the return of a semi-feral kitty

flowerbug

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this year we've had a lot of rabbits and chipmunks around along with the
ground hogs, deer and once in a while squirrel.

when i put up the new fencing runs the groundhogs quickly dug under it
and the deer tried to run through it and i need to still get some longer poles
to put it back up.

at the time when the groundhog babies were coming around and i was trying
to get them before they got big enough to make even more dens around i
put out the live trap to try to catch them to make sure they were removed.

i put some fresh chopped birdsfoot treefoil in the trap to see if that would
bait them, but it didn't work, but i left the trap set near their burrow under
the fence to see if one would just go in there. sometimes that does happen.

instead i trapped an orange tabby cat, very healthy, big, fiesty and so i let
it go again, but i wasn't sure if it was a feral, semi-feral or nieghbor's kitty.

into the middle of summer there were plenty of chipmunks running around
and a lot of young rabbits - i was getting worried there'd be an explosion
in populations as we've had that happen before...

then for a while i forgot about them being too busy with other things and
working on projects.

the other day i was dumping some cucumber scraps under the lilac tree in
the NE corner and that same kitty ran off from there. and that got me to
thinking i'd not seen or heard any chipmunks or bunnies for several weeks.

i mentioned this to Mom and she said the same thing, that she was just
thinking about that and didn't want to say anything because it might jinx
us again and they'd all return...

but now i hope we'll have the kitty around and it will use the groundhog
den as a home and keep them away. if the kitty can get some of the
mice too that would be great.

*crosses fingers, toes, etc.*
 

digitS'

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How is the cat/rodent situation?

We have some fresh snap traps out for the mice. Greenhouse for now and shed should have the foam board insulation pulled off the doors. It's falling apart and a mouse got in there about a year ago before "measures were taken" for his removal. Since the shed is now closed up, the cat can't get in there.

Poisoning the mice is a possibility but, as usual, I have that neighborhood cat in the yard.

I won't interfere with @Zeedman 's assistance to @seedcorn 's mouse problem but I was disappointed in these guys' performance when a family of them took up residence in the neighbor's hay barn beside the big garden.

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The evidence that they left on the barn floor and their willingness to just sit and watch as Benjamin Bunny hopped through the garden, suggested that they were living on pigeons, primarily.

Steve
 

ducks4you

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PLS consider planting catnip next year to keep your orange friend around. I will remind you, that when the slumlord neighbors across the street moved out, they left years of garbage in their garage, IT attracted RATS!!!, who moved in UNDER the chicken coop, where I have a dog enclosure run. BUT, my good kitties mangaged to eradicate them all. Only field mice left in and around the barn, and I often see their dead caracasses.
ALSO, put food out for this kitty. Where I used to keep my horses, the farmer NEVER fed his cats. He believed that they would live on mice. His cats looked awful. I feed ALL 7 of my inside/outside cats (and very friendly, like the big 15 pounder muscley guy, "Night Shade", aka "Crazy Cat", currently sleeping on my side of the bed by my pillow). They are all very healthy, and the 5 girls mouse very well.
In the gold/silver boom towns people brought in cats bc they sold for very high prices. They all had serious mouse/rat problems. Cats are really an asset.
 

flowerbug

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like you this is the time when i start thinking about setting traps to make sure none of the mice are in the garage or near the house/foundation. i don't want to get them in my wall again this winter and i still haven't found how they are getting in there to begin with...

have not seen the kitty for a while.

a few bunnies around.

since i've removed the cover they had to hide under (the ditch/pallet project see my other thread for a recent pic of that mess) i've not seen any groundhogs or rabbits over near the fenced gardens. but something did eat most of a large bean plant off my fence and also there have been plenty of deer around the yard. they now come in via the driveway...
 

digitS'

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I just saw a squirrel race across the top of my fence.

The predicted cold east of here is severe and the squirrels are reported to be gathering nuts at a frenzied pace.

310-medium_kindlephoto-18838806.jpg

Several of my relatives have already gone missing.

digitS'
 

Zeedman

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There has been a feral cat in my area for quite a few years, a calico with a missing tail that we just call "Mama Cat". It has raised two litters on our property; one under our shed, and one in our back window well. It was neat being able to observe the kittens growing through the window; but I think Mama caught me looking, got spooked, and they were all gone the next day. I hope Mama moved them, as opposed to them being found by a raccoon.
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I walked out one morning just in time to observe Mama Cat pouncing on a rabbit that was hiding under a juniper, and running off with it. Just saw her again a few days ago... the photo above was taken in 2013, it was reassuring to know she is still on the prowl. I'd like to put out food for the feral cats, but chances are all it would do is attract raccoons, which are also in the area - probably in greater numbers than the cats.

My rural garden is on a friend's property. They have adopted quite a few semi-feral cats, and will feed any which show up. Several of those will now come into their home through the dog flap & sleep indoors, with varying degrees of sociability. It's really funny, when they take their dogs for a run (using a golf cart) to see a couple of the cats following the dogs. Those cats roam freely through my garden there, keeping the mouse population down... the dogs take care of the ground hogs. Absent the pest control those animals provide, that garden would be much more difficult.
 
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Coolbreeze89

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like you this is the time when i start thinking about setting traps to make sure none of the mice are in the garage or near the house/foundation. i don't want to get them in my wall again this winter and i still haven't found how they are getting in there to begin with...

have not seen the kitty for a while.

a few bunnies around.

since i've removed the cover they had to hide under (the ditch/pallet project see my other thread for a recent pic of that mess) i've not seen any groundhogs or rabbits over near the fenced gardens. but something did eat most of a large bean plant off my fence and also there have been plenty of deer around the yard. they now come in via the driveway...
Mice can go up your drainage downspouts. I folded 1/2” hardware cloth into little “cages” that fit around the outlet of the downspouts and zip tie them on. I haven’t had any mice in my attic/walls since! (I do take them off periodically to dump leaf buildup).
 

flowerbug

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@Coolbreeze89 no worries there, we have no down spouts and any drains from the house have a wire mesh on them so nothing can get in via that ways.

i have a very long story of mice here, but so far they have mostly been confined to the exterior walls. they've not been in the crawl space much at all (they don't live long down there - i've made sure there is no water or food or easy places for them to hide). when the heat runs all winter it dries them out fast. the few i've found have always been dried up and have done no damage. they also cannot go from the crawlspace into the house in any spot. i made sure i sealed up all of those gaps with wire mesh right after they built this place and i was trapping all the mice out of the walls.

recent years are showing at last the results of many years of finding the places they were getting into the walls and sealing those places up. two springs ago i tiled the garden shed so they cannot get in via there any more. just one last gap some spot which is rarely used. last year i trapped a shrew and i hope that was the creature that was getting in the wall between this room and the rest of the house. i haven't heard any more chewing for a long time.

when we have snow again i can check the tracks around the house and set traps again to keep the population down.

other than the berm by the house there isn't much habitat for them near the house and i sure would like to remove the berm too. most of the space around the house is mulched with crushed rinsed limestone over black plastic. the berm is the source of most mice and other animals trying to use it as a den or nesting site. if they have tunneled under the black plastic to the edge of the house then they can come up under that and into the walls but as of yet i have not ever found where that gap they are coming into the wall is at.

it may be up in the eaves and the mice/creatures can be running around quite a ways from some other spot.

considering that many years ago i trapped several hundred mice from the walls of this house it is now a huge improvement. i can sleep. :)

my trapping this early fall has gotten me a few longer skinny mice of which i am not familiar with them at all. either they are malnourished or something strange is going on.
 

thistlebloom

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Here's a little gratuitous cuteness. The orange tabby was found on the side of the highway in Wyoming by Kid#1's GF. She was only able to catch him, the others dispersed into the tall grass across the highway. He traveled with her and her friend to a wedding in CO, then back home. She can't have pets where she rents so I volunteered to be his foster mom. Everybody knows you can't have one kitty by itself, ( my husband thinks I'm making this up :rolleyes: ) so I found him a buddy on CL. Kind of neat how they happened to be the same age. They are inseperable. They are big enough now, and the weather is warm enough for them to spend the days outdoors. They come in at night,
 

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