October 14, 2011

National Feral Cat Day!

"Already, U.S. animal shelters are forced to kill millions of homeless cats and dogs annually. The alternative to humane euthanasia for almost every stray is a violent end or slow, painful death. Many "throwaways" die mercilessly outdoors from starvation, disease, abuse — or as food for a predator.
A pair of breeding cats, which can have two or more litters per year, can exponentially produce 420,000 offspring over a seven-year period. And the overpopulation problem carries a hefty price tag. Statewide, more than $50 million (largely from taxes) is spent by animal control agencies and shelters for cat-related expenses." from Feral Cat Coalition http://www.feralcat.com/

What are you doing to celebrate National Feral Cat Day? Me?
Well, I have been a part of a cat rescue group for the past three years. My favorite and most rewarding volunteer activity is to go out and trap feral cats (in a humane cage). We then take them to a veterinarian who works with rescue groups and get the cats any medical needs, vaccinations and neutered/spayed. After this, we take the cat home and let their surgery heal. Because they are feral and do not trust humans, we must keep them in a crate, make them as comfortable as possible. If I think they show a potential to be socialized and adopted out, I will begin that long process. In my experience, it seems that the kittens are easier to socialize. But the adult cats are not so easy. Those that cannot be socialized will have their left ear tipped and them they are released back into the area where they were found. The Veterinarian will tip their left ear because that is a universal sign for other people and city animal services will know that the cat has been spayed/neutered, vaccinated and released back into it’s territory. This process is called TNR. Many cities already practice this and it is so much more humane for these beautiful creatures.
Historically, Animal Control has tried to eliminate feral cats by trapping and killing them! This attempt at eradicating cat colonies has proven to be ineffective and expensive. Not to mention, unspeakably cruel! Please educate yourself on how to identify and care for feral cats in your area. Getting them neutered and spayed is the best and most beneficial for the good of these animals! Follow this link to learn more about this desperate situation that continues to worsen.


Another good resource is http://www.aspca.org

Here are some photos of the cats that were feral and were socialized. They are part of our family now and we are so grateful for their company. Enjoy!







This is a photo of three cats we are currently trying to trap and place in the TNR program. They live behind our office building! We provide them with water and food.


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