to stop feeding the outdoor cats I have been feeding for a long time?
Here is why I ask....
Since we've taken on the responsibility of caring for Momma, the stray cat who had a litter in our yard 2 summers ago, we"ve had to have a food dish outside so she could eat everyday. Since we have been doing that we have attracted several strays. In the beginning I didn't care who or how many were coming, however now they are starting to create problems. 1st problem is 1 of them attacked Momma and left her with a nasty tail wound that had to be treated and she had to be revaccinated for rabies. 2nd problem is now the nasty, other cat hating, black cat, who has been mia the last year, is back and creating cat fights on my front porch. 3rd problem is the only place I can keep a food dish is on my front porch. There is nowhere else I can put it that it won't be out in the bad weather. It's now in a nice dry corner of the porch. The problem really isn't the location, I don't mind it being there. The real problem is that a cat has now started marking our porch and this morning left a BM right in front of the food dish.
That is not gonna keep happening, I absolutely refuse to deal with that. Momma now spends most of her time indoors since the weather is so bad, so I no longer need to to keep food outside. However, come spring and summertime I am sure she will want to be outdoors again 24/7.
So I was thinking that if I stop feeding them now, by that time they will have found another place to secure food and I won't have to worry about Momma getting hurt. My husband has been wanting to stop for a longtime now but I didn't feel right about doing it. After this mornings "surprise" I am now rethinking it.
I do not think it is cruel at all, but I am not a person who puts food out for feral cats. We have a great organization around me who rounds them all up, does shots, altering, etc. and then releases them back. I would rather give them money then to spend it on the food. I am very allergic to cats, and had alot of problems when I first moved in. I traped several and took them to the humane society who in turn gave them to the feral place. the did relocate them, and thanks to alot of farms around here, the people are happy to have them on their property.
Thanks . I've been wrestling with this for awhile and yesterday's surprise made me realize that it's time. I just feel so guilty because they have come to depend on the food being there. Hell I even feel guilty feeding them cat chow ! There aren't many of them, I only ever see two consistently. But that damn black cat not only fights with them, I think he is responsible for the marking. He doesn't come on a regular basis I don't think anyway.
Momma is very hard to catch. She's been agreeable about coming indoors because of the weather but once it starts to get nice out I'm not sure how it'll go. I guess if I don't leave food out she'll be forced to come in to eat. Or she'll find another home, which would make us sad =[
Yeah, the possum was bad enough, but when the skunk showed up. I was done!
Black Cat (how original is that?) has done quite well with changing to eating in the house. In fact, he comes in every morning when I let the dogs out and eats. Then when the dogs go out again, he is out with them. When I get home from work, he comes in, eats and goes right back out.
Except of course, right now. He practically lives in the house!
I am on the fence on this. You have made her dependent on you by feeding her...it would be cruel to just stop. Also, check with your local animal control. Most counties have a program where they will lend you a humane trap to trap the cats, they will pick them up for spay/neuter at no charge, and then can either adopt them out or bring them back. Just a thought...
We will always care for and feed Momma. That is a forever deal. I had no problems feeding the other 3 cats until they started causing problems. Of course now that it's cold out I don't, but in the nice weather I enjoy sitting on my front porch and I cannot do that if it reeks like cat piss. I think I tolerate more than most when it comes to animals but even I have my limits.
I saw 2 out of the 3 (which I think is 4 now) yesterday and they are skinny. Not bony, but they don't have a nice winter fat reserve on them. So I think I am going to continue feeding them until the warmer weather comes at least. They look like they need whatever they can get just to keep warm. When the warmer weather comes I will re-evaluate the situation and either move the food dish into the wooded area of our property or just stop all together. At least there will be things for them to hunt in the summer.
I haven't looked into the TNR groups around here but I have talked to several rescue groups and they will not help. They are so inundated with cats that they won't take in anymore. They also made me feel like I was a horrible person for not wanting to care for them anymore.