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September 14, 2015

Kendal at Home Member Story: Starting a Neighborhood Feral Cat Program

Like many residents of neighborhoods around the country, Kendal at Home member Nancy wished she could do something about the abundance of stray cats in her community. In this month’s featured member story, we learn how Nancy and her neighbors created and implemented a successful Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) program for her neighborhood’s feral felines.

Along with other residents of her community, Nancy studied the issues of stray cats and created a feral cat program called Community Action to Save Strays, or CATSS. They found TNR programs are successful in many communities because they limit the number of kittens that are born to feral cats. Left to fend for themselves in the wild, these kittens usually die of starvation, accident, predatory animals or human cruelty.

The residents also learned that neutered cats don’t exhibit annoying behaviors such as fighting, vocalizing or uncontrolled breeding.

With donations and community support, CATSS has been able to provide neutering for more than 1,200 cats. They also have found homes for several hundred cats and kittens.

Nancy explains how the process works:

“When we trap a feral cat or rescue an abandoned animal, we first have a vet check it out for disease or injury. Animals that are unadoptable or unfit for release are humanely put down. Kittens and adoptable cats are socialized and fostered until adopted. All of our cats are ‘fixed’ and vaccinated before adoption. Ferals that are released are ear-tipped to show they have been neutered.”

Anyone can create a program like CATSS, Nancy says. You just need a group of like-minded people, the aid of a vet, if possible, and some community education about low-cost neutering. If you’d like to start a similar program in your neighborhood, visit www.alleycat.org.

Editor’s note: This member story comes from Le Chat, an award-winning Kendal at Home member publication. Le Chat is authored by Kendal at Home members and is produced quarterly.

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