How can I make friends with a stray cat that is coming around my backyard?
This tom cat has been coming to my backyard for quite a while. He stopped coming for a long time, but is back now. He lets me pet him most of the time and he likes our cat food. We have two other cats. He still is a little afraid to get closde to us and definetly does not want to come inside. Please help. Thanks.
There are several things you can do to make sure the cat has a long healthy life. Remember that this is a long term commitment – if he starts depending on you for food and care, and you abandon him he may not survive (but you sound mature and responsible enough to handle this!)
First, he may not be purely feral – he may be a lost pet. You might want to take a photograph of him and ask around the neighbourhood to find out if he is a lost pet.
If he is truly feral, or abandoned, then there are several things you can do for him. Put out a small bowl of water and one of cat food for him in a place he can reach but squirrels and raccoons cannot. You can also build a wind and rain/snow proof shelter for him in the back yard so he will survive cold weather.
Your local human society should be able to help you temporarily capture him and get him neutered and get all his shots. Neutering reduces stray populations and also makes him healthier and less likely to get in fights. Shots will keep him healthy and make sure that he doesn’t transmit diseases like feline leukaemia to your cats.
It’s great that you are taking responsibility for him!