Tips For Stopping the Stranglers
A feral cat is usually an un-neutered, wild cat that refuses to be petted or handled by humans: it doesn’t permit itself to be touched or handled and tends to remain hidden away from humans. A feral cat can reproduce over dozens of generations, become a very aggressive predator in dense vegetation and desert environments, and then become reclusive and secretive in its adulthood. It may become a nuisance by destroying property, stalking small animals, or in some cases, attacking people and pets. If you have an orphaned female cat or kittens that have been abandoned by their mother, they are a good candidate for adoption.
It is important to control the population of feral cats because they reproduce so rapidly. Even one baby kitten can quickly establish itself as a dominant force in a neighborhood if left unsupervised. Professional animal control services may be able to help you trap and neuter these colonies, but they may also use in-home chemical control. In addition, there are several different kinds of in-home chemical control methods available including feline felineicides, sprays, powder, and traps.
A common in-home chemical control method is the use of a feline felineicide containing metronidazole, which is most commonly sold under the brand name Ractop, Droncit, or Pro Insect Control. These compounds are injected directly into the colonies, killing all adult cats and kittens within range. This method cannot control populations of adults outside the nest; however, it can control growing kittens and mother cats that are living indoors.
If you have kittens or cats that are in the stage of leaving the nest, but are still in good health, you can feed them a free range diet of pet grade pet food available at most feed stores, such as alfalfa or oat block, along with some fruits and vegetables. Be sure to sterilize all bowls used, as well as the food and water dishes used to feed the kittens and cats. These techniques are more successful when used together with a similar outdoor control method to stop the feral cats from coming back to your property in the first place.
Socialization is another effective method of trapping and controlling stray cats in your neighborhood. The best way to achieve this goal is to make sure that you socialize your pet cat(s) with other stray cats and kittens whenever possible. It’s not enough to provide a good home for your pet cat(s), you must also make sure that it is friendly with other cats and kittens in your neighborhood. The easiest way to socialize your cat(s) is by leaving it outside with another stray cat or kitten. Since socialized animals already know how to behave with each other, they will recognize the signals of another cat and start hanging out more often.
Another method that is sometimes successful in trapping and/or persuading outdoor stray cats is by establishing a “No Go Zone.” This is a fenced in area outside your home where the cats cannot enter. Cats entering this area will be told that they can not access your property. If the cat decides to enter, they will be asked to leave either through a door they find on the property or by hitting a loud charm. The problem solved! Be sure to create such a zone and be persistent – outdoor cats can be very stubborn creatures.