Helping Stray Cats in Your Neighborhood

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Stray cats are a problem in every community. Many are born out of doors to wild mothers, become lost or have been abandoned. Many people recognize this as a problem but don’t know how to help. But there are many things that you can do!

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  • Spay and neuter your own cats! If not, they could be contributing to the problem.
  • Keep identification on your own cat, if it goes outside. Microchipping is a permanent way to identify your cat. Collars with tags that have your name and telephone number on them are a must. Identification is your pet’s ticket back home.
  • Consider having an indoor only pet. Many become displaced when left to roam outside and then become stray themselves.
  • Communicate! When a new cat shows up, ask your neighbors if this is their pet. Getting to know your neighborhood pets builds community and keeps you on the alert for any animals that have gotten into trouble. Knowing who belongs where can keep an animal from becoming permanently lost..
  • Place signs and ads when an animal is found. Post signs in supermarkets, post offices, community centers, pet stores and veterinary hospitals, etc. Put a brief description of the animal, location where it was found and your telephone number. Leave out details. If someone calls have them give you identifying features of the animal (crooked tail, spot on forehead, etc) so you know they are not out to get a free cat.
  • When adopting a stray cat, be sure it doesn’t belong to someone! Often cats wander for several days at a time and this is normal for them. Some people will not consider a cat lost until they are gone a week or two. Make every effort to locate an owner first.
  • Feeding stray cats is not enough. Instead of only investing in cat food, invest in having them spayed or neutered.
  • Involve your neighbors! Every neighborhood has a “Momcat” who has litter after litter. She reproduces and her kittens then do. Your neighborhood may also have a resident “Tomcat” who is the father of many and a troublemaker. Neutering him helps stop his breeding and spreading of disease. You and your neighbors can chip in $5.00 to have them fixed. You can even have a bake or yard sale to raise money! The costs of spaying and neutering, veterinary care and food are much less when shared. Another benefit is that no one person feels they are shouldering the burden. Many communities have colonies of healthy feral cats. The responsibility of maintaining these colonies is shared among several caretakers.
  • If you cannot find a home for every stray cat, make it a healthy cat in the meantime. Have them spayed or neutered and provide shelter, food, water, socialization and medical care on a consistent basis. These will greatly help the life of an outdoor animal.
  • Never ignore a cat in trouble. YOU may be the cat’s only chance at being helped.
  • Volunteer with a group that helps cats or start one. You many be surprised that others are doing the same thing as you. This is an invaluable way to share resources and knowledge.

 

Randi

Randi E. Golub, CVT is the author of Sugarbabies - A Holistic Guide to Caring for Your Diabetic Pet and The Feel Better Book for Cats & Dogs - Nursing Care for All Life Stages.

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Randi

Randi E. Golub, CVT is the author of Sugarbabies - A Holistic Guide to Caring for Your Diabetic Pet and The Feel Better Book for Cats & Dogs - Nursing Care for All Life Stages.