kittens?

Choose one of the babies? Not gonna happen, haha.

I called the animal shelter closest to me, and they said that they would have no problem taking care of her until she has her kittens. They are a no-kill shelter, and they post how many cats they have online, and they have room.

Thanks for all of your suggestions! I will try to catch her and bring her in tomorrow.

You've never owned a cat and are thinking about adopting a feral animal? good luck.

Original Post by muttlover:

Original Post by rosieblue:

Why don't you keep mama kitty and one of her babies.  One thing you should think about.  What are you going to do if you can't get rid of the kittens?

Choose one of the babies? Not gonna happen, haha.

I called the animal shelter closest to me, and they said that they would have no problem taking care of her until she has her kittens. They are a no-kill shelter, and they post how many cats they have online, and they have room.

Thanks for all of your suggestions! I will try to catch her and bring her in tomorrow.

 well that's good news, just be really careful when you catch her that you don't get scratched or bitten! she might not take to kindly to being captured.

I am in Northern California, and our local (no-kill) shelter has a great option that might work for you.  If you promise to feed a feral cat (or an entire colony) they will spay/neuter and release for free.  The notch the ears so that they know the cats have been altered.  I live out in the country, and have caught several wild cats in a humane trap, taken them down to the shelter, and then returned them to the wild.  I feed them once a day at my barn.

This policy has made a huge difference in our feral cat population for the better.

BTW, it is often very difficult to foster a feral cat.  If she hasn't been socialized, she will never really be a good pet.  Her kittens, though, can be a different story.  Good luck!

You people do realize that animals know how to take care of themselves, right? Why do humans insist on forcing animals into shelters where it's 21423498234 times worse than the wild? Just leave her alone.

Original Post by jackattack07:

You people do realize that animals know how to take care of themselves, right? Why do humans insist on forcing animals into shelters where it's 21423498234 times worse than the wild? Just leave her alone.

 because then there will be 21423498234 more of them... at least she could have them spayed and released.

or maybe you like that many cats pissing under your porch?

Ahhhhhhhhh, the smell of male cat urine in the morning. A fine thing I tell you. A fine thing.

Original Post by crazydiamondchrysalis:

Original Post by jackattack07:

You people do realize that animals know how to take care of themselves, right? Why do humans insist on forcing animals into shelters where it's 21423498234 times worse than the wild? Just leave her alone.

 because then there will be 21423498234 more of them... at least she could have them spayed and released.

or maybe you like that many cats pissing under your porch?

You think she's going to pay for all those cats to be spayed? You think a shelter will do it for free?

Most animal shelters will kill the animal, no matter what you ask them to do.

I am a huge fan of domesticated cats, but feral cats are a completely different story.  Cats are not meant to live wild, they are not well adapted to the conditions out there after millions of generations of domestication.  It is bad for the cat, and it is worse for the ecosystem.  They compete with other predators for food, they build up communicable diseases (like rabies), and cause all kinds of problems.

I would never feed a wild animal like a bobcat or coyote or raccoon.  But feeding feral cats that have been neutered/immunized seems like the most humane solution to the damage wild cats are doing.  Keeps them from over-hunting, keeps them from reproducing, and keeps them giving rabies to other wild creatures.

ETA:  My shelter has released 3 feral cats back to me after neutering/immunizing (for free).  Full disclosure -- I adopted 2 cats from them, and routinely support their fundraisers.

Original Post by dkenworthy:

I am a huge fan of domesticated cats, but feral cats are a completely different story.  Cats are not meant to live wild, they are not well adapted to the conditions out there after millions of generations of domestication.  It is bad for the cat, and it is worse for the ecosystem.  They compete with other predators for food, they build up communicable diseases (like rabies), and cause all kinds of problems.

I would never feed a wild animal like a bobcat or coyote or raccoon.  But feeding feral cats that have been neutered/immunized seems like the most humane solution to the damage wild cats are doing.  Keeps them from over-hunting, keeps them from reproducing, and keeps them giving rabies to other wild creatures.

ETA:  My shelter has released 3 feral cats back to me after neutering/immunizing (for free).  Full disclosure -- I adopted 2 cats from them, and routinely support their fundraisers.

This is why I say most. I'm glad you found a good shelter.

Original Post by moonikins:

Ahhhhhhhhh, the smell of male cat urine in the morning. A fine thing I tell you. A fine thing.

I'm pretty sure you're thinking of napalm.

Original Post by jackattack07:

Original Post by crazydiamondchrysalis:

Original Post by jackattack07:

You people do realize that animals know how to take care of themselves, right? Why do humans insist on forcing animals into shelters where it's 21423498234 times worse than the wild? Just leave her alone.

 because then there will be 21423498234 more of them... at least she could have them spayed and released.

or maybe you like that many cats pissing under your porch?

You think she's going to pay for all those cats to be spayed? You think a shelter will do it for free?

Most animal shelters will kill the animal, no matter what you ask them to do.

I just checked. My shelter spays/neuters cats for $15. That's a very affordable price!

When I called up the shelter, I asked if they had the room and extra care that a pregnant cat needed. I said if they didn't have both, that I would be glad to foster the cat. But they reassured me that she would be given all the care she needed.

Original Post by muttlover:

Original Post by jackattack07:

Original Post by crazydiamondchrysalis:

Original Post by jackattack07:

You people do realize that animals know how to take care of themselves, right? Why do humans insist on forcing animals into shelters where it's 21423498234 times worse than the wild? Just leave her alone.

 because then there will be 21423498234 more of them... at least she could have them spayed and released.

or maybe you like that many cats pissing under your porch?

You think she's going to pay for all those cats to be spayed? You think a shelter will do it for free?

Most animal shelters will kill the animal, no matter what you ask them to do.

I just checked. My shelter spays/neuters cats for $15. That's a very affordable price!

When I called up the shelter, I asked if they had the room and extra care that a pregnant cat needed. I said if they didn't have both, that I would be glad to foster the cat. But they reassured me that she would be given all the care she needed.

Yeah that's what they told me when I asked them to look after a cat for me until I could pick it up the next day.. and they killed it.

23 Replies (last)
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