Problems with wild cats : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We have problems with wild cats and I'm having a moral dilemma. I hate to catch them humanely only to have them killed. I don't have the money to have them all put to sleep or fixed (there are about five), but I hate to dump them out too. My husband only has a 22 caliber rifle and he's not the most accurate shot with a moving target. Have any of you sucessfully solved this kind of problem? They are ruining the insulation under our house!!

-- Vickie Allen (, April 11, 2001


The most humane thing would be to live trap them and turn them over to the local Humane Society. Better than being shot at and possibly just wounded. They at least have a chance at being adopted...and even if they aren't they'll be killed swiftly. It is a dilema but that's what I would suggest. Being wild they can also harbor diseases that are transmitable to humans and domestic pets. You can probably get a live trap cage from the animal shelter to use. Don't beat yourself up about it....the ones who should be doing that are the ones who left them or their parents in the first place.

-- Deborah (, April 11, 2001.

if you can get ahold of any connibear traps. #220's work great for cats, they dont even know what hit them. I had a major problem with cats (and dogs) after I moved here.

-- stan (, April 11, 2001.

Animal control is too busy to catch cats,, and Humane Soiceity,, I dont realy think is so Humane,, live traping is a pain for some stray cats, better to dispatch them quick,, and dig a hole

-- stan (, April 11, 2001.

We have a program called spay and neuter now .After a year of searching I found out they will fixed and give a rabies shot to "barn Cats" for $15.00 .Look around and keep asking.

-- Patty {NY State} (, April 12, 2001.

Anyone reading this should ask themselves: are all my cats neutered? Feral cats are usually just pets (and their offspring) who never got fixed, and who eventually moved further & further away from their human caretakers. A pet cat can go feral in no time flat, if it is not cared for or if it finds the woods more appealing than the house. A litter of barn kittens is not far removed from a litter of feral kittens. Say one or two of the more skittish barn kittens take to the woods...there you go, a feral cat population waiting to explode. Anyone who is keeping un-neutered cats is contributing to the problem. I'm probably preaching to the choir on this, since it seems like most CS'ers are responsible pet owners...but, if you are reading this and you feel yourself getting P.O.'d or defensive...I'd bet you've got an un-neutered cat in your possession, one who either has or will contribute to this whole feral cat/overpopulation disaster!

-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (, April 12, 2001.

I appreciate all the responses and all the advice. I am currently looking for a good trap. Shannon I know what your saying about responsibility. I try to be a responsible pet owner. The original cat that this started from was a stray on our property when we got there. Her name is Annie and she was very friendly. She was so skinny I didn't realize she was pregnant until she wasn't thin one day and it looked like she had been sweating, her hair was wet etc. I went looking for kittens and found a pile of five kittens. We raised them and found a home for two and the other three I started getting shots and getting fixed when they were 6 mos. old. Except for one female who would allow us to pet her but when we tried to pick her up she went nuts. We finally got her in a live trap but it was an old one (borrowed)and the door didn't latch. When I picked it up the door fell inward, our dog barked and needless to say she split!!! I tried another trap (borrowed) but by then she was on to me. So...three litters later some have disappeared to become coyote food or whatever but all of her kittens are skittish and wild because they were raised like barn cats. Believe me as I catch them I get them fixed and shots but this is getting expensive. I don't want to dump them out and I feel responsible so I feel like having them put to sleep is the most humane thing I can do. Unless of course you would like them. Sometimes even though we try to be responsible for our pets our neighbors aren't. They move and leave unwanted pets to perish or fend for themselves. So as a warm hearted animal lover what do you do? Take care of other peoples mistakes? Remember this all started with one stray cat left on my property by the former owner. I AM TRYING!!!

-- Vickie Allen (, April 12, 2001.

Hi Vickie, I definitely was not being critical of anything you've done. Sounds like you are doing the very best you can. I was speaking more to the folks who see nothing wrong with keeping un-fixed barn cats, and who think that having a bunch of kittens around is "cute" or is just a part of farm life. The folks who just don't get it! Doesn't sound like you are in that category. If it were me, I'd probably do the trap/neuter/release method, or trap and euthanize (via Animal Control). It's unfair that you are forced to do the dirty work of the people who abandoned the original cat, but hey, what else is new? People like us are always cleaning up after people like them.

-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (, April 12, 2001.

I rather hate even suggesting this. Are there any no-kill shelters around you that would help out? I know there is one in the Chicago area, and another in California, who are very good at helping out in situations like this, will even come out and help you trap/catch the animals and remove them to their facilities. They're all overworked and understaffed, and trying to make ends meet month to month, but it may be the best chance for a humane solution to your problem. Some of them even have luck with socializing the feral cats and finding them homes. It may be your best way out of the dilema.

Otherwise, can you lure the cats out with yummy stuff (some cooked liver always seems to get them, or some nice stinky type fish like tuna or mackeral) and then staple up some chicken wire around the bottom of your house to keep them out of there? (if you spray paint it black while it's on the roll, it's almost invisible)

-- julie f. (, April 12, 2001.

What do zebra mussels, fire ants, kudzu, killer bees, and feral cats all have in common? They are a noxious intoduced species that plays havoc with the native animals. I teach biology and ecology and spend many hours walking in the woods I can't begin to tell you the devastation caused to native wildlife by house cats the number of baby birds, rabbits etc killed is tremendous. I won't go into all the reasons why the house cats is so bad but one thing is irresponsible owners who kept half feral cats which allows them to keep artificially high numbers they are so thick there might be 100 house cats living in the area that naturally would be the territory of 1 native bobcat or fox. It is also true that the humane society is not so humane a terrified cat in a cage killed by the so called humane society would have been better off killed quickly by you with a 22 or a connibar trap. I think cats are a terrible intoduced species but no animal should suffer needlessly jkg

-- jason godsey (, April 17, 2001.

I'm with you Shannon and my sympathy is with you Vikie. My soapbox may come out because this is an issue near and dear to my heart. Feral cats are a problem. They don't live healthy or full lives but they do reproduce! Maybe if your husband isn't a good shot a friend is? As for trapping, be very careful where the trap is set or you may catch something besides the intended target. (Wouldn't you like to find the person who started this problem? Maybe a live trap for humans???) It makes me sick to hear people talk about letting their cats go, the healthy ones survive, blah, blah ,blah. A live trap with good bait sounds like a good idea. Make sure (ha-ha) she doesn't have a recent litter. My best wishes for a resolution to your problem. There is no good answer to this one.

-- T. Burnash (, April 17, 2001.

I am having a terrible time, too, Vickie. My bird population has diminshed something awful the last few weeks and I am afraid that one of the strays got the baby squirrel, as I haven't seen him in two days. I did catch one and the mgr of the area where we live did take it off. We have called animal control and they are very good. All the cats get taken to the shelter and he said most get adopted. I feel bad too, having to trap them, but when it comes to having cats vs my birds, the cats just have to go. Seeing my beautiful male cardinals dead and in perfect shape, means the cats are not killing them to eat them, but are using them for sport and that is enough for me. Good luck in your endeavors at solving this problem. Let us know how things turn out for you...Dee

-- Dee (, April 18, 2001.

Pets don't have rights. Pet owners incur responsibilities to the pet, to their neighbors, and to wildlife. These responsibilities are to provide the pet with a good home, to keep it at home under control at all times, and to keep it from slaughtering wildlife.

The CATS INDOORS! campaign is endorsed by the Humane Society, the Audabon Society and many other organizations. The URL is:

-- David Kolasa (, July 19, 2001.

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