Feral cats

40 Replies

The property I recently acquired has two feral cats living underneath it.  One is blind.  I'm a big ole softy and the thought of calling Animal Control and knowing they are probably as good as goners if I do, breaks my heart.  Go ahead and laugh if you want.  ;)

At any rate, PAWS will rent me a rather expensive trap, which I am loathe to pay even with my great big heart.  Does anyone have a (reasonably humane) suggestion for me?

Thanks!

kitty treats with lots of Tylenol mixed in. Ok, seriously.  Since this is a crawl space house, there is obviously at least one access point where they can get in...likely the one designed for a human to use.   Make sure any other possible access point is sealed off.  Then, for the main one that is left, get some plywood or similar material and board it up to seal it off as well.  This is temporary...somewhat, as you need to be able to remove it to access the crawl space as needed.  Go to a big box store and buy a cat/doggy door.  Get the type that lets you lock it.  They generally have 4 settings.  Either totally open so pets can come and go as they like, totally locked so they can't, or locked in one direction so they can go one way, but can't go back. Cut out a hole as needed to install it in the new barricade, low enough so the cats can walk through.  Set it so they can get out, but can't get back in. Set food and water outside if you want.  Then just sit back and wait.  Eventually they will all come out and not be able to get back in.  

How about using the local cat rescue?

http://www.meowcatrescue.org/

Lol. I read this and I knew I had to chime in. I don't go to my rehab projects very often, but I stopped by one of them this week. Marc, one of my project managers likes to think he is an outdoorsman, so he set some traps (actually to catch crackhead thieves) but ended up with a different catch.

Hilarious 2 minutes: http://youtu.be/hl1wp5vvORU

Oh, and to answer your question, my humane solution to you would be do the OPPOSITE of what you see in the video. 

i had some racoons living in my soffit.  I threw some ammonia soaked tennis balls in.  They left.  Sposed to be uncomfortable so they leave not die in my soffit.  Burned my eyes but seemed to be good eviction notice

Put a bunch of Moth balls in there some animals don't like the smell and will leave.

It works for raccoons & skunks. I assume it will work in this situation as well.

Check in your area for a feral cat spay/neuter program. In many areas, if you can catch 'em, the program will provide neutering (sometimes shots, too). Then they can resume their lives - cats are territorial, so having non-breeders in place will discourage others (breeders!) from moving in.

Catching them will take a bit of doing - buy or better yet, borrow a humane trap (Have-a-Heart or something similar). But don't try & catch them until you have a place to take them - a feral cat in a trap is a hurricane in a box!

I've used box traps (reasonably priced at Tractor Supply) baited with tuna successfully. 

@Steve Babiak   - Thank you, but I'll have to use one where the house is located, which is in Aberdeen, WA.  Here in Kirkland area we have lots of great resources, but in a depressed area like Aberdeen the resources are quite limited.

@Kathleen Leary   - I think that's the best idea.  PAWS has a Have a Heart safety catch box for rent, but it's nowhere near the location of the house.  I have a contractor staying there while he's fixing it up.  He can set the trap and check it every hour.  Then, when the cats are caught, he can take them to the local animal control.  Unfortunately, to return the humane catch trap, I have to take it from Aberdeen to Lynnwood, which is about a 250 mile round trip.  *coughs*  Was hoping Aberdeen had a better solution.  

I am considering hiring a wildlife specialist to catch the cats, but the websites I've looked at after Googling "feral cats Aberdeen WA" returned some fellas who are not unlike Dale on King of the Hill.  WOW

@Andy M.  - hahahahhahaha!  Whoooo boy!

Originally posted by @Gwen B.:

@Steve Babiak   - Thank you, but I'll have to use one where the house is located, which is in Aberdeen, WA.  Here in Kirkland area we have lots of great resources, but in a depressed area like Aberdeen the resources are quite limited.

@Kathleen Leary   - I think that's the best idea.  PAWS has a Have a Heart safety catch box for rent, but it's nowhere near the location of the house.  I have a contractor staying there while he's fixing it up.  He can set the trap and check it every hour.  Then, when the cats are caught, he can take them to the local animal control.  Unfortunately, to return the humane catch trap, I have to take it from Aberdeen to Lynnwood, which is about a 250 mile round trip.  *coughs*  Was hoping Aberdeen had a better solution.  

I am considering hiring a wildlife specialist to catch the cats, but the websites I've looked at after Googling "feral cats Aberdeen WA" returned some fellas who are not unlike Dale on King of the Hill.  WOW

 @Brandon Turner, any ideas?

Originally posted by @Gwen B.:

@Andy M.  - hahahahhahaha!  Whoooo boy!

 Crack heads fear him. 

@Jon Klaus   - Really hoping it doesn't come to that!  LOL.  

Just hoping we can lure the cats out, especially the blind one, which will be difficult.  Then contractor can board up the crawl space where they snuck in.  Sort of wondering if the feral cats will be easier to deal with than raccoons would be?  That's what we assumed were in there until contractor got a good look at them.

@Steve Babiak   - PAWS of Grays Harbor is open two days a week, Wednesday and Saturday.  I've contacted them and left a message already.  What I'm not seeing on their site is the trap information.  That information is on the regular PAWS site.  Believe me, if it was that easy, I'd have it done by now.  Thanks, though.  Maybe it will be good news when PAWSGH.org gets back to me.  I'll be sure to let you know.

There may be a feral cat protection group in your area.  There is a very active one in Indianapolis that provides protection.  

Originally posted by @George Helms:

There may be a feral cat protection group in your area.  There is a very active one in Indianapolis that provides protection.  

 I assume they spay and neuter, but what else?  They aren't exactly adoptable. 

It is sort of a drag.  I need to get this house fixed up and ready to rent by Nov 1 to beat the holidays.  Pretty sure I'll get the cats taken care of this week, but I'm going to have to take a day and drive down there.  Just hoping Grays Harbor PAWS will get back to me quickly.  It seems like a small operation, if phones / office hours are only operated by volunteers two days a week.

Hey sorry for the delay in getting to this! 

Account Closed - we've had this problem as well and there is nothing good around the harbor to deal with it other than to simply block the cats from being on your property and they will go elsewhere. PAWS might do something, but as you can tell, they are not the most efficient or well funded group, so I wouldn't rely on it. 

And I didn't know you bought a property down here in my neck of the woods! That's exciting! What's the story? 

Hi @Brandon Turner !  Sounds like we have similar experience in Aberdeen!  It's a great place to get started investing, as housing prices are low, but many people still can't afford to buy.  They appreciate a safe, clean, cute little house they can afford to rent.  I sort of stumbled into it unintentionally.  I received the house in lieu of monies owed to me.  Beats the heck out of going to court!  I'll tell you the story in person at the BP Meetup tomorrow.

The story of the feral cats - I have a contractor staying at the house while fixing it up for rent.  The cats seem to have more than one place they are staying, or maybe they went out to hunt, but one morning they were gone.  Contractor boarded up the crawl space.  Problem sort of solved.  My problem is solved, but I do worry about the cats.  I told him if he sees them again to try and trap them and to take them in for spay/neuter release.

Home Depot has a variety of Havaheart safety humane traps, and they are reasonably cheap.  Easy enough to pick one up for $60-$80.  Bummer that PAWS, Humane Society, and the local animal control are all so unhelpful, but assuming that's the nature of the area.  No worries.  Between contractor and self, they will be humanely handled.

Which brings me to the next step - getting the house ready and rented by Nov 1.  What's been your experience getting houses rented this time of year?  I figure the holidays are going to be more difficult than renting it in June.

Account Closed - wondering same thing nov 1 what kind of renters - divorce new job - thinking not as good of tenants who wants to move cold here and thanksgiving Christmas

I am viewing property today and paying utilities with no ggod renters.  may try to push back closing to jan for tax reasons and above

chuckling little bit how many posts kitty kats have gotten

Hey Account Closed - It's been okay - the real slowdown typically hits in December, so Nov1 you should be alright. (At least I hope so - I'll have a few!) 

@Brandon Turner - Good to know someone in the area!  Thanks for the info.  I think it should be alright, but it won't kill me financially if I have to wait a couple months of screening to achieve the right tenants.  Curious to know what kind of tenants you usually get there.  Hoping for a nice older couple.  Fixing up to attract that sort, but within a budget.  I can't see investing $20k into a house worth $28k.  LOL.  That's the tax assessment value.  Actual sales price would probably be closer to $17k.  Anyway, the debt to me is now cleared and I have a foot in the door in that area.  I actually really like it down there.  Montesano is lovely!  I am toying with the idea of retiring there when my kids have grown.

@Kirk R.   - How's biz in Illinois right now?  They had that big airport shutdown.  Did that affect you?  Lame when renters don't pay their closing bills, because *guess who* gets stuck paying it!  I haven't seen a lot of kitty cat posts.  So I'm not the only one, and feral cats are a regular thing?  Hmmmm.  Wonder why?  

My experience is that it's difficult at this time of the year.  In fact, it's enough difficult that we try to have our leases timed with spring or summer.  Sometimes you can't avoid it though.  Our experience has been that the tenant quality is lower, so make sure you screen carefully.

BTW, on the cats.  I've hire critter companies quite a few times to get rid of raccoons.  They're expensive, but they get the job done.  Sometimes they use a trap of the type you can get at Home Depot as you mentioned.  The problem is it's not easy to lure the right critter!

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