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Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty, Little Ball of Fur

June 11th, 2010

Yesterday morning Mr Chiots and I went kitten hunting in our garage. We wanted to figure out how many we were dealing with and to make sure we had anything off the ground they might get caught up in or injured on. We made up a box as a house for them, although we’re thinking it needs to be smaller and more nest like, so another will be made this week. We managed to catch 4 kittens, 2 gray ones and 2 blackish ones. They’re skittish around people since they’re feral. Two of them were a little calmer, so I held them for a few minutes. We’ll be trying to socialize them with people as often as we can.

The mom is coming around as well. I’ve been trying to stick around when I feed her and she’s now letting me pet her a bit. Yesterday she even rubbed on my legs once. This means she’s feeling much more comfortable around us and hopefully she’ll teach her kittens that we’re OK. This should make her much easier to catch her when it’s time to take her in for spaying.

I called the vet yesterday and they recommended not bringing in mom until the kittens are weaned, which we think will be in 2-3 weeks. We’re guessing the kittens are 5-6 weeks old because of their size and they still have their baby blue eyes (which usually change around 7 wks). By then the kittens will be ready for their first round of shots as well. I’ll talk to the vet since some offices will spay/neuter at 8 weeks and others wait until 4-6 months.

For a while we’re going to have a few more furry friends at Chiot’s Run and we’ll be doing our part by spaying & neutering all of these cats and hopefully finding good homes for a few of them. If these cats hadn’t moves into our garage they would continue to breed at an alarming rate. A female cat can have up to 3 litters of kittens each year giving birth to 2-9 kittens each time. Any female kittens can start having litters as early as 6 months. You can imagine that it doesn’t take long for things to get out of hand. Please take this as a reminder to spay and neuter your pet.

Have you ever had to spay/neuter a stray animal?

34 Comments to “Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty, Little Ball of Fur”
  1. Sarah on June 11, 2010 at 5:56 am

    We live in a condo and have a horrible stray cat problem. Last year they ruined my batch of container gardening and have sprayed all over my back patio. My husband lately has been talking about trying to catch some to get them fixed.

    Reply to Sarah's comment

  2. ellada on June 11, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Hello,
    Beautiful cat :) and fantastic photos.
    - Have you ever had to spay/neuter a stray animal?
    No, but I did for my two cats, and I was so sad, but it was necessary.
    .-= ellada´s last blog ..Une belle surprise – - – Eκπλήξεις – - – A nice surprise =-.

    Reply to ellada's comment

  3. Tree on June 11, 2010 at 8:14 am

    That is so fabulous that you are going to the trouble of doing this for these cats. About a month ago my dogs had a tom cat trapped in the wheat field across from our house. I rescued him – he seemed semi tame – and had him neutered. I kept him in the barn loft in a crate for 5 days, so the other 2 loft cats could get used to him. they have food and water up there, so no need to leave the loft and encounter the dogs. I let him out finally, and he stuck around for about a day. Oh well, he is at least neutered and is up to date for shots for a year!

    Reply to Tree's comment

  4. Sense of Home on June 11, 2010 at 8:41 am

    They are so cute, I’m glad you are planning to spay or neuter them.
    .-= Sense of Home´s last blog ..Bringing the Garden Inside =-.

    Reply to Sense of Home's comment

  5. Paula on June 11, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Love the Big Bang reference LOL.

    My neighbor is “the crazy cat lady”. She has about 30 cats, 27 of them are strays. She feeds them, they hang at her house. Occassionally, they’ll wonder over to my place to eat the scraps I throw out in the ditch.

    One of my dh’s co-workers gets the ferals spayed/neutered for about 10.00. There’s so organization online that sponsors low-cost neutering for ferals, but you’ve got to bring them in a trap.

    Reply to Paula's comment

    • Susy on June 11, 2010 at 9:05 am

      I don’t think we have a low-cost option here, you can get a coupon for $10 to cost from the humane society. You just take this to vet when you get your cat fixed. I haven’t had a pet fixed since Dexter a year and a half ago and I believe it was $60-$80 then. Females are more expensive, it’s been 6 years since I’ve had a female cat spayed so I’m not sure on the cost for that.

      And we LOVE Big Bang Theory, Mr Chiots is quite a geek so it’s right down our alley :)

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Tree on June 11, 2010 at 7:20 pm

        I am missing the big bang theory reference?

        to Tree's comment

      • Susy on June 11, 2010 at 9:01 pm

        The title, it’s the song Sheldon wants Penny to sing to him when he’s sick.

        to Susy's comment

  6. Tree on June 11, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Great that you are doing this. I have never spayed nuetered a wild cat because the cost is prohibative in my area. You can’t even get the humane society to come pick them up (they try to charge you a fee). I did however get my kittens this past Easter from a person not a shelter and I am just about ready to get them spayed (4 months today). I thought about going to the pound or the humane society, but I realized that those kittens are already spayed and I would be doing a better service and paying the same to get kittens that would not otherwise be getting spayed.
    .-= Tree´s last blog ..Attention Rochester New Yorkers! =-.

    Reply to Tree's comment

    • Susy on June 11, 2010 at 9:03 am

      Our humane society doesn’t even take cats. We live in a rural area, so most of the dogs they get are old hunting dogs that have lost their hunting skills and the owners don’t want to pay to put them down so they drop them off at the pound.

      Two of our indoor cats are rescues from a feral cat rescue in Cincinnati. Their mom was feral and was captured to deliver her kittens inside. They socialized the kittens and we adopted 3 of them (2 for us, 1 for my mom).

      Of course a year and half ago Dexter showed up on our doorstep a year old male. We had him neutered right away. People don’t realize how quickly cats can reproduce. They don’t have many natural predators besides dogs/coyotes/large birds of prey so they can quickly get out of control.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. kitsapFG on June 11, 2010 at 9:03 am

    We spay/neuter all our cats and have over the years given homes to many “dumped” cats that people abandon in the country to fend for themselves and who found their way to us if they managed to survive that long. My current cat is one such animal. Arrived on our door step in the dead of winter during a serious wind/snow storm and was so ill, dehydrated, and emaciated, that I thought he would die within a few hours of our taking him in. It took a year for him to become fully well and he has health problems that are lasting effects of the ordeal he went through. Best cat we have had – and we have had many great cats.

    Bless you for taking care of these little souls – mom included.

    Reply to kitsapFG's comment

    • Susy on June 11, 2010 at 9:09 am

      It really irks me that people do such things and can be so irresponsible when it comes to their pets. Our Dexter was dumped in the area and showed up on our doorstep in late Nov during a really cold spell. He was so friendly we knew he was a pet, so we put up fliers hoping to find his owners.

      I’m glad no one claimed him though, because he’s a great addition to the family. He has a personality as big as he is, we really love him.

      I’m hoping I’ll be able to find a few loving homes for a couple of these little kittens. If not I guess we’ll have a few more outdoor cats for a while. Sadly, life expectancy for outdoor cats isn’t very long because conditions can be harsh.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. tigress on June 11, 2010 at 9:39 am

    susy-
    this is so great that you guys are taking care of these stray cats. i lived in miami for some time years ago and it was heartbreaking to see hundreds of stray and sick cats all around. it has cleared up there over the years, thankfully. but i will never forget some of the poor and starving cats i saw. getting them neutered is such a smart thing to do. thanks for this post.

    Reply to tigress's comment

  9. tj on June 11, 2010 at 9:48 am

    …Bazinga! (LOVE Big Bang Theory btw…:o)

    …This is wonderful what you two are doing! I wish more people would realize that this is what responsible pet ownership is. Our local vet even has a sign out front of his office that says, “Please Don’t Litter – Have your pets spayed or neutered”…lol

    …We have 2 rescued cats and 3 rescued dogs. One of our cats, Gabe, a big tomcat was found in the middle of an interstate highway hugging one of the white stripes. I saw a truck up ahead of me swerve and I saw what looked like a white bleach bottle roll to the middle of the lanes and stop, when I got closer I realized it was a little 4 mo. old kitten with a terrified look on his face! Cars were whizzing past him, it was the saddest thing I ever saw. I immediately pulled over to the side and stood to the side of the road waiting for a clear spot in traffic so I could run out to him, I never heard a kitten scream so loudly as I did that day as cars raced past both sides of him. I ran out into the middle of the highway and scooped him up, fortunately he hadn’t been hit altho’ he did have a lil’ blood on his face. I was sure that I was in for a long ride home as I had nothing to place him in in the car so I just placed him in my lap and believe it or not he stayed in my lap the entire time! He even napped for a short time but it was the sweetest thing you ever saw was to see this little face looking up at you with the most expressive look of gratitude and love. He is now 7 years old and the biggest, sweetest lug you’ve ever met! lol…

    …There is one more thing that I want to say and that is to people who think they are doing good by standing out in front of the grocery store with a box of puppies or kittens and that is, DON’T! You have no idea who you are giving these little animals too. Many of these puppies and kittens become bait for dog fighting rings and that means that the precious little kitten or puppy will be strung up on a rope and hung alive for pit bulls to train with! The same goes for people who place ads for a “free dog or cat”…it’s just sad.

    …God bless you two for what you are doing! You both ROCK! ;o)

    …Blessings…

    Reply to tj's comment

  10. mamaraby on June 11, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I don’t know that we’ve ever really seen any stray cats in our area. Then again, we do live in town so it’s not like we’re in prime drop-off grounds. Our humane society does take cats and can at times have quite a few. We got our two fuzzy friends from the humane society last year (already spayed and neutered). I had wanted a dog, but the only dogs they’d let us consider were the huge ones – full of energy and so not what we wanted. Apparently huge dog plus small children is the perfect equation for them?

    So, we got cats at the “two for the price of one” sale (odd that such a thing exists for cats). I’ve really appreciated that they’ve been such a perfect fit for our family – very tolerant of the rough love that comes from young children. We’ve worked really hard at getting the kids to use gentle touches and be respectful of the cats. Still, when Baby M (6mos) grabs a hand full of the male cat’s fur and he looks at her with those slightly bored and bemused eyes? I’m very, very thankful.
    .-= mamaraby´s last blog ..Folk Music Fridays – “Time Burns On” =-.

    Reply to mamaraby's comment

  11. lo on June 11, 2010 at 10:21 am

    We have a set of darling kittens that came from a feral mother who a friend of ours trapped and brought home. She neutered/spayed the mother and all the kittens and painstakingly found homes for all of them.

    Our kittens came to us with a world of issues — and four years later, it’s still evident (sometimes) that they came from a feral litter. But, they’re growing up into lovely little cats, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
    .-= lo´s last blog ..Coriander Lime Ice Cream with Rhubarb Swirl: Celebrating Our Third Burp-day! =-.

    Reply to lo's comment

  12. MAYBELLINE on June 11, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Nope.
    Thanks for being a responsible neighbor.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..Lemon Squash and Support =-.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  13. Katherine on June 11, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr! (I actually sing that to my cats!! :))

    Reply to Katherine's comment

  14. Attia on June 11, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I am so glad you take such a responsible atttitude when you could easily say it’s not your responsibility! Our now 2 year old male (neutered) was a garage born kitten. By the friendliness of his mum, once caught, it seems she had had a home but went stray for some reason. The three kittens were found by a local charity when they were 7-10 days old; they took them and set a trap for the mum, and she was caught 36 hours later and put back with the litter; she continued suckling them (they told us that more than 48 hours would have been too long for her to accept them back) and they were all cared for in luxury until they were all rehomed separately when the babies were 9 1/2 weeks. A happy ending for them but how many don’t get that because of irresponsibility?

    Reply to Attia's comment

    • Susy on June 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      I agree. It’s really sad that people don’t want to be responsible in this area. I guess those of us that take in strays, adopt from shelters and spay/neuter strays take up some of the slack.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. lee on June 11, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    There are too many cats here already so whenever stray cats show up and decide to stay I get them fixed fast. I really really don’t need more cats. :)

    Reply to lee's comment

  16. Ashley on June 11, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Thank goodness for responsible people like you! In my area the humane society is so overrun with cats that they offer a low cost spay/neuter clinic for low income families. it’s $20 for spay/neuter and vaccines.
    My two girls came from a litter from a couple feral cats my neighbor trapped and took in. They definitely still have the feral cat instincts. They attack everything that moves!
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..The funny thing about babies… =-.

    Reply to Ashley's comment

  17. Dan on June 11, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Aw kittens are so cute! We just had a cat show up and it is very friendly. We have taken her in and are hoping she is not pregnant! She is at least a couple years old and weighed under 6lbs, now she is close to 8lbs after a couple weeks. They sure bounce back fast! Here are some photos:

    http://veggiegardenblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/legumes-and-garden-visitor.html

    http://veggiegardenblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/almost-finished-planting.html
    .-= Dan´s last blog ..This & That =-.

    Reply to Dan's comment

  18. Shelly on June 12, 2010 at 7:47 am

    We had a mama cat move into our garage about 3 1/2 years ago. She had a beautiful male kitten with her. AT that point we could not touch her. We later found out that she belonged to our new neighbors. After a time she warmed up to us and would let us pet her on her terms which ment just barely touching her. A few months later she became pregnant. By that time she had moved in with us. The kittens were born in the trunck of my sons project car in our garage. She let us touch her kittens when they were born and we tried to find them all homes. When she started to going in to heat again i told her oweners that I was going to have her fixed as we did not want more kittens in OUR garage. They wer very good about it and even paid half of the cost. We have alway had our animals fixed to prevent unwanted litters.

    Reply to Shelly's comment

  19. Kylee from Our Little Acre on June 12, 2010 at 10:15 am

    As you may know, we’ve “rescued” several cats and kittens at Our Little Acre. Irresponsible people dump them in a nearby cemetery and they make their way to either or neighbor’s house or ours. We try to find homes for them, but many times they’ve already found their “forever home” right here. We have them spayed/neutered and get them shots and treat for fleas.

    I hate when people make their problem my problem. Our county doesn’t have a place to take cats, so we’re left to deal with the problem ourselves. We love cats, but we can only do so much. Bless you for being a responsible person and doing the right thing with these cats! They needed you!
    .-= Kylee from Our Little Acre´s last blog ..Battling Powdery Mildew =-.

    Reply to Kylee from Our Little Acre's comment

    • Susy on June 12, 2010 at 10:28 am

      So true, our county is the same way, no cat rescues. Hopefully we’ll be able to find a few of them homes, I’m thinking our tiny gardens may not support 5 of them (plus I see a few other feral cats roaming around).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  20. Hanna Fushihara on June 13, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    We have TNR-ed many cats. Some went back to where they were living, some came to live with us, some were adopted out, some didn’t make it for one reason or another….it’s rough. Round of applause for you guys for helping these kitties out.

    Reply to Hanna Fushihara's comment

  21. the inadvertent farmer on June 14, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    gotten more strays fixed than I can count! Cats, dogs, llamas, goats…all strays all snipped!

    Lucky for me the camel already came altered, lol! Kim
    .-= the inadvertent farmer´s last blog ..Don’t stick your finger in that socket…Seriously! =-.

    Reply to the inadvertent farmer's comment

  22. Lisa on June 15, 2010 at 1:19 am

    I used to work at an opera company in rural New York state. I lived on a dairy farm that was teeming with barn cats. The farmers were *way* too busy to neuter or spay the cats, but with their permission, I got twenty cats fixed and immunized. This was my project for two summers. It was gratifying how healthy the kitties looked when they weren’t worn out from perpetual pregnancy. Luckily for me, the local SPCA had a barncat program, so I didn’t go broke. The immunizations and spaying were free. I paid for other medical care, like respiratory infections.

    All my cats have been strays. And I’m a huge advcate of spay and release programs.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Tony Award! =-.

    Reply to Lisa's comment

  23. Elaine on June 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Our local animal control has humane traps you can borrow to trap feral cats so you can bring them in for spay/neuter. Might be worth looking into, because it might be tough to catch mama kitty by hand.

    Reply to Elaine's comment

    • Susy on June 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm

      We have a humane trap that we borrowed from my parents.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  24. A Series of Unfortunate Events | Chiot's Run on July 12, 2010 at 4:48 am

    [...] have a long life expectancy because of the environment they live in. It all started a month ago, when mama moved four tiny kittens into our garage. We were happy to have them and were planning on fixing them and finding them homes if they [...]

    Reply to A Series of Unfortunate Events | Chiot’s Run's comment

  25. Not So Feral Anymore | Chiot's Run on September 4, 2010 at 4:48 am

    [...] Mama the resident feral cat that moved her kittens into our garage this summer, has been declassified. She’s longer feral, she’s become a garage cat, or a [...]

    Reply to Not So Feral Anymore | Chiot’s Run's comment

  26. A Sad Day at Chiot’s Run | Chiot's Run on April 28, 2011 at 10:44 am

    [...] posts about Miss Mama Should I Change the Name? The Word is Out Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty, Little Ball of Fur A Series of Unfortunate Events In Case You Were [...]

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