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Added Oct 30 2017

I bought this one on Amazon and we love it, the kitty loves it too. It was only about $45. There are so many feral cats in our area and they keep the rat population to a minimum for us so the least we can do is provide homes for some of them. If you have a covered outdoor area with an outlet you can plug this in, takes very minimal power to run. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ZJOH06/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 here is a picture of the kitty in my backyard enjoying her house.

  • I just bought this too! Can't wait for it to arrive! It has really great reviews so I think this'll be a winner. Thanks for posting the link for everyone.

  • KristinaS New to the area

    Yay Jamie Anne. The kitty took to it right away, I threw some treats to the kitty and after she ate some I let her watch me leave some more in the house. That was it. My yard is now home base for the kitty. She LOVES the house. I left one side/door open (meaning didn't velcro the plastic flap in case it would freak her out) I plan to put it up this weekend to help block more wind. I put down a layer of bricks underneath in case water somehow pooled nearby but wood would probably work just as well. Anyways if I convinced just one person to do this then I'm glad. Hopefully more will do so as well. :)

  • KristinaS New to the area

    I do actually plan to catch this kitty and have him/her spayed/neutered and if she can be socialized I plan to keep her otherwise they will be given a rabies vaccine and she can continue to live in my backyard. If I can move her indoors then I will leave this house up for another kitty etc.....

  • What a great idea. I will order mine today. I didn't see the mama cat this morning, which is odd...but, there are a ton of feral cats around my house, too. I didn't realize that they kept the rat population down. That is wonderful!!! Thanks for posting this.

  • KristinaS New to the area

    Awesome Fabiola! That is great. Although, not great that momma cat didn't show up :( I hope she is ok. I will contact the woman today regarding helping us catch momma cat. Please let me know if she does show up again ok?

  • will do.

  • You guys are GREAT

  • Maybe a dumb question, but how do you keep other animals, like raccoons, from living int he house? I mean, heat is heat.

  • You know.. not a dumb question. I am not sure. I've never had a problem with raccoons though. I'm not sure they prefer ground dwellings, and I don't leave food out at all times. I'm also not sure they are heat-seeking creatures. I don't think it is appealing as someone might think it would be to all wild animals.

  • paul in jefferson jefferson park resident

    Don't forget to feed the kitty.

  • KristinaS I have a cat trap you can borrow to catch the fuzzy butt

  • Two paws up for heated K&H Pet Products.
    Inside the house we have K&H heated pads under the cat beds and our slender, elderly cat gravitates to them. Bought them after her litter-mate passed away and she had no cuddle-buddy to keep her warm. Total WIN!
    And prior to bringing a couple ferals in from outside to live, we used a K&H Outdoor heated pad (complete with metal chew-guard on the cord) with a purr-pad on top in their shelter. They took to it instantly. Found the two inside after a winter 2010-11 blizzard, looking quite content.
    The shelter is still available to animals; sans heater, it's still wind & weather proof. Never had raccoons overnight in it, but have found an opossum twice over years of winters. But once we go make a fuss over them (and they realize they're trapped inside the shelter) they never return.

    Btw, camelcamelcamel/dot/com is a free Amazon price tracker. With the wild fluctuations in price for items like this, it can be very handy tool. You can set the price you're willing to pay for a certain item and receive an email when that item lists at the target price.

  • KristinaS New to the area

    Yes, I do feed the kitty Paul in Jefferson :) and like Jamie Anne I don't leave food out all the time though. Chicago Newbie I just might take you up on borrowing the cat trap. I spoke with a woman who is an expert on feral cats and catching them and she said that really the only way a kitty that's been born outside (feral) has a good chance of becoming an indoor kitty is if it is less than 4 months old and really she said any kitty that is over 10 weeks or so is more challenging and needs to be "rehabilitated", I'm not sure what that entails as I couldn't speak with her long enough yesterday but I will call her for more info AND Fabiola I'm not sure how old the kittens are that you rescued, were they tiny or older, possibly born in the spring? Would you be interested in speaking with this woman who has about 10 years experience? So unfortunately my kitty will probably not be moving inside but I do plan to catch her/him and have them spayed/neutered soon and will continue to provide shelter and food for them. And Fabiola perhaps if we can catch the momma kitty we can have her neutered as well and if you buy that house on Amazon, hopefully she'll stay in your yard? I think Anti Cruelty Society neuters/spays for about $15, perhaps slightly more now?? Chicago Newbie, I'd love to talk with you about catching kitties, is there a way to personally message someone on this site? And Fabiola I'd love to talk to you as well. I don't want us to have to post our email addresses online so not sure how to do this.

  • KristinaS New to the area

    NW sider!! Really!! You had success with bringing feral kitties inside??? :) Do you think they used to be indoor cats? How difficult was it to bring them inside? Curious to find out as the woman I spoke with yesterday said it's near impossible.

  • KristinaS > you can send/receive email thru EB btwn users setup for it:

    To send Email, go to the users profile page; under 'About' on the right, select "Send email" and fill out the form that pops up. If there's no option to send email, then that user's not setup to receive.

    In order to RECEIVE Email, right click on your user icon (URH corner of the page); select "Manage Your Account Settings"; under 'General' on the right, select "Email" to find: CONNECTING WITH NEIGHBORS Allow logged-in EveryBlock users to email you via your public profile page.

  • KristinaS New to the area

    NW Sider, Thank you! So yes, I am set up to receive emails! I will try messaging everyone soon but am at work now and about to get sucked in to actually beginning work any minute now so will try later :)

    I am confused now by what this cat rescue lady told me yesterday about outdoor kitties not being able to transition to being indoor kitties because I get emails from Petraits with cats that are up for adoption and there was just one this morning and it is a momma cat and her 6 kittens, the kittens were already adopted but momma kitty is looking for home and they describe her as a little shy but using litterbox and being affectionate. NW-Sider I'd love to hear your story about bringing inside your feral kitties one day. Not sure if you have time to type out the story or if we can chat someday soon but am curious as to how you did it :)

  • KristinaS... One of the two was born outside spring 2010. After being weaned, it bonded with another outdoor cat, a young adult male, that had decided our yard was "the good life" and was always around. The kitten remained somewhat skittish but we began desensitized it early on when feeding wet food on a paper plate, making it endure our touch in order to get at the food, and that paid off. We brought them inside only over night at first, for just less than a year before bringing them inside for good. The kitten was freaked at first, especially when able to see out through windows (kinda broke our hearts to watch) ... but eventually became adapted to inside, easy life, and doesn't show any interest in going out while we are at the doors. The "feral" instilled by mom-cat to the kitten is something else, still can see traces when it's startled and it will disappear when anyone visits. That young adult cat might have been abandoned by a former owner or amazingly docile by nature, we'll never know.

  • KristinaS New to the area

    Wow, seems like it can be a challenge for sure but gives me hope! The kitty I am caring for is not SUPER freaked out just cautious. She has gotten within 2 feet of me before and I will keep trying my best to get her to trust me more. That is so awesome NW-sider that you were able to get all 3 kitties indoors. Stories like yours make me happy :) Thanks for sharing the details!

  • All my cats over the years were strays, from the age of 4months to a few years old,even a momma cat with kittens.My boyfriend saved momma with 7 kittens. A few were adopted he kept 3 with mom. All 7 kittens were friendly except for 1 which he still has.Maybe he kept too many and the 1 never got socialized well enough.So over the years 1 out of 10 was still feral, I think that's pretty good odds. Keep trying and good luck.

  • If you're a first-timing at bringing outdoor/feral cats into your home, be prepared ...
    They're bound to require treatment for fleas and intestinal parasites. Neither treatment is a big deal, but failing to cover those bases could become an unpleasant ordeal.

  • I think there's always a little confusion between stray cats and feral cats. Stray cats may live outdoors because someone abandoned them or put them outside or they may be somewhat socialized because someone fed them when they were outside as kittens. Those types of cats can generally be brought inside. Some require more socialization that others. Then there are the true feral cats that have never been socialized. They cannot be socialized unless they are very young.

    I street-rescued a pregnant stray cat a number of years back. Thankfully she was stray and not feral. She was shy at first but came around. Sounds like the one that Petraits has. As a side note on what a small world it is...you probably saw pictures recently through petraits of the kittens I'm fostering. (Well kitten now...one was adopted.) The silver tabby was adopted and I still have the calico.

    And as NW-Sider says, be prepared for flea treatment, ear mites, and worms. Revolution covers most of that. And if you have kitties of your own, make sure that you keep them separate until you can test the outdoor kitty for FELV/FIV. (And until the parasites are gone.)

    Tree House used to hold a class 1x per month on TNR, but I'm not sure that they still offer it. I think that PAWS has a class as well.

  • Thanks chi-girl portage park, when I think of stray cats this is what comes to mind
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RxBHRZpIdg

  • KristinaS New to the area

    Thx everyone for all the info!!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can get this kitty inside :)

  • PortageRules Love Portage Park!

    where do feral cats typically go to do there waste business, ie: what do they use as a litter box?

  • KristinaS New to the area

    Chi Girl Portage Park, Is it Turtle Pie or Lily Pad that you are fostering?

  • @Kristina S, I'm fostering Lily Pad!

  • Laurie53 Parkside Neighbor

    Just trapped a feral kitten last weekend and brought her inside. She is 8 weeks old. I have her in her own room in the house as I have other cats. She’s doing great.. using litter box, eating and playing. She lets me pick her up and has started to purr. Yes, it takes a lot of time, but it is worth it. She already has a good home that she will be going to soon. The feral mother cat had been outside for about 5 years now as far as I can remember. Recently trapped her and she is now spayed.

  • KristinaS New to the area

    Chi girl I was so tempted to take Lily pad but my kitty is 11 years old and I think a true kitten is too much for her. That's so great that you are fostering her 😀

    And Laurie! What does the kitten look like? I was trying to track a little grey white kitten that I was worried about, well she is probably 4 or 5 months old now I'm guessing...???? Anyways not sure how close you are to me anyway, chances of it being same kitty are slim I know.

  • Laurie53 Parkside Neighbor

    The kitten I was able to trap and bring indoors is only two months old. We’re on the 4100 block of Parkside.

  • KristinaS. Got your msg, but sadly, No I cannot lend a cage for housing cat/food & water/litter box. If the cat you've rescued is passing solid stool outside the box, pick it up with TP and drop it inside the litter box; it may lead the cat to use the box. But if that cat is spraying, that's a behavioral pattern -- and one I don't know whether you can fix

    I'd suggest snapping a shot or two or three of your rescued cat *THEN* create a totally New Post, including those pictures of the cat, with a short sit-rep and open request to EB Neighbors; maybe others have accessories you could borrow (or possibly have for keeps, depending on the lender/giver).

    Use caution in selecting a playpen/cage. One by Midwest (& an identical one made by ProSelect) can severely injure/maim cats (gullies where cage panels meet can entrap a cat's paw and cut off blood supply). IRIS makes a good one [IRIS Multi-Story Wire Cat Play Pen] that can be had for as little as $80 on the low end of its price swings (flat cat scratcher planks can be used as ramps between levels). And maybe use "MidWest Stainless Steel Snap'y Fit Dog Kennel Bowl" for food and water, attached to the cage wall.

  • If you are having spraying problems and it's behavioral not medical try pheromone spray.It gives a calming effect to the cats. I've used it and it seemed to work

  • KristinaS New to the area

    Thx everyone!! No problems spraying or going out of litter box. For two days she didn't pee or poop anywhere!! I was so worried but finally late yesterday she did both and again this morning all in litter box. Not sure if it helped or not but I picked grass from the spot where I've seen her pee in our yard and perhaps that helped? I did already have that pheromone diffuser going in the room and I set up a baby monitor to watch her. She has been roaming the room using scratching post on cat tree and climbing cat tree, laying on rug in middle of room washing herself 😀 Seems so much more comfortable!! Keeping my fingers crossed this all works out. Thx again everyone for all your suggestions especially you NW sider, your long detailed responses have been sooo appreciated and gave me the confidence to trap her and bring her inside 🙂 So glad she is healthy and also safe inside out of the snow.

  • Laurie53 Parkside Neighbor

    Kristina S and others who help...... thanks so much for taking care of the outdoor/ feral cats. Our recently trapped rescued kitten is going off to her new home today. We have other cats and can’t keep her. It’s a lot of work but well worth it.🐱

  • KristinaS New to the area

    You are awesome Laurie53!!!

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