Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Winter Feeding Station for Feral Cats

Whenever the weather is cold or snowing it is important to have a feeding station that will keep the food from getting wet. It is also important to keep to your feeding schedule because the cats are dependent upon you.
Cat in winter

On chilly mornings in winter it is easy to think that it is too cold to go feed the feral cats, but you should know that these cats are accustomed to a certain feeding time and they will come out of their warm and safe shelters to go to the feeding station. If food is not there they will sit and wait, waiting could cause these cats to develop frostbite so if you feed the cats at 6 in the morning then keep to your schedule through the winter season, the cats are dependent upon you for food and water.
Insulated wooden feeding station 

This morning it was a chilly 37 degrees Fahrenheit and even though I would have preferred staying in bed all cozy under the down comforter I got up at 5:30AM and put on my winter hoodie and my insulated hiking boots. Then took to the trail to hike to the feral cats feeding station.

The feeding station is a wooden insulated box with an entrance and an exit and it is elevated so that rain water does not pour into the box. . I also have a feeding station set up in my yard for the stray and feral cats that frequent my shelter in the shed and a station in the woods.

Two bowls are set inside the feeding station for dry kibble food and water. Two cats can fit inside the box. Food is never left in the feeding station as it would attract predators. I feed the feral cats twice a day, 6 AM and 4 PM.

Know that if there is snow, you must still feed the cats, if you cannot get to them then they cannot get to you so take your snow shovel and clear a path to the cats. Here are photos of my feral cat feeding station in my yard and of the path we cleared in winter to get to the cats at the colony.
Pathe we cleared to cat colony

You can make a feeding station from a plastic storage container and styrofoam insert for insulation. Follow directions for a shelter, but instead of cutting for one entrance, add an exit also. No straw needed, this is for food and water. The insulation is helpful as it will aid in preventing the food / water from freezing.  I found this video at and think the directions are easy to follow.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Why Cats Should Live Indoors

This week I was asked if I thought it was best for the cat to live indoors and
normally I would say yes to this because so many cats are left out of the house with NO supervision and these cats are in danger of being chased by a dog, tormented by people and getting into fights with cats that are diseased; Feline Leukemia or Feline Immunodeficiency.

When a cat lives indoors one does not have to worry about a cats outdoor behavior. Cats are more aggressive when living outdoors. They have to be cautious at all times.

I have heard both sides this topic and what I heard was positive and the negative. Many people believe that cats are meant to go outside to urinate and to have access to nutritious grass. That a walk around the block for a cat keeps them happier and healthier. Other pet owners told me that “when I go to work the cat goes outdoors, that my cat loves going outdoors and the cat is current with vaccines, then there should be now worries. Followed by my cat has claws, can climb a tree or fight off a dog

It is a good thing that your cat is up-to-date with vaccines including feline Leukemia then your cat will not be infected if it gets into a fight with a diseased cat, but it does not mean your cat will not get FIV. There is a vaccine for FIV but most veterinarians do not vaccinate cats because the vaccine will show a false positive for the rest of the cats life. Lets say your cat is lost and is found and they test it for immunodeficiency feline disease at shelter, your cats results are positive, you know it is false due to the vaccine, but shelter does not. Most shelters euthanize sick cats.

Cats have claws but a large dog can overpower them and a two or more dogs are no match for a cat with claws. My neighbors cat was killed by two stray dogs in the yard, her claws were no match to the dogs and she had no access to a tree or getting back into the house because the owner had shut the door, it was a nice day and they thought the cat would like being outdoors for a few hours.

Know that this same neighbor who let their cats out unsupervised lost another cat because it was hit by a car. That’s two cats in less than a year. Even though my neighbor has lost two cats in a year, he still lets his other cat out of the house unsupervised.

There are other concerns that a cat owner should be aware of and that is kids that torment cats. Kids will be kids and some kids are not nice to cats. They torment them and some kids and adults are down right mean to cats. People that do not like your cat doing their business in their garden may poison your cat. It has happened before in my neighborhood, so I advice everybody to supervise the outdoor cat or keep the indoors.

Yes there are positive and negatives to cats being allowed to go outdoors. I take my cat Leo outdoors with me. He has free roam of the backyard and I watch him. I also take Leo for a walk around the block. My cat is fitted with a harness and I use a light weight extension leash. The harness and leash is great because if need be I can pick Leo up and protect him from dogs that are not on a leash.

So there you have it, my recommendations on why a cat should be kept indoors.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Trauma Cats Need Experienced Adopters

Ten weeks ago I agreed to care for a rescued kitten that was near death; eyes had clouded over.  My friend had found the kitten in an abandoned field, she saw that the other littermates had been hit by cars and a few died of malnutrition and or dehydration.  She rescued the one remaining kitten and nursed it back to a stable condition, but could not keep it.  The kitten was surrendered to a senior citizen who loved cats, but the little trauma kitten was too much for the adopter.

The senior citizen was overwhelmed with caring for the trauma kitten. This kitten very small for its age and does not know when to go to their food bowl and needs help with the litter box. We suspect that when the eyes clouded over that perhaps oxygen was lacking in the brain, making this 10-week old kitten slower than most kittens at this age.   When there was no rescue to take the kitten, I took him in.

We named him Oliver and he is now 14 weeks old and is growing very slowly.  He weighs 3.75 pounds, does not know to go to his food bowl to eat when he is hungry and still needs help getting into his litter box.  Other than that he is a delicate little angel.

We had one cat adopter that had teenage boys and both parents worked long hours. The mother said the house was loud and doors were always being left open.  This home was not a good fit for delicate Oliver, as he needs people who will pay attention to him and are aware of his special needs.

Oliver is not a sickly cat, but that is not to say he does not get ill.  Last night   Oliver started vomiting.  It is normal for cats to vomit, but Oliver was throwing up all of his food and when I checked him I realized that he had a fever.  Oliver spent the next two hours on my lap and when my husband came home and examined him we both agreed that he was too small to have a fever and to be sick.

Even though Oliver was up to date with his booster shots, he had symptoms of a cat cold with a fever.  So he got an antibiotic shot and we were told to watch him  and if there were no signs of improvement we were to take him back to the veterinarian

Today I spoke to the rescue who had surrendered Oliver to me and we both agreed that whoever adopts Oliver, that they need to be experienced with handling trauma cats because Oliver is a cat that needs special loving care.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Truth About Animal Shelters

Many people surrender their pets to an animal shelter because they assume the shelter will find their beloved pet a forever home. But the truth is that most animals will only see a cage and a cold table where they will be euthanized. Yes, I know that when you surrendered your pet that they told you “we will find a home for your pet, or we have a family looking for a cat just like yours” They will smile at you and you will leave knowing your pet was in good hands.


That is what animal shelter workers tell everyone.  It is in their employee handbook to say this to every person that surrenders a pet.  The truth of the matter is that animal shelters are in every city and on average they take in more animals than they adopt out. My local humane shelter wrote that they have room for 125 cats and 275 dogs and took in 800 animals in August this year. When I asked what happened to the excess animals I was told that 100 were adopted, other animals went to fosters and other pets that did not meet the standards of the shelter were euthanized.

On average, an animal shelter will keep the surrendered pet for seven days however if the pet is sick, feral or not socialized, or fearful of their new surroundings, or deemed not adoptable they will euthanize it to make room for pets that fit the profile.

If you are in a predicament where you can no longer keep your pet then I would recommend that you try to find a home for your pet before surrendering to a shelter and choose your shelter wisely. Better to surrender to NO Kill shelter. Best to keep your pet.

Example if your companion does not like your pet, then explain to them that your cat is important to you and that you will not get rid of it. My husband did not like cats, I did not get rid of my cats, and my husband learned to love them. We have been married 22 years.

The apartment that I like does not allow pets. Instead of getting rid of my cat, I looked for an apartment that accepts pets.

I am allergic to cats, the doctor asked me if I would get rid of them, I said no. I take allergy pills daily and use Earthbath grooming wipes daily to remove cat dander and saliva. Two things that I am allergic to. I took steps to live under the same roof as my cats. I did not surrender them to a shelter.

With so many cats being killed annually at humane shelters, please stop before you surrender your pet, see if you can make changes in your life to accommodate your pet or network community, neighbors, family and friends for a new home for your cat.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Fostering Baby Cat

This week  I agreed to foster a baby cat that was found in a field that was adjacent to a highway. The baby cat was skin and bones with eyes clouded over which is a sign that death is soon.  This baby cat was lucky because his meows were heard by a person who was taking a walk before church service. She found the cat and rushed him to animal emergency care, then returned to search for other kittens. 

All of the littermates had been killed on the t highway. These baby cats had been abandoned to an area that had no food water, or shelter and kittens would not survive because the only way to get to a neighborhood meant crossing the highway.

Unfortunately, the rescuer could not foster the kitten and had to surrender to another foster.  The rescuer brought the kitten  to my city which is an hour away. She gave the six-weeks old kitten to a foster who was elderly and it was not a good match. I was visiting the elderly woman and saw that both kitten and foster was suffering, so I took the baby cat.

The baby cat has suffered great trauma and must be the runt because it is very small. I am keeping until it puts on weight and can get its booster shots. The kitten will be put up for adoption soon. We would prefer to adopt this kitten to a family with experience with cats that have suffered trauma. A trauma kitten or cat needs a family that will pay attention to it.  

Sunday, July 31, 2016

What to Do When Stray Cat Looks Sick

Two days ago when I went out into the woods to feed the feral cats I noticed a stray cat off to the side, sitting alone on a rock. Since I did not recognize the cat as being one of the colony cats I took the cat's photograph. The photo indicated that the cat is sick or something is wrong.  Whenever a cat looks sick we then will put out the traps.  The cat may need veterinarian care. The photograph indicates that there is something wrong with the stray cat, it looks sick so the cat becomes a priority.

Know that this cat could be from the neighborhood, and it may have crossed the line with a tomcat or other cat. Since the cat looks ill we decided to not wait to find out if the cat went home, back to the neighborhood. My husband and I decided that it was best to trap the cat, and bring to our shed shelter where there are cat cages, heat an air conditioner.  Once trapped we will be able to put out flyers in the neighborhood to find its people. 

When handling new cats that show up in our woods we do the following;  

  1. Make up a chart with the cat's photograph and start a feeding schedule. 
  2. Watch the cat for a few days to determine if it is going back to the neighborhood which would indicate that it belongs to someone. 
  3. Determine  if the cat is domesticated, comes to us, rubs on us and is friendly then we will take the cat indoors and start the search for its family. Because it could be lost and the woods is not a safe place for a domesticated cat.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Silver Bengal-Mix Kitten Photograph Postcard

This postcard was created from a photograph I took of four-month-old Bengal mix rescue kitten. In this photo, she is lying by the window on a ledge and the sun rays looked pretty on her silver hair. Know that I found this kitten because her mom and two other littermates were abandoned by my home. The queen cat was left in our woods with three kittens that had not been weaned.
Silver Bengal-mix kittey in woven box

We had gotten a call that somebody had put out a nursing cat with her three kittens and knew that if we did not find them and rescue them that it could be a fatality. Cats that are not accustomed to outdoors.  The cats do not know where to go for shelter or food.

There was cold weather in our forecast so husband I took to the woods to find the queen cat and her kittens. We heard the meows and we did go toward them, but the cat was frightened so we put out the traps in the vicinity.

At home, we put out a cat house with self-heating bed, cat food, and water. Husband and I took turns going outdoors to watch the traps.  We had hoped the cats would go in the live animal traps because of the food and water. Also a layer of straw back behind the trigger.  This straw would keep the cats warm.  Then I covered the backside of the trap with a child's sleeping bag.  I did this to create a safe place for the cats and to also keep them warmer inside the trap overnight. 

We trapped 3 baby raccoons but no queen or kittens. No meows were heard the following day and we assumed a predator had found the abandoned cat and her three kittens. That day was long, we were both sad and angry at the irresponsible pet owners for abandoning the cats.  

That night I went to bed and was awoken at 5 AM.  I am not sure what woke me up but for some reason, I put on my fleece robe and boots and went outdoors. I walked to the front of the yard and saw leaves moving toward me. I stooped down to get a better look, and there in the light of my flashlight was a silver Bengal-Mix kitten.

This small kitten was cold so I picked up and put the kitten into my robe pocket and brought it inside. Woke my husband up and he started to warm the kitten, then bottle fed it. I threw clothes on to search for the other two kittens and the mother cat. They were never found.

We were able to rescue one, the beautiful Bengal-Mix silver kitten that you view on this postcard. This postcard is a great way to keep in touch, to say hello, thank you or announcement. If you would like to buy this cat card then click on the blue highlighted words.

Thank you for your support of my cat cause.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Cute Halloween Costume for Cat

I have seen many costumes for pets, but never one for a cat and this kitty costume is adorable.  I laughed when I saw the costume and knew that my family would think it was hilarious, but I know that my cats would get freaked out  if I tried to put  a costume on them, they would not tolerate the hat. 

Putting a costume on my socialized feral cats is not going to happen, they would get scared and would spend the next several months in the back of the closet. But if you have a cool cat that is okay with wearing a costume then this pirate kitty costume is the cutest thing you ever saw.

 Buy Cat Halloween costume at

Tips and Warnings:

Know that when you dress any animal; dog or cat in pet costume or clothing that it is important that the fit is not too tight. You do not want to hinder their ability to walk and it should never be too tight around their neck. 

If your pet is frightened of the costume then do not force them to wear it because it will cause the pet to suffer from anxiety.

In the past, I had a dog that I would dress in sweaters and a raincoat.   That dog would hang his head in shame. However when I gave my dog a treat after I put the sweater on, my dog then attributed the sweater as positive. I would recommend awarding the cats with a treat whenever you are training them to do something new.  The award may help you to teach your cat to wear a costume.

I would suggest that if you train your cat to wear the costume then take your photographs fast.  Do not allow your cat to walk around without supervision, and never let them go outdoors in a costume.  Cats will jump onto things, and the costume may get caught on something and that would not be good.  Collars are breakaway, not Halloween costumes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Special Cat Needs Forever Home

Last November husband found a mature gray cat sitting in the middle of the street in the snow. The night was really cold and no cat should have been out. Normally a cat would run from a stranger but this cat approached my husband and did not hesitate to be lifted up by my husband. In fact, the cat seemed eager to be put under  my husband's coat.

Leo on the day we rescued him

So this is how I came to know the cat we named Leo.

For the next several weeks we searched for this cat's people and when the search was completed we had learned that it was a community cat and that his people h ad died. A neighbor said they would care for the cat, but Leo did not like their cat so they put the cat outdoors in the winter with no shelter.

When I asked them if they wanted the cat, the people said no “that cat is not nice” is what they told me.

Know that I felt bad for the cat since he was a mature cat, probably lived with the same person his entire life. Then his person dies, the cats life is turned upside down and ends up on the street on a cold night. Did not seem fair and I felt so bad for this cat.

So we took Leo into our home. We got him his shots and learned that he had arthritis. We made arrangements for shots and learned that this cat was approximately 8 years old.  Leo likes my husband more than me, but that does not mean that he does not lie on my lap and play with his toys with me.

Everyone who meets Leo says “what a nice cat”

Leo is a nice cat, he is affectionate and laid back. He will cuddle with his people and sleep at the foot of your bed. He will walk on a leash around the block and will come when you call him. BUT Leo does not like dogs or other cats.
Leo is a large mature cat, age 8 that needs a people only forever home

We have tried the Feliway behavior products, the rescue remedy liquid treatment for cats water, and other cat stress remedies and they work for awhile but Leo’s resentment toward other animals is great and he is determined to fight, to hog the food bowl, act like all cats litter boxes are his, he also hogs all 4 water bowls.

Leo will be lying on my lap on the sofa and if the dog or another cat comes close to the sofa.  Leo will run after them.  This rescue cat is set in his way and loves people BUT does not tolerate other pets.

We took Leo to the veterinarian and he was given a prescription for  Calm cat food by Royal Cannin. Leo did well on this food but it was really expensive.  If we had Leo and one other cat, okay but we have two other cats and a dog and that is too much food to buy for all the pets.
Leo needs a forever home with people only

My husband and I like Leo, he is a nice cat with humans. We would keep him if we had an office away from the home where Leo could stay. As is, even if we keep him in our home office, he may get out and then start a fight with another cat or the dog. So we decided that Leo is a cat that has to be in a home with people only, so this week we are looking for a forever home for Leo.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Information About Cat Mating Season

April means cat mating season has begun. Winter is over and the warm weather is natures way of telling the unaltered cats that it is time to reproduce.

Feral kittens and Queen cat at our animal shelter

Normally we do not have this problem because we actively trap the stray cats and get them sterilized at the inexpensive animal clinic. So I am wondering where these cats came from? One of my neighbors that helps me with the cats told me that a few cats had collars on, so we cannot trap for spay or neuter. I wish the cat owners were more responsible with their unaltered pets. But will give cat owner the benefit of the doubt, the cat may have gotten out of the house.

4 week old feral kitten that we trapped, mom cat was injured

Did you know that unlike a dog, when a cat goes into heat they stay in heat until they mate. Know that would explain why there are so many kittens...Cats go out of heat when the weather gets cold. So it is wise to get your cat spayed or neutered...otherwise she will get overly affectionate and vocal and tomcat will mark his territory and get vocal. If they are indoor cats Toms will get aggressive, but letting them outdoors is a big mistake, because unaltered cats ten to fight with other tom cats and this puts your cat at risk for disease; feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, both disease with no cure.

This is what a mating call sounds like:

I would recommend that you get your cats sterilized; spay or neuter. Check out discount clinics in your area for spays and neuters. In SW Missouri I recommend Main Street Pet is worth the drive to the clinic is on Wednesday and you do need an appointment call 417-792-7387 for more information. For other areas I recommend contacting your local animal shelter, sometimes they have a veterinarian on the property and will offer a discount for cat sterilization.  

View this video to learn more about cat sapy and nutering and why you should do this.

NOTE: If you do cat rescue, and you are not  in the area but are a days road trip away, then plan to take several cats in for sterilization.  The prices at this clinic are inexpensive.  I generally leave female cats overnight but male cats can be taken home on the same day. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Socializing Mature Stray Cat for Adoption

When it comes to socializing stray cats I think it is easier when they are kittens or young cats because the older they get the more set in their ways they become. Plus depending on how long they were on the streets it can be hard to get them to let down their guard and be accepting to people. This occurs when their people abandon them,  move and leave the family cat behind.

I have been working with a mature cat for the past week to socialize him with his pending adopters dog and have to tell you that the cat just does not like the dog. The cat is sweet with humans, and he will seem okay with the dog, but for some reason and only the cat knows why...this cat will take after the dog as if the dog did something wrong.

I suspect this behavior is due to the cat being a house cat for many years and then his people dying in the house, the cat hid when they came to get the bodies, so it was in the house for a week before someone realized a cat was inside. The door opened the cat ran out and I have no idea how long this cat was on his own before we found him. The cat may have been chased by a dog, all I know is that this cat does not like other cats or dogs.

My friends said she would take him as long as the cat got along with her dog.

Normally socializing a cat and dog is a whole lot easier than introducing to other cats. Know that the dog I was working with was well behaved and did nothing wrong. BUT this cat is not accepting the dog.  

I told my friend that sometimes it takes up to a month, but she works and does not have a cat room or other area to keep the cat, thus the dog and cat would be home alone and cat does not like the dog.  This adoption will not work. 

We have come to the conclusion that this cat needs a forever home where he is the only pet. I am certain had the cat been more accepting to the dog that they could have been best friends forever and if I had more time because socializing can take up to a month, and you just cannot expect it to be an immediate friendship.

I socialized Pitbull with orange tabby and they are best friends. See my photo card at my zazzle store, click link bellow.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Cat Food that Reduces Risk of Worms

Finding a high-quality food for the feral and outdoor cats has been difficult. Most quality brand foods are very expensive and out of our budget. So when one of my cat caretaker friends recommended that I contact online for recommendations and a variety of cat foods at a reasonable price I did not hesitate to call them.

 I told the customer service representative at Chewy my wants and needs and when they learned that I needed dry kibble cat food for feral and stray cats they recommended Chicken Soup for the Soul adult cat food because the ingredient chicory root would benefit the cats health and well being plus it was formulated to lessen the risk of worms.
This food is formulated for the adult cat, and the ingredients are also good for outdoor feral or stray cats. The healthy food will boost cats immune system due to the high antioxidants. This food will also fight free radicals in the cells which will help the cats to live longer. There is also taurine that is good for cats eyes and heart. All are wonderful features and benefits but what caught my eye was the chicory root that is an ingredient in the food. The chicory root reduces the risk of worms.
We cannot administer worm medication to the feral and stray cats so the next best thing would be feeding the cats foods made with chicory root. 

This dry kibble cat food is made in the United States and is an excellent food to feed outdoor cats as well as your indoor cats. What I have noticed is that all of the cats have a nice shiny coat, they have more energy and in general seem to be excited to see me when I stock the feeding station.
Here is a card that I designed at It will show you a 9-year-old feral cat with a thick and shiny winter coat. I am certain it is due to the Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Feral Cat Sleeping in Bed Made of Straw Post Card

Winter has finally come and the feral cats that live in the woods have come to our shed shelter to sleep in the beds made of straw.  These feral cats usually come into the shelter sometime before 9 PM and exit in the early morning.  If I did not see the indentation in the straw then I would not know they were there.

I decided to watch for the cats going into the shed and got lucky,   took photographs of them from outside the window.  These photographs were not as clear as they should be so I bathed with hunters soap to remove the scent of a human and hunkered down with my camera in a dark corner of the shed.  I was hiding behind boxes.   Yes I was determined to get photographs of the feral cats.  These woods cats are nocturnal and terrified of humans.

I waited for the feral cats to come into the shed for several  hours and when my leg was falling to sleep and I was ready to give up a cat did come through the kitty door.  I was happy that the images of the feral cats turned out, as well as they did, because most people do not see this side of a feral cat.  They never see them safe, warm and sleeping in a bed made of straw.

This post card was designed from one of my photographs of feral cats sleeping in bed made from straw.  Buy this card at my zazzle shop.

Feral Cat Sleeping in Winter Shelter Post Card

Monday, January 4, 2016

Bombay Cat and Green Clover Wall Clock

This Bombay cat with its shiny coat sure does look gorgeous with green clover contrast and this photo clock makes or a fabulous gift for cat lover.

A few years ago this cat found my yard by the woods and decided to spend the summer with me.  At the time I thought he was visiting with the other neighborhood cats and going home at night.  But when six months past and weather started to change I realized that the cat had taken residency in my garden shed.

This regal looking black cat had ran away from his people after they had took in a queen cat and her kittens.    Know that I took many photographs of this mature cat, and that in the green clover photo he is age 16.  After reviewing all of the photographs I found that this photo was the best and that it works well when used as a wall clock

This clock would make a wonderful gift for a cat lover.  It is a good size wall clock for home office and will compliment any cat theme.

Bombay Cat Clock

Plans to Relocate Cats to Farm Rescue

As far back as I can remember I have always wanted a small farm where I could relocate the neighborhood cat colony that I oversee. This farm rescue would provide feral, stray and abandoned cats with safety from crossfire from hunters, wildlife predators and animal control trappers. 
It has been my dream to trap the cats that have been abandoned to the woods by my home. I would like to socialize them and adopt them into forever homes.  

The plan is simple, my cat rescue would be open to accepting all feral cats that had been previously vaccinated, and sterilized, excluding cats infected with felineimmunodeficiency virus. The feral cats then would stay on the property and become barn cats.
This has been my dream for a long time, but I thought it was only a dream. I never thought it would come true, BUT my husband has agreed that if this is what I want then we can move in the summer to a farm and I can have a cat rescue. 
Husband suggested that I look and collect ideas as to what I want. In the past month I did look at 2 hobby farms but both were too small for what I wanted, plus they backed up a busy crossroad and I desired a remote location. Remote being better for barn cats as there were be less worry of them attempting to cross a busy road to get to the other side.
Both of the hobby farms that I looked at had old dilapidated barns which meant that we would have to go to the expense of building a shelter for the cats. It is one thing to remodel a barn, but to build from ground up is a great expense. In addition the land was rocky and there was not area suitable for garden. Neither of the farm houses were to my liking, in my opinion they both should have been demolished and taken away.

So my search for a farm to be converted into a cat rescue continues. I do think there is a need for the feral and stray cats and do plan to trap the cats at the colony that I oversee before construction; excavation and blasting of the south ridge commences for urban development.