EVOLVING NEWS!!! PLEASE VISIT http://www.millioncatchallenge.org/ AND GET ON BOARD TO JOIN THE MILLION CAT CHALLENGE!!!!
***NOTE: IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE VIEWING THESE LINKS BELOW, TRY MOZILLA FIREFOX OR CHROME INSTEAD OF INTERNET EXPLORER***
Once held in high esteem in ancient Egypt, they now add to our lives in so many ways. Feline care is specialized and their behavior is unique. This is why so many cats are misunderstood as companions, some are more difficult to “interpret” than others. But I like to explain them like human beings: While some are easy to understand, others need more work to get to know:) Some cats are more “dog like” and stay with you at all times, others like to be left alone and co-exist quietly with you. This is the fun part about deciphering cats!!!
Interesting aside: What color is my cat? Cat color and identification patterns (downloaded from University of Florida shelter medicine site)
TNR–what does it mean?
TNR is an acronym that has come to stand for Trap-Neuter-Return (formerly called Release).
What is a “Feral Cat” and what is a “Community Cat?” This is a great question!!!
This is a quote from a document published by Dr. Kate Hurley and Dr. Julie Levy (see link below to the full document) which explains this really well: “Community cat” is an umbrella definition that includes any un-owned cat. These cats may be “feral” (un-socialized) or friendly, may have been born into the wild or may be lost or abandoned pet cats. Some community cats are routinely fed by one or more community members, while others survive without human intervention. Whatever a cat’s individual circumstances, the term “community cat” reflects the reality that for these cats, “home” is within the community rather than in an individual household.
- Cats who live in a general social group such as these are called “colonies.”
What are TNR programs?
TNR programs are really grass-roots efforts when individuals trap community cats and take them to a participating veterinarian for spay/neuter and other medical services such as vaccination, wound treatment, and general care. Some clinics can offer these services on a greatly reduced cost fee due to grants and subsidies, others are more privately known and charge more to cover clinic overhead.
CHANGING PERCEPTIONS ABOUT COMMUNITY CATS:
Please read this document prepared by Dr Hurley and Florida’s own Dr. Julie Levy to gain a new perspective on these cats you might not have considered before:
This above document discusses basically this concept: What good are we doing by hauling in endless numbers of healthy Community Cats to shelters, who have no owner to claim them, and often are semi-feral, which result in shelter overcrowding and astronomical increases in euthanasia rates, disease spread from overcrowding and shelter resources (human and financial) that could be re-directed for arguably more effective measures to help the overall homeless animal population.
OPTIONS INSTEAD OF TAKING A COMMUNITY CAT TO A SHELTER:
It is an important time to make a distinction between a healthy, young or adult cat that is in this category from one that is a young kitten or very sick homeless cat; these have poor survival rates in the “wild” and they may be best candidates for trapping or catching and taking in to shelters. But otherwise, is the cat really, truly bothering you or your pet cats, or is it just occupying the same living space much like a wild creature such as an opossum or a raccoon?
If the cat is reasonably healthy, and you catch or trap it to take it to a shelter where it will face almost certain death/euthanasia, how do you feel about that option?
- U.S. Public Opinion on Humane Treatment of Stray Cats
- Sample Cat Flowchart
- Population characteristics of feral cats
- Returning Healthy Feral Cats
- Safe Relocation of Feral Cats
- Characteristics of free-roaming cats and their caretakers
Did you know there are many alternatives, from physical deterrents (are they terrorizing your flower bed or bird house?)…..to colony management on a small scale, to the increasingly advocated TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) approach that will at least help limit further reproduction by that cat.
AT-HOME OPTIONS FOR MANAGING NUISANCE COMMUNITY CATS AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO SHELTERING (see all resources but note the deterrents document)
This fact sheet taken from UC Davis’ internet site, the Koret Shelter Medicine Program, gives some excellent ideas for how citizens can help manage what they consider to be nuisance community cats. Please follow the link below to this fact sheet: (you may need to magnify it to the full size for best results)
ORPHANED KITTEN HELP! FERALS AND OTHERWISE…
FACT SHEETS ON PREDATION, DISEASE TRANSMISSION BY COMMUNITY CATS AND MANAGEMENT:
- Rabies Fact Sheet (NOTE: cats do not carry their own strain of rabies, it is acquired from other mammals)
- Considerations and Management of Infectious Diseases of Feral Cats
- Predation fact sheet
TNR Handbook for Neighborhood Cats, see picture of cover below (click on either to blow up the images), ordering and publishing information is on the next image.
RECOMMENDED INTERNET RESOURCES:
Alley Cat Allies, a plethora of factsheets are available as well as valuable information:
Neighborhood Cats, Inc.
UC Davis, Koret Shelter Medicine Program
University of Florida, Operation Catnip through the UF veterinary school and Maddie’s Fund
University of Florida, Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program