|Suggested Guidelines for Feral Cat Colony Caretakers||| Print ||
Am I ready for this Responsibility?
They're hungry, they're breeding, they may be ill or injured. This is the scene that many people come upon BEFORE humans intervene in a feral cat "colony". A "colony" is the term used to describe a group of unowned wild or stray cats. Feeding is the first step in caring for feral cats, but certainly not the ONLY step and not even the most important step!
As stated above, the FIRST step in caring for feral cats is food and water, but the most IMPORTANT step is the spaying and neutering of your colony. If food is provided, yet you neglect to follow through with the spaying and neutering you will double, triple and quadruple your cat population in no time at all. This will be an extra burden to you and the members of your colony, is not necessary, and brings kittens into a world of "wild living" and overpopulation.
Once all the cats in your colony have been altered, then you can settle into the last step of colony management, which is "maintenance". Below are the suggested guidelines for Feral Cat Colony Management.
Fresh water should be given each time fresh food is supplied. If water is gone when you visit the colony, increase the number of water bowls or get a bigger one. It is important that water is available at all times.
It is extremely important to keep the feeding station neat and clean. This is vital, not only for the health of the cats, but also for keeping neighbors happy. Keep the food/water dishes clean by having two sets. One at the site, and another clean and available to replace the dirty ones.
Some ways to keep your food ant/bug free are as follows:
The Healthy Colony Cat
The general health of the cats should be assessed at every opportunity. Note the condition of their eyes and fur. Eyes should be clear without discharge, coats should be clean. Unkempt fur can be a sign of disease and discharge from eyes could mean upper respiratory infections or a sign of more serious illnesses. At the first sign of injury or illness, contact your veterinarian and establish a plan of how to get care for the cat.
Know who your regular/core colony members are versus occasional visitors from the neighborhood. Newcomers need to be trapped, altered and then returned to the colony. This is a VERY important aspect to Colony Management. Very young kittens can be successfully rescued from the colony, tamed, and adopted into loving indoor homes.Not all cats that are in colonies are feral. Some are abandoned, homeless pets. In some cases, these cats can also be rescued from the colony and placed into a foster home until a forever home is found.
Although we tend to focus a great deal on the cats, it is equally important that you stay safe while performing your duties as a Colony Caretaker.
Feral Cat Terminology
Cats are transported to and from their spay/neuter appointments by our volunteers.
PICK UP LOCATIONS
Solano Feral Cat Group has altered:
4,602 feral cats through our own feral cat clinic!
1,516 through our Outreach Program!
We rely 100% on public donations to keep our program running!
Please make a tax deductible donation today!