View Full Version : Help!!! (Gracie)

02-13-2003, 08:53 PM
I need help...

The Humane Society we volunteer at is not set up to handle ferals, but gave me the number for our local Concerned People for Animals. After talking with them, they don't have any place to house ferals and rely on fostering or catch/alter/release.

I have two problems, we can't foster her here, our cats would go insane. And...there is no one at work that wants to care for her...and, our building is closing down (and most likely will be demolished) in a year. I'm leaving in May.

I am looking at a few sites I found online, but most are involved only with catch/alter/release.

Does anyone have any ideas??? I'm really worried for Gracie.

02-13-2003, 09:06 PM
My experience with ferals is that they need to be released and NOT re-homed like the normal stray cat. That is not to say that you cannot re-home them, but chances are they are much happier being out there, on the roam. I know that sounds so contrary to how we feel cats should live, but it is true. The ferals around my neighborhood are generation after generation of ferals. They would never tolerate humans touching them. We capture them, spay/neuter and release. I am in the country and that may be very different than where you live. I just want you to know that some ferals are much happier (not safer) being free and left on their own.

I am sure some folks differently.

Real ferals are a breed of their own.


02-13-2003, 09:10 PM
Originally posted by sasvermont
I just want you to know that some ferals are much happier (not safer) being free and left on their own.

I have no doubt that she would much rather remain on her own. I'm just worried what will happen when the building is destroyed. Do you think moving her is a possibility??? I just want her to be safe.

The area we are in is suburban with smaller office buildings, nothing larger than two or three stories. There are some luxury condos not too far away and I wonder if that's where she came from. :(

Wait, what is the difference between feral and stray? She does come out and lay in the sun when people are out....but wont come up to them. She's been out when I came to feed her and she made sure we were a safe distance apart. Do you think she could be a stray?

02-13-2003, 09:24 PM
I found out the difference between stray and feral:
3. Q: How can I tell if the cats are stray or feral?

A: Observe the cat's appearance and behavior. A stray cat is likely to approach you, although usually not close enough for you to touch him. If you put food down, a stray cat will likely start to eat it right away. A stray cat is often vocal, sometimes talking insistently, and may look disheveled, as if unused to dealing with conditions on the street. A stray cat may be seen at all hours of the day.

A feral cat is silent, will not approach humans, and generally will be seen only from dusk to dawn, unless extraordinarily hungry and foraging for food. A feral cat has adapted to conditions and is likely to appear well groomed. If you put food down for a feral cat, he will wait until you move away from the area before approaching the food.

Gracie is:
Well groomed (feral)
Eats as soon as I leave the food (stray)
Quiet (feral)
Out during all hours (stray)

So...what do you think? Stray or Feral?

02-13-2003, 09:28 PM
Originally posted by NoahsMommy

Wait, what is the difference between feral and stray? She does come out and lay in the sun when people are out....but wont come up to them. She's been out when I came to feed her and she made sure we were a safe distance apart. Do you think she could be a stray? [/COLOR]
i looked up feral, and it says "wild or untamed; brutal or savage"

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
02-14-2003, 04:16 PM
Ok, I know I responded to this - what happened to it? I'll see if I can find it, otherwise I'll retype it. :rolleyes:

Ok, nevermind, my response is in Cat General.

Here it is:

To me it sounds like she's a stray and is just shy of people at this time. If you live in a small apartment, this might be kind of difficult, especially since you already have your four kitties there, but if you trap her, maybe you could bring her home temporarily, just to reacclimate her to having people around. Then when she's ready, you could take her to your shelter to find her forever home. Seems like she would get used to people again, but would need to be trapped and forced into it.

I hope others have better suggestions, but that's all I could think of right now. I wish you luck in whatever course of action you take.

02-14-2003, 06:41 PM
Maybe someone needs a barn cat, after she's spayed? She could then have minimal contact with people if she chooses, but still have a warm place to sleep. Most barn cats I know or have known still get regular meals and vet care, but they are working cats. Barns always are in need of a good mouser.

02-16-2003, 11:32 AM
Unfortunatley, I don't know of any barns around here. I'm in Southern California, and while we do have a lot of agriculture, no barns.

Yesterday, we determined she is a stray...so we can find a home for her!! Yay!! :D

02-18-2003, 06:35 PM
Strays are so much easier to place than ferals. Feral cats once used to be someone's pet. But because they were dumped to fend for themselves by their irresponsible pet owners and revert back to being feral, they do not trust humans. That's why you will not be able to pet them.

The only humane thing for a feral cat is to trap, neuter and release it and provide it with a shelter made out of a Rubbermaid 20 gal tub with lid, food and water. Unfortunately, those are the hard facts.

03-07-2003, 09:40 PM
This distinction between feral and stray is really interesting to me. Like Noah's mommy, I don't know if I can firmly put Minnie in either group. She won't eat in my presence, she will let me pet her (after months and months), she won't readily come by me..in fact, she has never approached me, and she is well groomed..course, she lives in my closet. I don't know what she is, besides what I term her: semi-feral....

L. Wayne
03-08-2003, 05:49 AM
Noah's Mommy, thanks for the definition between the two types- the ferals and strays. This is something that was "blurred" in my mind, as I hadn't given it much thought.


smokey the elder
03-08-2003, 08:05 AM
My Pixel is like Minnie. She likes to be around people, and very rarely will accept a scritch from my S.O. but that's it. She's well-groomed and eats well, but I'd have to trap her to take her to the vet.

03-08-2003, 06:59 PM
This is a great post by the way! I have always wondered the same! I think I am quickly learning the difference through my own experiences!

For example ... a few of you may remember a few months back I volunteered to house a feral kitten .... well, that kitten was absolutely the wildest thing I could ever imagine! He literally would goes nuts and bounce off the walls of our kennel! He yowled and howled, and ran and jump, I was so afraid he would hurt himself, or me too. Needless to say, he ultimately was taken to a wonderful Animal Sanctuary (after being neutered) to live out his days!

Now .... as of the past two days since I have aggresively begun my rescue mission .... I have a litter of 3 older kittens who were born and left outside to fend for themselves! Day one, one of them immediately escaped and only was seen in my yard after dark looking for his siblings and food. Kitty number 2 was very scared but would let me pet him and even purr. Kitty #3 was extremely scared and would pant heavily when I picked him up ... but would not attempt to hurt me. Now on Day 3 .... we finally were able to catch #1 ... who fought like heck when I grabbed him ... and is still hiding ... but when I pet him, he allows it...doesn't attempt to hurt me ... so good signs from him! Kitten #2 is a big cuddle baby now! Kitten #3 , though still very scared and catious ... has started wandering around and even PURRED when I petted him today!

So....... I would say these 3 qualify as STRAYS! Just dumped at a young age, but very willing to be loved by the right caring humans!!!


K & L
03-08-2003, 07:15 PM
Have you checked out this site:


We work with ferals daily. We TNR but only where there is someone that will be providing food and water for the cats. You can relocate them, but there is a process to follow to do this. There are many no-kill shelters, do you have any in your area? http://www.saveourstrays.com/no-kill.htm

I don't think it would be a wise decision to release the cat to the area where the building will be demolished.

Ferals can become tame and a pet. We have 17 at home that were feral at one time. It just takes patience.

Contact Alley Cat Allies and tell them your situation, they may have suggestions or places to recommend to contact. Good Luck! Let us know what happens.