Caring for feral cat colonies takes a village. Here are some tips for keeping your neighborhood cats safe.
Beth McNulty was used to seeing the occasional cat cross her property. In her rural community in Monrovia, Maryland, some of her neighbors let their pet cats roam free. And from time to time, a stray would show up and take shelter in her backyard shed. Over the years, she’d adopted two of these strays and found homes for a few more.
It was all manageable as long as the unexpected cats came in a trickle. But in 2010, looking out her kitchen window one summer morning, McNulty spied five black teenage kittens in her backyard. The next day, she counted 11 cats and kittens, and she started to panic.
She already had three indoor-only cats. She’d just recently managed to stop her cat Murphys (named for an Irish beer) from spraying, and she feared any additional feline housemates, even temporary fosters, would increase his stress and trigger a return to his old habits.
Her first thought was to take the cats to the local shelter. But they were wild, and the shelter was already struggling with too many cats. McNulty, an operations manager with The HSUS, had heard some of her coworkers talk about trap-neuter-return (TNR), so her next plan was to borrow traps and get her new backyard residents sterilized.
To learn more about how communities come together to care for their feral cat communities, read the full article here.
Guest post by Julie Falconer. The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization. HSUS and its affiliates provide hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year, and professionalize the field through education and training for local organizations. HSUS is the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike. HSUS is driving transformational change in the U.S. and around the world by combating large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade.