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What are the unspoken rules of caring for strays and ferals?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello, everyone!

Along with being a kitty mom for the first time ever, I have also begun caring for the feral colony in my neighborhood, as well at least one stray. Having had experience now with people who are trying to do good things for animals that turn out bad, I was wondering what my care should entail.

I have not been brave enough to call anyone about TNR yet, although I do want to...one male (I call him Spirit because he's sleek and all white, but his tail flares like the legs on a pair of yoga pants) that I see often I think has fathered litters with every female in the neighborhood, because I've seen at least 4 all white "teenagers" lurking about. Another one (Leo, because he's brave as a lion. Not afraid of ANYTHING!) has fathered at least one litter. At this point, all I have been doing is providing a covered shelter they can use during rain or snow, and leaving food out for them.

What should I be doing? If I'm not brave enough (ok, ok...or can't afford) to get them trapped and neutered, who might I call to help me? Are there certain things I should not feed them? Should I be feeding them at all?

Thanks for your experienced guidance!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #2 of 6
From what I understand, if you do not have the means to get the kitties fixed, you should not be feeding them either.

I'm not sure who you can call for information on TNR, but I'm sure someone with more experience will see be around shortly.

Good luck. (=
post #3 of 6
As cruel as it sounds, you should not be feeding them if you can't spay and neuter them. All feeding them does is bring more in your area, prompting colonization, breeding, fighting, etc... They will find other places for food hopefully with people who can afford to TNR and stop the breeding cycle.

No one is faulting you for not being able to afford to spay and neuter them, but before you discount this as not being viable, call around to local rescues and find out if there is a mobile spay and neuter clinic in your area. They work on a donation basis, they work hard and you will be put on a waiting list. Then once you have a time frame, then start feeding them, get them trapped in time to get into the neuter mobile and understand that you did good-
post #4 of 6
There are resources out there even if they aren't easy to find. We've got a lot of information compiled at Save Samoa, including links to directories of TNR organizations nation- and world-wide, instuctions and tips on trapping, and other questions.

It sounds like you are committed to these cats, and that is wonderful! The problem with feeding without neutering and spaying is that the feeding allows for healthier breeding, and more and more kittens to be born and survive...which of course only adds to the feral population problem.
post #5 of 6
wow its so diffrent in usa then in england here if there are ferral cats if we catch them alot and i mean a lots of vets recuse etc will spayed them for free
post #6 of 6
The neuter scooter will be in Columbus on May 22nd. They charge $40 per domesticated cat (if you book online) and $20 for ferals. I would suggest contacting them:


What about feral cats?
The Neuter Scooter is also very involved in helping spread the word about humane alternatives to trapping and killing stray & feral (wild) cats. Many communities have adopted a TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) policy for feral cats, which, in conjunction with feral cat caretakers monitoring feral cats in managed colonies, is the most humane method of handling a community's feral cat problem. The Neuter Scooter offers a special program for feral cats. Cats/colonies meeting the program requirements can receive their spay/neuter surgery plus vaccinations for $20 per cat. Contact the Neuter Scooter for program requirements for feral cats.

If you are interested in finding out how your community can benefit from a feral cat program visit IndyFeral's website at www.indyferal.org.
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