Tag Archives: feral cats

Feral Cat Rescue: The Big Job

feral cat in trap for TNR programAs I mentioned in previous posts, I am endeavoring to rescue a group of cats that have developed a colony on my friend’s property in Tuscarawas County, OH.

First, the kittens in the colony were taken to the Tuscarawas County Humane Society cat shelter, where they are receiving treatment for eye infections and upper respiratory infections. Two females were well enough for surgery immediately, and they have already been spayed. The 3 remaining males will be neutered when they are are a bit healthier. All will be placed for adoption when they are ready.

Second, we began the trapping process for the adult cats this past Tuesday. I successfully trapped 7 cats (!) and transported them to One is One of a Kind Pets in Fairlawn, OH for  spay/neutering. It was a 60 mile trip with 7 angry cats, but they were basically calm. My truck still smells like a zoo, though…

All 7 were spayed/neutered yesterday. We discovered that one is very tame and friendly. The clinic staff fell in love with him, and we have decided to put him up for adoption when he recovers from his surgery and an upper respiratory infection. YAY! Mr. Orange Stripey is going to get a furrever home with a loving family!!!

The rest of the cats will be returned to my friend’s property, where she will continue to feed and care for them and the rest of the colony.

Some people question the purpose of TNR. Why return wild cats? Why go to the trouble of catching and spaying a semi-wild animal?

There are a number of reasons, about which you can read in depth on the Alley Cat Allies website. Here is my summary:

  1. Cats that have not been neutered continue to mate and reproduce, leading to an overwhelming overpopulation of unwanted animals. There are also numerous behavior problems associated with the mating process that become a nuisance to humans. TNR stops the overpopulation and it eliminates the nuisance behaviors that annoy humans.
  2. Cats are territorial animals. They ward off interlopers to their colonies, and they do not attract other cats when they are neutered. Colonies of cats that are neutered control their own populations by their natural instincts. No new cats arrive to the colony through reproduction or wandering, so the population does not grow.
  3. Neutered cats tend to have fewer health concerns and they tend to live longer, quality lives in a managed colony. They pose negligible risks to public health according to research.

If you are interested in engaging in TNR activities, that is AWESOME! Please familiarize yourself with the process before you start. It is not an activity that you should attempt without guidance. Read Alley Cat Allies’ TNR Guide or other resources that provide technical guidance, and consult with experienced TNR rescuers. Develop a method for fund raising to allay costs. That is what I have done.

The next trapping of cats in the colony will take place next week. Stay tuned!

Kitten Rescue Complete. Now for the big job…

The kittens about whom I wrote the other day are now adjusting to their new temporary home at the Tuscarawas County Humane Society cat shelter! I am deeply grateful for the generosity of Megan, Shelter Director, and the rest of the kitty crew for taking in these special little critters.

In the coming days, they will get cleaned up, have their eyes tended to, and be assessed for health concerns. As you can see in the photo, the one with Siamese markings has major eye issues – her eyes are totally crusted together so that she cannot see. Some are coughing and sneezing too. That is not unusual. Megan expressed optimism about their recovery and potential adoption possibilities.

kitten rescueThere are 5 kittens in all. One was a little squirrely in my first capture attempt, but she made it to the shelter on the second try.

There are many fabulous cats at the shelter. If you are interested in adopting these kittens or other cats, check out their page of adoptable cats.

The trapping process with the adult feral cats begins next Tuesday. A friend from Peace for Pets is lending me some traps, and I will take as many as I can trap up to One is One of a Kind Pets in Fairlawn, OH for the spay/neuter. We have a warm place for their post op recovery and then they will go back to their habitat.

The process will be continued on other dates until we feel certain that all the cats have been vetted.

What an adventure!

BZTAT

And the rescue is about to start…

feral kittensYesterday I wrote about how I was going to help with a friend’s feral cat colony. I mentioned that there were kittens in the group that had health issues. I got some good news about them today.

The Tuscarawas County Humane Society has a cat shelter, and they have agreed to take the kittens. Yay! Not only will they take them, they will also get them vetted and nursed back to health, and then put them up for adoption when they are ready.

I plan to catch the kittens tomorrow (I hope they won’t need traps) and take them in to the shelter in the evening. I will follow up with the shelter and keep you posted on their progress.

There are still adult cats who will need to be trapped, spay/neutered and returned to the wild. I am considering 2 programs for this. One is One of a Kind Pets in Fairlawn, OH. Fairlawn is quite a distance, but the program has better availability.  The other program is the Tuscarawas Co. Humane Society who uses the mobile Rascal Unit for low cost spay/neuter. Although it is closer, there is less frequent access to them.

Whichever program I choose, both will entail some costs for the spay/neuter process for each cat. I have started a ChipIn fund raising event to raise money to cover these costs. (Please see widget in sidebar.) Each spay/neuter will cost around $60. Transportation costs may need to be covered as well, if we use One of a Kind Pets. Any assistance that you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

All of the donated money will go to a dedicated account at the CSE Federal Credit Union in Canton, OH. If donated funds exceed actual costs, the money will be used for another rescue effort.

Please follow the rescue efforts on the Okey’s Promise Facebook page. Wish me well!

Profiles of Hope: Another Feral Cat Story

ragdoll birman cat artI have been helping a friend in her recovery from open heart surgery. Her recovery is going well, but it will be some time before she is able to resume her usual activities. One of her usual activities is tending to the numerous feral cats who show up on her doorstep.

My friend lives in the country – one of those picturesque, rural Ohio roads that we all dream of in greeting card bliss.  It is one of those places where deer roam freely, the snow drifts in beautiful, undisturbed mountains of white, the grass and meadows shine in verdant greens in summer, and the trees are a blaze of color in the fall.

You know. One of those places that people go to dump the unwanted offspring of the pets that they failed to get spayed or neutered.

I am not sure how many cats there are, but my friend’s colony is growing. I feel a need to help her intervene at this stage, especially since she has her own health issues to worry about.

I have been considering the prospect of expanding Okey’s Promise into actual rescue efforts for some time. In fact, I have been considering helping this friend with Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) with her colony for awhile. I believe that the time is now for Okey’s Promise to take action. There are cats in need, and we have the opportunity to help.

There are some adoptable cats in this colony. Some have already been vetted and spay/neutered. I will be posting images of them in the coming days. If you have an interest, or know someone who does, please let me know.

There are also kittens in this colony approximately 3-4 months old. These kittens have health issues – eye problems and possible upper respiratory concerns. I plan to start a fund raising campaign within the next week to make it possible to get these kittens well and hopefully ready for adoption.

There are adult cats in the colony who will not be likely candidates for adoption. Fund raising will be initiated for them as well to get them spay/neutered and vetted from disease. They will be returned to their habitat so that they can protect their colony, yet avoid further reproduction.

I have learned from engaging in the Okey’s Promise projects and this website that feral cats are perhaps the most vulnerable creatures when it comes to animal abuse. Not only are they cast offs from society, they often become victims to those who abuse animals as a way to release their own sense of powerlessness.

Caring for a colony of feral cats is a preemptive strike against animal abuse. I plan to research the best methods for managing and providing TNR for this colony so that my friend can rest assured that her cats are getting what they deserve. Your help in this effort will be greatly appreciated.

I look at my 5 cats and realize that, had someone not intervened, each of them would have had the same fate as these creatures at my friend’s home in the country. My beloved pets were each one step away from a sad ending to their stories. Yet they are living happily ever after.

My hope is that Okey’s Promise Keepers will help make this feral cat story have a happy ending too.