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How to deal with people who are against u helping ferals?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I just received this email from my mom which really disappointed me..

I cannot believe that you are trapping feral cats. Not only the bother to the other cats, but the smell in your bathroom, etc. You really need to focus on just your FOUR cats, and not worry about the others. How do you know they are feral, maybe they belong to a neighbor and just got lost. Probably more accurate, someone wants to find a new home and all of Maryland knows to take their cats to your neighborhood because they know you will take them in. Well, I hope you get rid of the cat.
SIGH. She threw a fit during Christmas when she found out I was fostering Taz for a while. My family have 2 dogs and 2 cats but it seems they don't really understand how bad it is for ferals and to be honest, I feel like they look down on me for doing this. They keep saying that if I keep doing this that I would end up being a old crazy cat lady with millions of cats milling around my home. I keep telling them that this is only temporary, that I WILL NOT ADOPT any more cats. I am just trapping these cats to get them fixed and taken care of somewhat.. I just HATE the feeling that I get whenever they talk about this.. feeling soo... I can't think of the word but it's not good.

Any of u guys out there have had this experience with ur family and/or close friends? if so, how did u handle/respond to this???
post #2 of 11
Pamela, the best way to handle it is Educate, Educate, Educate!

Show them how bad the overpopulation problem is. Show them that the problem with the feral overpopulation can effectively be dealt with by TNR. Show them how bad it IS for a cat left to their own devices, just trying to survive while constantly reproducing. Show them that the kitten mortality rate for ferals without human intervention is over 50% - isn't it better that these kittens are not born just to suffer a horrible death?

www.straypetadvocacy.org will give you more information that you would possibly use.
post #3 of 11
She sounds like my mother who will not come and visit us anymore because we have to many cats! LOL She keeps telling me I need to stop taking in the ferals, but as I have told her repeatedly, if I don't take them, who will?

Heidi is right, you can open your mom's mind with education of the issues.
post #4 of 11
I am fortunate enough to have a family that doesn't criticize when they don't understand. They think we're nuts - but they don't bother us with trying to change what we're doing.

I'm so sorry your mom doesn't understand. It must feel hurtful. But we're here, and we KNOW you're crazy - we just join you rather than fight you!

Heidi's right. Education is the only tool at your disposal. But it's an emotional issue - maybe ask her doesn't she think she should be proud that she raised such a wonderful daughter who cares about homeless animals? By inconveniencing yourself one cat at a time (and STILL loving the four you have!), you're saving 10s (and multiples of that just a few years out) for each cat you have spayed or neutered.

You're an angel for all you do, and try not to let her get you down.

(BTW - in the non-lethal control section of Stray Pet Advocacy are links to research on the effectiveness of TNR. Don't send her the links - print them out and mail them to her. This isn't something you're doing on some whim - it works, and cities and counties all over this country are adding TNR to their arsenal of homeless cat management).


post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the support.. now I'm crying. I'll print out the info you've suggested and send it to her but I'm not holding much hope with that because I've tried many times to explain about TNR and how it really helps and they don't really listen (meaning listen and accepting).

I replied to her and basically said that I guess I can't share this part of my life with her then and that it really hurt me knowing that she and other family members look down on me for doing this and promised I will not share any more info regarding my work with ferals with her or other family members since it seems to bother them so much. (She's really good at giving me guilt trips so I guess this is my way of giving HER a guilt trip- I know it's not very effective but I want her to know that her comments really hurt me.)

Now I better get off and go cool down.. I really appreciate all ur support, understanding and listening ears on this..
post #6 of 11
Pamela...I agree...this is the perfect time to educate your mom about the issues regarding overpopulation. I am very fortunate that my family is big into cats so my TNR volunteer work makes perfect sense to them.

post #7 of 11

I've gotten the name Crazy Cat Lady from my family too because I'm feeding the ferals that come into my yard. Even worse, I'm compared to my sister's brother-in-law who IS a Crazy Cat Man. He owns 14 indoor cats (which is nothing compared to some on this board) but he doesn't take care of them. None of them are spayed, he doesn't have enough litter boxes. He allows them to use his carpets. His clothes always smell of litter. If you put your coat on top of his, your coat picks up the smell. I have 2 indoor cats, 2 litters and my house only smells clean.

I remind my family that I'm taking on a time honored tradition. My grandmother had 7 cats that she cared for. All were feral, but Grandma would sit on her back porch and have cats sitting around her feet and in her lap while she rocked. My grandfather said that when she died, the cats were all laying together in the backyard with no fights.

Educate your mom. Remind her that she raised you to be compassionate and caring.

One good thing about millions of cats milling around your house...no mice or squirrels to deal with! I haven't found a mouse in my house since I started feeding my ferals.

post #8 of 11
Me and my mom have had some very long talks. I have 12 cats, 2 dogs and some fish, she just doesn't really understand. She is getting better though. I explained to her that I want to help these animals and if I don't know one else will. Also by getting them fixed I am making it so I will have less cats, because lets face it, if I just let them breed outside it is just more to feed.
My mom kinda understands now and even sews all the catnip toys I make That is ALOT of work.

Good luck, I hope she listens to you!
post #9 of 11
Keep doing what you're doing. I'm in the same situation. My mom thinks I'm crazy trapping these cats. She asks the same questions, "What about your cats, they could catch something, don't you have enough with your own 3 cats and 3 ferrets?" She then asked me "How many cats do you now have in the house?" When I told her 5 (because I had 2 of the ferals in my bathroom temporarily until they went to the shelter) she just gave this disapproving sigh. I've just come to realize that not everybody is going to feel the way I do about animals. I'm on my own and the only people who truly understand are the type of people who join these lists. I'm ok with that. I'm doing what I love and that is caring for these cats and to h*ll with what others think. I have to live with myself, not them.
post #10 of 11
One night I caught a cat in my mom's neighborhood that we weren't going for. One I'd never seen. I decided to take it in anyway to make sure it was sterilized, and my mom was upset. It might be someone's pet, how would you like it if somebody took your cat, etc.

Well, she still feels that way but she's also been slightly converted to sterilize anything with 4 legs, because her neighborhood has had some unwanted litters crop up and guess who took care of them all and the mothers--me. That opened her eyes to the benefits of nipping the problem BEFORE it happens.

What I do in my house is my business. I'd be irate if my mother took a tone with me about my cat rescuing. I'd ask her when's the last time she got off her *** and did something good for another living being ... or I'd want to!

I'd present her with 2 things:
statistics for how fast cats reproduce.
a question: if I don't do it, who will?

Sadly, I think my friends have had it up to here with hearing my cat trapping anxieties and stories, and they so don't get it. I'm glad to have found this other outlet now.

Most social progress and reform goes through a period of ridicule before it's accepted. Think of women's rights, minority rights...now it's animal rights. We're cutting edge and we get hurt sometimes because of it.
post #11 of 11
Pamela, I am so sorry that your mum makes you feel this way. I agree with the others, educate her. Who else is going to take the cats?

I have been lucky - I was always bringing home stray cats and my family was more than patient with me - they bonded with the cats that I brought home.

Good luck and hugs to you.
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