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Raggedy old feral male

I don’t know how old he is, but he looked old and at life’s end 6 years ago. He visits fairly regularly to be fed. Comes to the sunroom door and patiently sits staring inside until I see him. Over six years, and I have finally been able to briefly touch the top of his head. Last winter he disappeared for almost 4 months and I was sure that he had died. But nope, one spring day there he was.

Here is my quandry. I will be spending the winter in Florida from mid December to mid April. I will have no way to keep him fed. The house will be checked weekly and I could ask that they put a can of food out once weekly, but it will just freeze. I have grown quite fond of him, but honestly don’t know what to do?

Your wisdom and knowledge would be most welcome.


Perhaps you could acclimate him now to using an insulated feeding station (he will need water, too). Or make an insulated house for him; maybe just a few straw bales and a roof. Ideally you could hire a nearby teen to feed him daily (and send you pics), but that is a long stretch of time. Perhaps your house checkers can come 2x week. Small price to pay to avoid frozen pipes.


A self feeder that the person who is checking the house can keep full of kibble? A heated dog bowl should give him enough water between checks? Just keep it right where he usually feeds when you are there.


Could you trap him and get him to shelter? That might be kinder than leaving him thinking he has been abandoned and then really disappearing. When I had to move away from one house in town to another further away I still came by 2x a day to feed. Then I broke my leg and could not come for months. Even though my neighbor fed 2x a day all three cats stopped coming and ultimately disappeared. He loves cats and was as upset as I was.

Your guy might be much older than you think. Sounds like he needs a home.


If he only comes by “regularly”, he must have other sources of food besides you. Still a good idea to look for alternative feeders while you’re gone, though :smiley_cat:.

So your helpful comments have led me to a plan. I am going to get a photo of him (and of course share on here) and then post to “NextDoor” asking if anyone else is feeding him in the area. Am also going to call the animal shelter for advice. He is so thin, I am sure he is ridden with fleas and parasites


My cats all happily eat their monthly credelio pill. Maybe that’s a way to correct that? Or at least influence it.

Could be a thyroid issue.
Friend had a cat who was literally a walking skeleton, skin stretched over bones.
Indoor cat & well fed along with 4 others that were all in good weight.
Skinny was on thyroid meds & lived to be 10+yo.