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Helping With a Colony of Cats

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello, an elderly neighbor just knocked on my door to ask me for help (he knows I'm a cat lover). Anyway, he's taking care of a colony of cats and kittens and wants to find them homes if at all possible! There are 10 kittens (five still nursing) and 3 adults (2 females and one male) -- none are fixed. They are not his cats, he's just been putting food out because he saw them around the neighborhood. Now, they are mostly hanging out in his backyard, though they wander the neighborhood as well. Do you have any recommendations for me to help him? Trap them all? Start with getting them fixed? Capture the kittens first and take them to rescue societies? I have also emailed somebody at the Feral Cat Foundation, but I know there are so many knowledgable people here on the Cat Site too! Thanks in advance for your advice.
post #2 of 19
I'll let hissy handle the question since she is the pro at this stuff and I don't want to give you the wrong advice!
post #3 of 19

Could you contact your local SPCA, San Francisco, SPCA, or hopalong, the rescue shelter in Oakland? i think hopalong is nearest to you. You can ask for Kate.

post #4 of 19
You will need traps and you can usually find them by calling the humane shelers, or any animal rescue group or even the vets. When you set the traps up, be sure to put them in an isolated area where you know the cats will go, and once they are trapped, you want to cover them with a dark blanket to calm them down. They have kitten traps and adult sizes as well, and you want the heart traps as they are the most humane.

This time of year, the spay mobiles are usually full up but if there is one in your area that you call and they say there is no room, volunteer to help out during the spay and neuter weekend in exchange for some spays and neuters of this colony. Thankfully, this colony is not very large, so you should be able to trap them easily. You want to be careful though, because you have to make sure you get all the kittens and the mothers, and once they sense danger they vanish quickly. good luck!
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
A contact of mine at the Feral Cat Foundation will be bringing 3 traps next weekend to get started on this feral colony. It will be a good start if we can get a couple of the adult cats fixed, and get the kittens adopted out!
post #6 of 19
Bravo to you for taking on this project...and bravo to the man who asked for your help in caring for these cats!
post #7 of 19
Best of luck and keep us posted!
post #8 of 19
Good luck! It is great that you caught it early before it got out of hand!
post #9 of 19
Angela - obviously the crazy cat lady of your neighborhood, LOL!!! Thank you for being there to help!!!!

Do keep us posted!! ...and good luck!!!

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
LOL! And I didn't even realize that the neighbors knew! Must be all the bumper stickers on my car and all the food bowls outside for the feral cats!

I'll let you know what happens -- we're going to try to trap some of them this coming Sunday.
post #11 of 19
Gee, Angela, ya think?

Good Luck!
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well, we just captured 5 kittens, 2 adult females and one adult male. They are all going to the vet in the morning. The kittens will get a check up and then I will foster them until we can find them homes. The adults will be spayed/neutered, get their shots and other healthcare, and then we'll determine if they are adoptable or should be re-released back into the neighborhood. There are plenty of people here who will feed them, and at least they will then be fixed! Next weekend we will try to capture the remaining 5 kittens and a couple more of the males we've seen wandering the neighborhood. I think this is a giant step towards helping this colony of cats!
post #13 of 19
That is excellent! Let us know how the vet visit goes.
post #14 of 19
Harry how did the vet visit go?
post #15 of 19
sounds like you are doing a great job!! How did the vet visit go? Knowing that you are making a difference is so wonderful!
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Sadly, one of the feral cats had to be euthanized and I have been in a depression all week. The poor guy had leukemia, was FIV positive, had thyroid disease, plus a mangled leg. But, it was the leukemia that led to the vet's recommendation. As a feral cat, he would have really suffered outside and possibly infected other cats. On a more positive note, the two females are very healthy and were fixed, they are now recovering in the garage. I'm hoping that they will become human friendly and adoptable. There are also 3 little rescued kittens that are healthy, happy and like people -- so they will definitely be adopted! This weekend, we will attempt to trap the tom cats and remaining older kittens. I know I'm doing the right thing here, but I don't know if I can handle any more death and disease. It really hurts my heart.
post #17 of 19
i'm so sorry about the one kitty, but you are saving the other kitties lives. That poor guy got to go to the rainbow bridge and be pain free. It is alot better then what would have happened if you hadn't stepped in. You are doing the right that!!! I was so crushed when I found out lilly was pregnant when she was spayed, but time heals all and I know that is what was best for her. She is just a kitten herself. You are being a good kitty angel
post #18 of 19
What sad news. I agree that it was the best thing to do. The poor guy would have been miserable soon if he wasn't already. My heart goes out to you.
post #19 of 19

He's much better off now. You spared him a painful death. I know you know this, and sometimes the heart doesn't listen to what the head knows. But you are truly a kitty angel, and he appreciates what you've done and may be sitting on your shoulder thanking you right now.

I hope the rest are healthy, and good luck finding homes! Please keep us posted! You are doing such a wonderful thing.

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