How To Help Feral Cats (for stilltrucking)

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How To Help Feral Cats (for stilltrucking)

Post by abcrystcats » February 25th, 2006, 1:05 am

Feeding IS a GREAT first step to building relationships with the feral cats that will enable you to catch them later for spays/neuters.

The process is simple. After you've been feeding them regularly for a few months, withhold the food for a few days, then put the next feeding in humane traps. You can then take them to a vet clinic for spay/neuter and hopefully shots too. The vet can NOTCH one ear (it's not a big notch) of each feral cat he fixes, so you don't keep recatching cats you caught before.

The notch also identifies the cat to other rescuers as a FERAL that's been fixed and vaccinated. That is another neat way to prevent the cat getting slaughtered, if by some chance, he/she gets caught by animal control. Animal control is slightly more reluctant to kill a nonbreeder, and TNR groups will occasionally pull these cats into another colony to save their lives. If such a cat roams away from its original group, and finds its way to another feeding station, TNR rescuers AUTOMATICALLY take it in (with a sigh of relief since they don't have to do anything except feed).

If there are a lot of cats in your "colony" many will get wise to the traps and be hard to catch, but persistence often pays off.

If you use a regular family vet, these operations are NOT cheap, but organizations like Feral Cat Coalition often have local groups that will have an inside edge on the CHEAPEST local source for spay/neuters and may be able to help you or even take you on as a volunteer, committed to helping that cat colony. If you become a volunteer, then they usually take on the cost, as a nonprofit 501c(3) organization.

Here's the thing: Each time you catch a cat and give it the "snip" you've added YEARS to its life and given it a hundreds of percents better chance of survival. Skinny cats, exhausted from breeding and mating, get fat and strong and sleek. Ragged Toms, beaten up from battles with other Toms, heal their wounds and most don't ever fight again. There's no wailing outside your windows. There's no stinky smell of cat spray everywhere. Neighbors stop taking potshots at them with pellet guns. And for some strange reason, both sexes become more alert and find better ways to avoid cars and predators.

Vaccinations REALLY help. I lost a cat to some bizarre disease it caught from the local strays I was feeding. God forgive me. If it killed my Hershey, then the same disease killed many other cats before it. Vaccinations prevent the spread of lethal disease.

WHY did so many cats have to die before I got wise to the folly of JUST feeding them??? I feel so ashamed of my ignorance, and so RESPONSIBLE for these deaths. I will NEVER just feed cats again. I can't. The memory of all those deaths just makes me sick.

My rule is that ANY cat that enters my house has a home for life, with all the bells and whistles. Either I find them a good home, or they stay WITH ME. That's why I have two totally feral cats who won't even let me touch them. One ripped my fingernail off when we moved, but because I couldn't TAME them, I kept them. No way is any cat that crosses my path going to end up on the streets if I can help it.

Yeah, I have a slight monomania about this, but I loathe animal suffering created by humans. To me, it's about on a par with what Hitler did to the Jews. I HATE IT. It makes me NUTS. We can fight ourselves, but we have no goddamn right to injure other species chances of survival by our own crappy decisions.

Cats are my small corner of the universe. For others it may be dogs or deer or birds or bears. I love them all, but cats are my special fascination.

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