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WWYD?

We have about 3 stray cats that are normally around our house (I say about 3, because there could be more). Two of them are full grown cats, and the 3rd--which I saw today for the first time, is a tiny kitten (about 2 months old) that is just the biggest poofiest ball of fur imaginable. I know I can't take them it...but would it be wrong to set some clean water and food out for them?

I grew up on a farm, and we always fed stray cats--and they ended up sticking around, but I don't want to feed them if it will throw off their natural balance of hunting. But I love them.
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Re: WWYD?

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    I would LOVE to feed my neighbor's cat (he's a himalayan and way too skinny, and he loves me) but we've had ant issues, so I'll only do it if I'm able to stand there and watch him eat, then take it away.

    If you can put the food and water away from the house, or only set it out for a certain amount of time and then clean it up, I would.
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    We did when we started getting strays then we caught them and got them fixed.
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    I think you should seek counseling, Rach.  You clearly have a problem with boundaries due to your cat-hoarding history.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wwyd-14?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:8ef1376a-41b9-46cc-8b2c-5ed289a358a3Post:b54b321b-e63f-4a28-aab0-bc557aef854c">Re: WWYD?</a>:
    [QUOTE] If you can put the food and water away from the house, or only set it out for a certain amount of time and then clean it up, I would.
    Posted by msmerymac[/QUOTE]

    This is what I was thinking of doing. The neighbors behind us have a concrete slab at the backside of their garage. A perfect place to put food and water that isn't directly in someone yard. The cats hang out back there too. It's just starting to get cold out, and I feel awful for them.
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    IMO it depends on where you live. I live right next to a farm so we have dozens of stray cats. I don't feed them though because I don't want them hanging around too close to my house (I have my own cats to worry about), plus I know they're getting plenty of food/water/shelter from the farm.

    If you know they aren't going to be taken care of, or you think they can't take care of themselves I would call your local ASPCA or other similar organization.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wwyd-14?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:8ef1376a-41b9-46cc-8b2c-5ed289a358a3Post:1f938521-c169-4c38-bb10-cc7d534f8a1c">Re: WWYD?</a>:
    [QUOTE]We did when we started getting strays then we caught them and got them fixed.
    Posted by ricksang[/QUOTE]

    There are even organizations you can call (the one around me is Forgotten Cats , but I don't know if they're national) and they'll come out, catch the cats, neuter them and release them again.  Otherwise, they breed too much and then there's not enough food for all of them and some of them will starve.
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    Do they look like they are starving?  If so, they are not natural hunters and they will most likely die in the coming winter months, so "throwing off their hunting skills" isn't something I would be concerned with.

    However, if you do begin to feed them, they will stay and become dependant on you as a source of food.  If you're not prepared to feed them on a continuous basis, you probably shouldn't start.  If they are at all friendly, you may be able to take them to the shelter; of course they may or may not find homes there, and may or may not survive the winter there, too.
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    If they as skinny and malnourished looking I would google for a no kill shelter in your area and try and get them to the no kill shelter. If they are fat and happy I would provide water but not food.
    The kitten in particular I would try and get to a no kill animal shelter.
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    I would feed them. I'd probably even build them a shelter. I'm a complete sucker for furry little animals
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wwyd-14?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:8ef1376a-41b9-46cc-8b2c-5ed289a358a3Post:cf4b78cd-bb6c-4010-831f-dff44ffe3935">Re: WWYD?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I think you should seek counseling, Rach.  You clearly have a problem with boundaries due to your cat-hoarding history.
    Posted by kikibaby[/QUOTE]

    Kiki--I can't believe I am that transparent. You clearly have a better read on my life than I do. I will seek counseling asap.
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    Rach, I meant to end that YWIA!!

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    I can't tell if they are skinny and hungry, or fat. All three (I just went out to try and take pictures of them) are long-haired cats. And I know the long hair can be very deceptive in relation to their actual weight.
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    Is their hair matted or does it look like they are taken care of?  If they look relatively clean, they may have a home, and are just out catting around.  
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    I started feeding a stray cat that was hanging around in my backyard. After that, she wouldn't leave, so I found myself with a new cat- not that I minded. You have to be prepared that they will never leave if you start feeding them. Unless, of course, someone else is feeding them better food.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wwyd-14?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:8ef1376a-41b9-46cc-8b2c-5ed289a358a3Post:8344a647-3d2a-4f8e-8f53-bdd694b9defa">Re: WWYD?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Is their hair matted or does it look like they are taken care of?  If they look relatively clean, they may have a home, and are just out catting around.  
    Posted by tidetravel[/QUOTE]


    They do have a bit of matting going on, but it's by no means awful and out of control. The one I think is the mom-cat was laying on our back fence grooming--so they do take care of themselves. I think they spend the majority of their time in a four-hour radius, going back and forth between the back yards of my neighbors and the two behind us. The kitten has been hanging out in the backyard diagonally behind me--but the backyard looks like an over grown forest. That could be their original home--but, if so, they aren't well socialized at all.

    I'm 100% up to continuing to feed them. I just have such a soft spot in my heart for cats.
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    Welcome to the kitty underground railroad. Laughing
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