Thursday, January 12, 2012

Do you have kittens in your colony? Unfixed cats?

Then you had best bust your ass getting them fixed now. And that means me, too.

Periodically I see articles about managed colonies that are being discontinued and removed by the land or business manager.

In the articles I read, kittens or remaining unfixed cats are always mentioned.

When we do TNR, our justification for doing so is that there will be no kittens, nor unfixed cats, and nuisances will therefore be mitigated.

One of the biggest concerns of businesses is the risk of clients/customers picking up or complaining about kittens that the customer perceives to be in need.

If we say we can fix this through TNR, we have a responsibility to do so.

I know this is hard. I know I myself have colonies out there that, while successful compared to the initial numbers on-site, have had reports of new cats that I have not yet caught.

If someone were to say, "Hey, this has gone on long enough, we are going to take matters into our own hands," some of the blame there rests with me.

In addition, I see photos in articles of feeding stations that are right out in the open, drawing the attention of the public. I would suggest not doing this. In some concrete jungles, it can't be avoided (and posting signs on the feeding stations is a good idea to explain what is going on). But if there are private locations, around back, against the low-traffic side of the dumpster fence, etc. then put the feeding stations there.

In addition, I would suggest not making them look like cute little houses. Again, it just draws curious people over to check them out.

So, your homework and mine:

1. Do I have cats that are still unfixed, or newcomers I have not addressed?
2. Do my shelters and feeding stations need upgrading?
3. Are there colonies under my wider umbrella with caretakers I have not spoken with for awhile? Do I need to check in with those caretakers to know how those colonies are doing?

If the answer to any of those is "yes," then hop to it, lest we find neighbors or land managers less than tolerant of our project. And it is a good way for "haters" to find an opening to attack. We all know, of course, if we had never shown up on the scene, there would still be teeming masses of cats, instead of 5-10. But for the sake of the cats, the case needs to be air-tight.

1 comment:

  1. Great advice, Susan. I am struggling with a Corvallis business colony, feeder uncooperative, raccoons everywhere, has gone on too long. Caught 28 there in the last months, since I began, but one female has had two litters since I began. Some very bad trapping, by an outsider, also contributed to trap shy cats. I have to sit there all night, hoping the unfixed ones will show, trying to selectively trap with a drop trap while trying not to nod off in sleep.

    In easier colonies, I have discovered many caretakers, that, if you "get most of them" want me to quit. I don't understand it, as they are not outlaying any effort, and in most cases, no money either. I am struggling right now with a colony, two cats to catch, and an old man with mood swings and control freak tendencies. Another trapper gave up on him and I almost did. He will not follow directions and is a big impediment to actually catching them. I won't give up though.

    I agree with your statement that people need to be as discreet as possible with feeding cats. There are many cat haters, and there are also cat dumpers who see open feeding somewhere and decide to dump their cats there.