Hi everyone! We haven’t had a guest post in a while so let’s welcome Felix back!
Howdy, everybody! Today I’d like to talk about “community cats” and ways we can all help make their lives better. These cats are sometimes referred to as feral, but if they live in “colonies,” they’re really community kitties.
Many of you probably already do rescue and rehabilitation or fostering work, but as you know, Spring brings lots of litters and so many more of our compatriots who need help and nurturing. Community cats can live decent and long lives if they are properly cared for, and because they are taken care of by groups of people, they are more socialized than feral cats who are often single and solitary creatures who are wary of human contact.
There are several national organizations that offer educational programs and assistance to communities wishing to start a local TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) Program. Some of these have local state or city offices that can assist interested groups in setting up a community cat program. They can also offer advocacy advice on how to work with your state and local governments to pass legislation favorable to TNR programs.
These programs have been successful across the country, and one that you might like to check out is the ORCATS in Key Largo, FL. The Ocean Reef Club (hence, ORCATS) has an incredible community cat program at the north end of the island.
Residents of this community funded a hospital and sheltering program for their large “feral” population, and their cats are very lucky, indeed! They are fed and nurtured by all of the residents of the Ocean Reef community, and they have veterinary care and play/fostering. .
This successful program reduced the local feral population from 2000 cats to 500!
Best Friends in Utah was one of the earliest proponents of TNR, and along with the ASPCA in New York City and Alley Cat Allies in Bethesda Maryland, offers assistance to groups wishing to start a local TNR program. All of these organizations have state representatives ready to help you learn more, or start your own community cat program!
They also offer webinars and on-line information kits about getting involved in your community. Go ahead and get involved!
Thank you for an excellent post Felix! Alley Cat Allies is one of my favorite groups.