Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feral cats and skunks, living together

At the adoption event/fundraisers I volunteer at, people love to stop and chat. Hoo, boy, I'll tell you what - the key part of working these things is being a good listener. Nobody wants to adopt a cat - they all want to tell you about their cats. Which is fine. And you hear some interesting stuff.

Like the man who stopped by and informed me that feral cats will often pal up with wild skunks. No, really! According to him, cats and skunks hang out together all. the. time.

The only experience I have with cats and skunks is that one time Rocky came home after being sprayed by a skunk, but hey! Maybe it was an accident. Maybe the skunk was just trying to be fraynds.

Oh, and then there was the dude who told me that you can get rid of fleas by pouring salt on your carpets. Actually, it turns out there is a little bit of truth to that one, but frankly, I think I'd rather have fleas than have to walk around on crunchy carpets.

You hear about the cats who have been left behind when people move. About the people down the street who have fifteen mangy cats. And about how when the local shelters are called for help, people are told "no". Unfortunately, around here at least, that tends to be the rule rather than the exception. As long as people think that a female cat has to have "just one litter" before she's fixed, as long as people think you can wait until a cat's a year old to get it neutered, as long as people like that awful blogger I stopped reading think it's funny for their cat to impregnate half the cats in the neighborhood, the shelters will continue to be overwhelmed. (The foster group I work for always tries to help - we often do not have a space in foster care for the cats, but we will provide food and, if possible, medical care until space opens up.)

And! you get to hear the stories about how people adopted shelter cats. Or about how they took in the stray that showed up on their doorstep and spent months and thousands of dollars nursing it back to health. One lady talked about how when she adopts a shelter cat, she always picks the "senior citizens", because she knows they don't have much of a chance. And isn't that what you hope will happen - that there's somebody out there who takes the older cats? Turns out, there is.

And now I've got to go google "cats and skunks". I don't think it's true, but hey! Who knows?


~~Silk said...

It's absolutely true. See my post at

Robyn said...

I was coming over here to say that I don't know about skunks, but we have a couple of possums who eat at the food bowl on our side porch every night, and they and our two outdoor cats get along pretty well. I mean, they don't snuggle or anything, but there's no fighting or hissing or anything.

Now I must go over to ~~Silk's blog to read!

rockygrace said...

~~Silk, that's fascinating.

And Robyn, you've got possums? Really? That's kind of cool.

albert said...
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Anonymous said...

I know this is a super old post, but my feral colony seems to hang out with the local skunk colony too. I just caught one of the skunks sleeping in their feral villa, and one of the younger cats always smells like skunk when she comes around. Apparently she has a bunkmate at night.

I worry about rabies, but I'm not sure there's anything I can do to keep the skunks away that wouldn't also keep the cats away.