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Outdoor cats face many dangers therefore it is no surprise that outdoor cats have a much shorter life expectancy than indoor cats. Predators such as coyotes are one of the biggest dangers. I live in the urban city limits where there are probably very few, if any, coyotes, but there are cars, lots and lots of cars. From time to time I see Oliver or one of his family members cross a busy street at night and my heart jumps into my throat.

ooliver2

Another big danger city dwelling feral cats have to deal with is poisons, from things like antifreeze or rat poison. Thankfully, none of my backyard feral colony have run into any of these, at least not that I know of.

Territorial fighting can be another danger. Oliver is very protective of his territory. Any interloping cat that wanders in will be forcefully shown the exit. If the cat resists then he will do his best to take him down. Many times have I awaken in the night to the sound of cats fighting РI so hate that sound.

A little over a week ago, Laura heard a cat fight in the early evening. She caught sight of Oliver tangling with a large cat. Didn’t think much more of it until the next morning, when I noticed Oliver was cut up really good and his left cheek was massively swollen. I rushed him over to the vet where he stayed the day.

In the end he had a few bite wounds, one less than an inch above his eye and another tore his lip. The vet cleaned him up and told me to keep him inside for 2 weeks while he heals. So, Oliver’s getting what he’s always wanted, to be an inside kitty! He’s inside to rehab.

ooliver

Oliver’s fur is slowly growing back where it was shaved to clean the wounds.

I wish I had some way to bring Oliver’s family inside too, so they didn’t have to face all the dangers of living on the street. Sadly, that’s not a possibility. After his wounds have healed, Oliver will probably be reunited with his yard and his family. Keeping him inside requires having him life in a large cage due to his urine marking behavior. Keeping him this way for longterm would not provide much of a quality of life.

I’m still wrestling with what to do with Oliver. I’m very fond of him, so protecting him from all those dangers would be nice. If I had all the money in the world, I might build him a huge fenced in enclosure, like the size of a city block! No cars, no predators, no poisons or visiting cats – just a place where he and his family could roam and play without any worries. It’s fun to dream.

5 Responses to “it’s a dangerous world out there”

  1. Marg says:

    Oh I so know how you feel. I have some cats that live outside and would love to have them come inside but there just isn’t room and they do mark the house. I don’t have anyway to find homes for them around here either. I have had outside cats live to be up in their teens. So we just have to hope that Oliver makes it all right.

  2. nancy says:

    I understand completely. Our colonies have to deal with everything from coyotes and bob cats to cars and poisons. Recently, this has expanded to heavy snowfalls and flooding. It never ends….One thing that may discourage interlopers from visiting Oliver and his family is to pick up outdoor food dishes well before dark. Just leave plenty of fresh water. If there are no unsprayed females in the area then this may be territorial fighting over food bowls. Eventually the fighter will move on.

    Good luck!

  3. It is so hard knowing the dangers they face to let them outside again. Oliver is such a sweet cat but the marking issues make it pretty impossible for him to stay inside with the others. We can just pray and hope he and his family stay as safe as possible. Big Hugs to you for all you do for the cats in your care!
    Linda

  4. Mom wishes the same thing for the girl-cat we care for. When it goes more than a couple of days without seeing Allie, mom gets nervous. But she knows she can’t change Allie’s nature…..so we do the bes we can.

  5. Katie Isabella says:

    You and your family are after my own heart. I can’t tell you how much I empathise and care about how you are doing.

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