Outside Cat(s) Left Alone?

alikat33October 9, 2012

First time poster, but love the home/garden forums. Figured this would be best forum for this particular question.

We have a camp out in the swamps of South Louisiana that we go to almost every weekend. There's a tom cat in the area that I feed and although he may be 'wild', he loves to be petted. I'd like to get another cat, but would like the cat to be fixed as I don't want a zillion cats running around as it's not good for them. My plans are to get an automated feeder for them. I had thought about putting a cat door in the garage area so they can escape from any predators, but honestly, the tom cat has been out there for several years (i'm guessing) and seems like he's been fine. (has even gone through hurricanes)

I was thinking a cat from the pound that has had it's shots/fixed. Would this be cruel to only be there on the weekends for these cats? (especially the new cat)

I love cats and it's also good pest control. Can this be done? I'm going back and forth about it.

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I think its a horrid idea, get a cat then set it loose to become feral.It could get run over, prey to larger predators. jeeeez some people have terrible ideas about what being a pet owner is! This is down right cruel and abusive.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 9:25PM
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it's fine to do that. A lot of cats have worse lives than that. You're on the right track to make sure they're BOTH neutered.
We had a feral female we fixed after many litters, she lived approx. 6 yrs outside, with us feeding her twice a day. She was a sweet happy feral cat. But she was feral till she died, we never could get closer than 2-3 feet to her. I never petted her, wish I had a chance to.

An entrance to a sheltered area is a good idea. Make sure no other critters are coming into the garage. You can make them a nest area in the garage, best to use straw rather than blankets/fabric. Straw can be changed out occasionally, and blankets can harbor fleas, etc.

The area you may hit snags in is feeding. As long as no critters find the automatic feeder, you're in good shape. If the food gets bugs or an animal finds the food, that could be bad. You don't want them to only have access to food that's infested with bugs (we had a huge problem w/that at one time which we solved by feeding in disposable bowls that we tossed out daily after meals, which won't work for you) or to have a critter at the feeding area that could fight them, ie raccoon, porcupine, etc. (Not even sure if those animals fight but it's something I'd consider). So you may need to be creative there.
If you can touch the cat, you can give it flea treatment if necessary, too.

If you go to http://www.alleycat.org/, there's a lot of info on successfully hosting feral cats. Neutering is key. Please consider fixing the tom too. Ask for neutering help from your local humane society, they often have low/no cost clinics for ferals. If you have to pay out of pocket, at least fixing a male is inexpensive. Thanks for caring for a feral cat.

If after some time passes, you're missing/worrying about them when you're back home, you may end up taking them home & bringing them along when you go to camp, and let them roam those times. Then you'll want to be sure they're both vaccinated & flea-free.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alley cat allies

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 11:58AM
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This person states she wants to get another cat to let loose! Feral and living like this yes its fine but to purposely go get a cat to let it live as a feral is not ok in my book..Guess we are not on the same page

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:15PM
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you got that right gardenandcats.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 11:53AM
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arrgggh I wish there was an edit function. Gardenandcats, I hope you understood my response was that yes we are not on the same page. Sorry if I was unclear. I believe it is acceptable for OP to acquire a cat for outdoor life.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 11:11AM
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Terrible, terrible idea!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 9:33PM
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