about ferals and trapping
what is a feral cat?
Feral cats are unowned and untamed cats. Feral cats are born in the wild, or may be abandoned or lost pets that have become wild. Feral cats do not trust humans and, as adults, are difficult to socialize. A stray cat is more trusting of humans.
All cats, feral and domestic, are capable of having multiple litters a year, with the average litter size being four or five kittens a single litter. These homeless kitties grow up, have more kitties and contribute to the large number of cats who are killed each year.
Feral cats may live alone but are usually found in large groups called colonies. When food and shelter are available, outside cats can live almost as long as indoor cats.
Killing cats does not solve the feral cat problem and local shelters do not have the resources to trap cats. As long as there are humans there will be free roaming cats. Together we can reduce the rate of euthanasia by fixing cats and not killing them. Contact FCAT for help with trapping, neutering, and releasing a feral or stray cat.
If you see young kittens, call FCAT ASAP. Please try to capture them! Kittens can be used as a lure to trap an otherwise wily cat. If FCAT traps the mama cat, then the entire feline family can spend time at the holding area. The kittens can be socialized and ready to go to loving homes. The mama cat will be spayed and returned to where she was trapped.
Unfortunately, some older kittens will not be socialized. There are just too many cats and not enough volunteers to help socialize them. If there’s not a volunteer willing to socialize a kitten, and the kitten is bigger than two pounds, the kitten will also be spayed or neutered and returned to its location. Not all kittens can be socialized and FCAT believes that it is more humane to return it right away than to attempt to socialize it.
FCAT does not believe there is such a thing as a no-kill shelter. The shelters that say they are no-kill are saying they do not kill adoptable animals. And policies vary wildly as to what each shelter considers adoptable. Shelters who believe that most animals are adoptable fill up quickly and are unable to accept new animals. Then, where do the animals who cannot find a shelter end up? At a shelter that euthanizes animals. FCAT believes that cats who are wild deserve a chance at life rather than dying at a shelter.
The best results for returning a cat to its original location is when the cat is returned to an area which has a dedicated volunteer who feeds the cats and watches for illness. Managing a feral colony is a thankless job and one that FCAT can’t help provide food for. There are too many cats needing feeding.
When trapping I use the Tru-Catch 30LTD Double Door trap and the Freeman net. Visit our YouTube channel to see more on trapping & netting. Because we so strongly believe the TruCatch trap is THE best choice, we have become a local distributor to help people needing/wanting a trap to save on shipping costs. Call or email us if you’re interested in purchasing a trap.
What is TNR? How does it work?
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), also know as Trap-Test-Vaccinate-Alter-Release (TTVAR), is a humane alternative to euthanasia for managing and reducing feral cat populations. TNR/TTVAR relies on sterilization of the cats so that they don't breed.
TNR begins with the trapping of feral cats using humane cage traps. The captured feral cats are taken to a veterinary clinic where they are spay or neutered. Typical TNR programs also involve providing vaccination. Finally the cats are marked so that they can be easily identified as a sterilized feral, usually by cropping the pointed end of the ear so that it has a square appearance (known as ear tipping). After the cat is sterilized and vaccinated, it is released back to the site of capture. (wikipedia.org)
Ideally, we try to make sure food and shelter is provide for the colony — cared for/maintained by volunteers, who also monitor the health of the colony…and keep an eye out for “new arrivals” (abandoned/stray/lost cats that may join the colony). We also want to acknowledge and thank our volunteers who give of their time & energy to look after colonies and/or assist others who do. They cover the expenses of the cats/colonies they care for.