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Problems with people around ferals

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Am feeding a few feral colonies. In each area I am having problem with people in the area. No one around wants to help the cats, they don't want them around at all. These cats in each area were there, starving. No one cared enough to put down food. Some people are nasty and will deliberately slam a door or pick up food bowls and chase the cats away. The cats are scared, just trying to survive. They look forward to seeing me, and now I have to try to time going to each place around when people will not be around. It is very despairing. I have already taken so many in, and am dealing with pregnant females as well. So I can't take them all (though if I could, I would). My goal is just to make sure they are fed and safe and okay. I can't even stay long enough in some spots just to see how they are doing for the day. I also try to help socialize them a bit when I see them, attempting to gain their trust and let them come closer, especially so I can help them if needed. However, with everything going on, it is difficult to even see them on some days. It feels like there are just so many nasty selfish people that see me as a nuissance, just as much if not more, than the cats. Though it was negligence from people in the area that caused each colony to form. The cats are all so innocent and don't understand. Does anyone else have issues like this??? It feels like all my efforts to help them can easily be sabotaged by one nasty person, and it feels like everyday I must prepare for the next "battle" just to make sure these cats can be fed...
post #2 of 12
ugh! My heart goes out to you. I hope you can find others that are willing to help, too.
post #3 of 12
I don't know where in NY you are, but get online and see if you can find rescues in your area that deal with ferals/stray colonies. Nationally, Try Alley Cat Allies - they might know if someone is on the ground there and can help.

We have lots of feral caretakers on this site... maybe someone who does this can chip in some more advice.
post #4 of 12
Vibes and prayers for you in your efforts to help those cats. Bless you for caring.
post #5 of 12
Originally Posted by ConsumerKitty View Post
Vibes and prayers for you in your efforts to help those cats. Bless you for caring.

Adding my prayers and vibes, too
bless you for not giving up
post #6 of 12
Thank you for doing what you're doing!
post #7 of 12
Well, our situation was different, but others have faced this problem. Our situation is very rural, and the problem was farmers poisoning the cats and drowning the kittens. We wanted to stop that, but we needed them to understand the benefits of TNR. Now, it sounds to me like you're not trapping or having the cats sterilized. It can be quite a financial burden if you're not working with a group or don't have access to very low-cost or free spay/neuter services.

Sadly, and I really hate to say this, if you can't work on getting the cats spayed and neutered, it really is best not to feed them. They become dependent on food from us, it keeps them in the area, when they would otherwise go in search of food (and maybe stumble upon an area where someone is having them sterilized) - but it also helps keep them healthy so they CAN breed and produce more homeless kittens. It is heartbreaking no matter how you look at it.

To truly help these cats, there are a number of things you can do.

1) Search for support. Find a TNR group or other individuals that want to help.
2) Find low-cost or free spay/neuter services.
3) Help the people in the area understand why it is best to trap the cats, have them sterilized, and keep them in the area as opposed to just letting them breed or killing them.

I don't know how many homes are in the areas you're trying to work, or if you've been able to identify where the "problem" people live, but Alley Cat Allies has good brochures that can be printed out and put in people's mailboxes.

The general idea is that cats defend their territory. If sterilized, they will defend the territory but not breed, thus limiting the number of new cats in the area (unless people keep dumping or abandoning them). It is cheaper for the community to have someone managing a TNR program as opposed to having the cost of animal control trap and kill them. I don't know how much you know about this already, but there is lots of info - the picture in my signature is a link, and there's lots of info there about it!

But what we did to get the farmers to stop their plan and pursuade them to let us trap was provide them info about the benefits of TNR (trap-neuter-release). It was also attractive to them because it wasn't going to cost them anything. And, working in our favor, they didn't hate the cats, they just hated there were so many of them.

You can find educational materials here: Sadly, they are charging for them now. When we did it you could just download and print them out. But the charge is quite small for what it is. Probably about enough to defray their cost.

You can learn more about TNR by clicking the image in my siggie, by checking out the Alley Cat Allies' site:

At Best Friends: and

You can search for rescue groups and low-cost spay/neuter here:

You can also contact Alley Cat Allies to ask for the list of Feral Friends in your area - this will include low-cost spay/neuter or TNR groups or rescue groups:

And you can contact the Best Friends No More Homeless Pets campaign to see if there are any in their network in your area:

There is a GREAT TNR org in NYC. I don't know where in NY you are, but it may be worth contacting them to see if they know of any people or rescues in your area that may help - or if they know of any lost-cost or free spay/neuter services you could utilize. Or a place where you can borrow a trap.

We're here to answer questions, listen to vents, provide support... so if you have more of any, please post!

Hope this is helpful,

post #8 of 12
Hi NoWonder!

You are doing a great job, putting in it immense effort. I hope you dont overreach yourself. Burn-out is the danger you must keep watch for...

LDG wrote again a great article.

I shall try to fill up a little, seconding her thoughts.

To give food to the hungry and helpless is good doing. Even great doing in your case. Also giving your "karma" or "immortal soul" a big many plusses (im not ironic, i DO think this way). But real excellent it will be first when you have a plan behind it.
Ie a good TNR and or adopting-programme. Preferably a good TNR completed with some adopting... TNR is mandatory. Amount of adopting is depending on resources and how many good fosterers you do have... At best it can be 90% of the cats, in most cases much lesser. But apparently tame cats, and kittens should get adopted.

You do try to get friendly with the cats, hoping to make them adoptable, right? So you are already a little on this way.
Did you managed to get some adopted? Some may get adopted other ways too...

Btw, neutered they will get easier to both behave, and thus also get adopted... And a spontan-adopter dont need to think about neutering the first they do. It is not unusual people are ready to help a homeless cat, give it food and shelter, perhaps as a barn-cat or stable cat, but they are not prepared to pay a lot of money for neutering.

It will make it easier for you if you have other people helping you. Actively, or at least by giving symphatetic support. Try to learn people who are symphatetic to the cause. Even if their support is mostly passive.

In a phase it will be more work for you. But hopefully, in the long run - less. In any case, you dont have much choice. If you dont do nothing and everything goes on as it does today - you will soon get burned out.
And the cats will be more and more...

Try the links and adresses given you by LDG.
You can also write up on message boards in your neighborhoods:
Something in the style:
"Lets try to help homeless cats with adoption for the adoptable, neutering for the others, and giving food and some shelter for them.
Solving the problems in ethical, human way, so both the cats and people in the neighborhood will fare well, and everybody may have a clean conscience."

for Info and volunteers, please contact:
so Your christian name "NoWonder".
a hotmail or yahoo.adresse, tel preferably to a cash-card-mobilphone. There ARE some quirks, dont give away in the open your home-number!

It is quite common cat helpers who gives food to the cats arent popular. Yes even hated. So the homeless cats are.
As you surely had noticed.... *sadly smile*
This is another reason why you should have a programme.
You arent not this "nuisance lady", but now you are constructively solving a problem common in that area. You are in fact doing them all a favor.
A good conscience is something very nice for everybody!

Remind them of the good shepherd, who having 100 sheeps at home, made himself great pains to find and fetch back home that lost sheep.
It is a tale about God, but who says it cant be a tale for real? About cats, even???

Good luck, and a lot of vibes!
post #9 of 12
I'm not particularly popular in my neighborhood either. We have a real nasty neighbor across the street who threatens to call animal control on a daily basis. I told him that these cats are innocent and did not ask to be here. They are a product of neglectful people. I TNR as many of them as I can. It's kitten season and I'm currently on a waiting list to take more in to be TNR'd (middle of this month).

I told him that treating them as a nussiance or turning a blind eye to them is a huge part of the proble. I also informed him that he can be part of the solution and help me to TNR each and every cat/kitten that need to be. He shut up after that. .....I'll keep plugging away, trying to do my part to help the helpless.
post #10 of 12
Originally Posted by chadsgirl374 View Post
... We have a real nasty neighbor across the street who threatens to call animal control on a daily basis. .... I TNR as many of them as I can. to do. ....
Excellent job!

Here is the next point why have a TNR-programme:

Animal control arent necesserily heartless monsters to be threatened with.
They are there to solve a situation, this way or another.
If there is no good solution, they nilly willy must take the bad solution.

But if they are presented with proposal of good, constructive solution; ie a working TNR-programme with volunteers who work actively with it - there are excellent chances they wont come and kill off the homeless.
Why, do contact them yourself. Chances are rather good they will help you some. There is even a chance they will help you much. Such thing do happen as forumists here tells sometimes.
Phone them anonymously at first, if you are afraid to say too much. "consulting" as is the term here in Sweden. Listen to their response, and tell more firstly when you are sure they are symphatic and seems to react positively to your description.

Sending vibes!
post #11 of 12
We have 5 that do not belong to us but showed up after an auction & a farm was sold & no one there to feed them as in the past. An old gent fed the cats for years. He moved & the cats had to find food..needless to say..they are here. I/we tried trapping such luck..We had 2 in the live trap that we didn't care to keep. The 2 that were trapped escaped. 3 went in that we do want. Now they are wise to the trap & wont have any part of it. There is one that is exactly like our old male that is no longer with us..we would like to keep it. Long hair black & white. He/she is very timid & shy. There is another one who is real cute & very shy also. Kind of like a low rider..short little legs but very fast. It is a tabby. Plus our cat. The 2 we would like to is a very pregnant female. The other is a pesty male that gets into everything. Including the bird feeders. Now we will have to find the kittens & mother & take them to the shelter. Plus we had 3 other ones we moved. Any ideas on how to re-catch the cats?? I love cats but enough is enough. & when you garden the whole place is like a huge cat box.
post #12 of 12
Nanerpuss, there are some threads where ideas for catching difficult cats are discussed. The nearest is Cat is mocking me...

Good luck!
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