Cat dilemma

There is a female stray cat outside that I’ve been feeding for several months. She is quite pretty – black with big green eyes. Her downfall is that she has never been fixed and is constantly getting pregnant. She had kittens last fall, but we didn’t see them until they were almost weaned. Only one survived and we fed him regularly until he disappeared a few weeks ago.

Momma Cat got pregnant a couple of months ago and had her kittens in an undisclosed location. A few of the neighbors reported seeing kittens following her around, but we never saw any of them. It would seem that these kittens suffered the same fate as the previous litter.

This evening, I looked out the back door to see her mating with a strange male cat in the neighbor’s yard. I know she needs to be fixed, but we would have to trap her in order to take her to the vet, and to be honest, I don’t want to spend that kind of money on a cat that I really don’t want in the first place.

The three cats that we have inside are enough to deal with. There is constantly something to do – like cleaning up cat vomit, scooping litter boxes, vacuuming up clumps of fur, and trying to keep them from doing things they aren’t supposed to be doing. It’s also expensive to have three pets, when one considers the costs of veterinarian visits, flea and tick medication, litter, and quality pet food.

The outside cat uses the bathroom in the yard and the gravel driveway (which means that we are constantly having to evade piles of smelly poop), she kills songbirds and leaves their half-eaten carcasses lying around the back patio, and she scares off our usual backyard inhabitants. We know she is to blame for this being the first year that bluebirds didn’t nest in the house we provide for them.

Our vet has also warned us about the dangers of having outdoor cats in close proximity to our exclusively-indoor cats. He said that not only could fleas and ticks pass through the cracks around the back door, but that my indoor cats could actually catch deadly diseases from the cats outside.

So, now, I don’t know what to do. I know if we trap her and take her in for spaying that we will still have to care for her when she returns. I know if we take her to the animal shelter that her days will be numbered. I know that three indoor cats is more than enough and I don’t want an outdoor pet. I know that I have absolutely no idea what to do at this point.

Any suggestions?

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Comments

Jessica
Reply

Do you have any local Humane Societies? The one near us takes them, give them shots, has them spayed or neutered and then puts them up for adoption at a local Petsmart. That is how we ended up with all three of our cats.

Brian
Reply

@ Jessica: We do, but they are so full of unwanted animals right now that the chances of her making it to Petsmart are not good. I don’t think any of the shelters in our area are no-kill, either.

ashley
Reply

Maybe ask around at your church/work to see if anyone wants a cat? It’s a tough situation for you because it is dangerous for your cats. There are lots of people who love cats and will take one in if they have no home. Also, I don’t know about where you live, but the Humane Society here has a partnership with several area vets who will spay/neuter for $50–that’s worth looking in to, I think.

Mitch
Reply

Give it to Pup.

Brian
Reply

@ Ashley: I’m not sure if there is a program like that in our small town, but I’ll look into it. Even if there is, it doesn’t solve the problem of not wanting an outdoor cat. You wouldn’t believe how many cats have appeared in our yard since we started feeding this one. It’s like they tell one another about the food!

@ Mitch: Great idea, but I think we both know what would happen to her. :P

Mike
Reply

As much as I hate the thought of euthanizing an innocent animal, giving her to the shelter might be your best option. At least it might give her a better chance at adoption than just wandering the neighborhood. And the other thing I was thinking is that it might be more merciful if that’s the outcome….how many more feral cats will she breed that won’t get a home or properly taken care of?

There’s no good option here, but maybe the shelter is the least-worst.

Karen
Reply

What about the no-kill shelter across the river in Met**s?

Brian
Reply

We have a wonderful solution to this “problem” – Honey’s parents have decided that they want to take her as their outside pet!

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