‘The General’ is our volunteer trappers’ nemesis. We have unsuccessfully tried to catch this guy to get him neutered. We have come very close even catching him in a drop tap, but this smart and agile guy dug out a
nd escaped in short order. He was fittingly called ‘The General’ since he has shown he is in charge of this situation. We will continue until we outsmart him and he is caught and neutered. It is most important to spay or neuter all the cats within our colonies to stop any breeding activity.
During kitten season local shelters take in over 120 kittens per week during kitten season. The most important part of TNR is “N” Neuter part.
One day while patiently trapping a cat. We became aware of some cats that were being cared for by a woman who was a tenant in one of the nearby offices. In this colony was Jet (black Cat), Carol Anne (White/Orange/long hair) and Rusty —All had been fixed! She had been caring for these beautiful cats about 5-6 years. Then one day about 2 months after meeting her, we noticed the business no longer was there, after inquiring around, we realized, sadly she had abandoned the cats. We took over the care and feeding of this colony. Rusty is the only one to date currently returning to the feeding station.
We are very pleased that this kind-hearted woman had ensured they were fixed and cared for them as long as she was available. But, the ideal way to handle a colony that you can no longer care for is to reach out to local TNR groups so they are aware of the cats and can work to find a replacement caretaker.
Our volunteer colony feeders notified our director that new cats were spotted at one of our colonies. Here are some initial pictures as they are a little skittish.
Properly conducted TNR means we will trap these guys and evaluate their temperament after they are spayed or neutered. They will either be placed for adoption if we can find a local rescue or released back to the colony if they are not social enough.
We suspect they were dumped by some uncaring individual. Please remember dumping is not an acceptable way to deal with unwanted animals or free roaming cats in your neighborhood. There are many resources and organizations to advise you and provide low cost services for neutering or spaying.
If you spot some kittens that you think might be alone, you want to first determine if the mother has truly abandoned them or if mom is just off getting food. How do you do that? Wait and Observe. ( Be sure to stay out of sight and observe from a distance) She will return within a few hours if she is still caring for them.
Now that you have spotted her, determine if the mother is unsocialized to humans; if you cannot handle her; and the kittens are too young to be separated from her; the best thing for the family is to leave them where they are for now, provided the location is safe. Remember, the mother is best able to care for her kittens. Provide food, water, and shelter. Monitor the family daily and make the environment as safe for them as you can.
The sad fact is that unweaned kittens turned into open intake shelters without their mothers may be killed. These shelters need to rely on foster homes that will bottle feed the kittens, a resource that is often limited.
Visit our links page for more resources. And be sure to have mom spayed once the kittens are weaned to stop the cycle of reproduction.
*photo credit to echoe69, Snuggled up with mom, www.flikr.com