There's a squirrel in my garage

Jul 14th, 2006, 11:21 AM
Original Poster
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Ha ha, I've been thinking about trapping a local tom cat (I'm pretty sure he's feral), having him neutered and putting him back in the neighborhood. He's produced several sets of offspring with other strays in the neighborhood. I just don't know how I'd go about doing it without every other animal that I didn't want to catch ending up in the trap. His territory is pretty wide and he doesn't seem to always be in one particular area. I see him in different parts of the neighborhood all the time. Or perhaps what I keep seeing and thinking is the same cat are actually different offspring!

One of his female companions decided to have kittens in my backyard a few years ago. I moved them all inside when they were about a week old and the tom cat would sit by the window and visit with them. I got the mama and kittens all spayed and neutered and adopted when they were old enough. I can't keep any cats because Mark is highly allergic. I had to keep the kittens confined to a spare bedroom aka the "stray animal room".
Patty is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 11:39 AM
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Posts: 600 that just warms my heart!
cooncat3 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 12:38 PM
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I had no idea that this was an ongoing live drama when I passed this thread over a hundred times!

Glad everything turned out for the best, just sorry I did not tune in sooner!

I also live in (north)eastern Los Angeles County but I have no problem with squirrels (not enough mature trees yet in my development, I guess). However, my dogs do occasionally go to battle with a skunk that sneaks in the backyard at night to steal their food.

So far it is Skunk 1, Rocco's Dogs a (literally) stinking Zero!
Roccco is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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Rocco, ditto! I just decided to open it today and realised what I'd missed. Patty, so pleased you were able to catch the little critter and give him another chance in the wild.

Kavey is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 01:28 PM
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I finally clicked here too.

An ongoing drama indeed, with a happy ending and poetry.

Who needs TV?
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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CoonCat3: I thought I was the only person crazy enough to trap a ferrel cat and have her fixed. Took me six months to catch her. She had two litters in my garage before I finally trapped her and got her fixed. That was 12 years ago. She lives outside my porch..will rub against my leg, but still won't let me pet her.
rubytwo is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 02:51 PM
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Thank you to those who are spaying the feral cats and especially to those who keep their own cats indoors.

Many of you probably know that domestic cats kill more native wildlife in the United States than all of the natural predators combined, and it is not even close. As people expand to everywhere this is becoming an increasing problem for birds and some rodents that are suffering large declines.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 06:10 PM
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Congrats on your successful catch and release.
I'm glad to know that Fodorites are a compassionate bunch!
For anyone who wants more help with feral cats, there is an organization called Alley Cat Allies. They work with clinics all across the country who will perfom low cost spay/neuters on stray cats. They are proponents of spay/neuter and release programs, which is rather controversial in some areas. But I always tell people if you feed the strays without getting them spayed/neutered you are only adding to the overpopulation problem. I worked at an animal shelter for 13 years and the stray animal problem is much bigger than most people can imagine!
Lillipets is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 07:03 PM
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We're going to have to form the Fodor's Pasadena Africa-lovers group -- there are at least 4 or 5 of us on this one thread.

Patty, on the issue of intervening, even if you weren't compassionate, it ends up being the most practical thing to do, to capture and release, rather than the alternative.

Pred, I am very interested in what you said. I had no idea of the impact of roaming housecats. I now have a better argument for my friends who let their cats out. Do you have any links to these figures I can show them?
Clematis1 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 07:47 PM
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Clematis, let me give you a link to some great arguments for keeping cats indoors:

I have two very healthy, happy indoor cats. They will not be hit by cars, poisoned by neighbors, beaten up by other cats, or eaten by predators.

They are nine years old and the vet says they're likely to live to be 16 or 17. Average life expectancy for free-roaming cats? 3 to 5 years.
dsquared is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 09:02 PM
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but if my cats live until 16-17, i'll never make the move to Zambia!
matnikstym is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 09:27 PM
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I know what you mean Dennis, I have one that's 20 yrs old this weekend (indoor only) and I had one as a kid that lived 21 years (outdoors). I figured when my 20 yr old goes I would be pet-less and can go whenever, where-ever then along comes my new addition.
CarlaM is offline  
Jul 15th, 2006, 06:42 AM
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That's interesting info. pred.b about the rodent population. The thing is, even my 2 indoor cats do still manage to capture mice in my home. So far no kills as of yet, as they bring them to me (usually while sleeping in bed - ewww) as they toss it around as a pet toy.

I do always manage to escort the victimized mouse outside but do wonder if any damage has been done. Still seems however, that there's so many mice left to not be on the endangered list yet.

We'll just have to bring our pets to Africa with us and REALLY make sure they do stay in.
cybor is offline  
Jul 16th, 2006, 02:34 PM
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Clematis: there are lots of sources for this kind of info but this link covers it pretty well. The actual stat of killing more than all natural predators combined I saw at the Denver zoo.

Cats kill over a billion small mammals a year and a couple million native birds in the U.S. also.

Domestic/feral cats worldwide are thought to be second to habitat destruction for causing extinction of bird species.

Outdoor cats can spread diseases to predators like feline leukemia to cougars -- could be the last straw for the Florida panther.

They also harm other native predators such and hawks, owls, and weasels by reducing the available prey they need.

There is a enormous impact and quite frankly it should be against the law (and enforced) for owners to allow their cats to roam free. Not to mention as stated by Dsquared if you let your cat roam you have chosen to knock about 12 years off of their life on average.

I know I'm ranting but I have come across a lot of cat owners who love to brag about all the rodents and birds their cat catches and they all seem to think it is very funny without realizing it is extremely impactful.

Sherry: the mice in your house are probably very common but I happen to do a lot of work with a mouse that is indeed protected by the Endangered Species Act and it is very rare, as are many other rodent species around the country. For some cats are even the driving factor behind their rarity. I have written plans for new home developments that protect the existing habitat for the Preble's meadow jumping mouse and also stipulates covenants that there can be no outdoor cats. Of course I'm not naive enough to believe all the owners follow the covenant.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
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