Archive for May 28th, 2011

Cornerin’ Cats at Catcatcher Corner

May 28, 2011

There’s a touchy little subject for today that I need to touch upon. 

Feral cats.

Let’s talk, you and I.  Let’s talk about feral cats.

Specifically, let’s talk about relocating feral cats.  It’s a subject that’s frowned upon by “experts”, or more properly, those in the field who have more experience with feral cats than I, or those who have read about it and are therefore experts.

I’ve read that under no circumstances should cats be relocated from their colony, unless that colony area is in danger of being destroyed.  Then it appears, by my comprehension of the subject, that it’s okay to relocate them.


Who in their right mind would consider relocating feral cats unless they are in danger?  Well, sometimes the *caregiver* relocates, for whatever reason, and that caregiver wants the cats relocated to another area where they can be fed and sheltered.

It’s my theory that cats create their own colonies based on a food source, a natural or man-made, and if they are relocated to another food source, they can adapt to the new area.  I also have read that ferals cats can live about 3 years on their own.  They have a much shorter life span as an outdoor cat because of lack of care, destruction by people or other animals, and health issues. 

I have a very different setup than all the other managed colonies that I’ve heard of and read about.  There’s a freestanding covered feeding station with two automatic feeders and a watering station, and the cats come and go as they please.  They are truly feral.  I can’t touch any of them, and I rarely see any of them.  The cat ladies that I’ve seen in person or on the internet go to a specific area EVERY DAY to feed the feral cats, and the cats run towards them.  Not true for me.  I just keep putting food in the feeders, and everybody shares.  I don’t know where they go when they are not eating, but there are protected areas, like abandoned houses, old sheds, animal dens, abandoned cars and equipment, and dense woods.  I suspect that some hang out at houses in the vicinity as another source of food and shelter, but I don’t know this for a fact. 

People have heard about my setup, and they want me to take their feral cats.  Some people just want the cats gone, at no expense to themselves, like no spay/neuter, no shots, just come get the cats, prettyplease.  I have to come to an understanding with those people, and I don’t take those cats.  Other people have had the cats vetted, and I can sometimes take those cats.  One fellow in my college classes a few years back asked me if I’d take his two indoor cats.  I said, “What’s wrong with them that you can’t take care of them?”  He said that he and his wife were really busy and just couldn’t give them the attention they needed, and the cats were getting older and pukey, and one needed medicine, and, you know, *you know*, ruthrawls, can you just take them?  I just shook my head and explained how it really needed to play out.  Another woman who worked in a law office about 35 miles away in a busy area (read: cars) called on the phone and asked if I could take their office feral cat because the office was moving two blocks away in the same complex, and they were afraid the cat couldn’t find them and would so go hungry.  I just shook my head and explained that cats were clever creatures, and this particular cat would indeed be able to survive, and give the cat some credit.  Two blocks, and not really even two blocks.  The complex was typical of the development style of this area – leave lots of trees and undergrowth for buffers and plant ornamentals everywhere.  It’s like a jungle and full of great hiding places for cats.  I explained that the cat, if relocated to my colony, would most likely never see people or manmade activity because after all, it’s country out here.  She said she would talk it over with her office mates and decide what to do.  They decided to continue what they were doing, and to gamble that the cat would figure it out and find them. 

The latest request comes from the local animal shelter.  It’s a kill shelter, but it’s a low-kill because of the actions of the board of directors.  They aggressively promote adoptions both at the shelter and at out-lying adoption centers ( like PetSmart, and Petco allows them several cat condos at the store where cats, not dogs, can live until adopted), foster programs, seniors for seniors (where a senior person adopts a senior pet, and if the person becomes unable to care for the pet, the pet goes back into the seniors for seniors program), and volunteer transports to other areas that need adoptable pets.  But.  That usually involves more dogs, and  not so many cats. 

It’s kitten season, and people prefer to adopt kittens, not adult cats.  So the shelter is over-run with cats, and decisions must be made.  Do these nice three adult cats get euthanized to make room for other cats waiting in the quarantine area for a spot in the cat room? 

Carrie, a crabby adult female. (Men, please refrain from your comments.)


Dennis, a handsome crabby adult male. (Ladies, comments please.)


Ozzie, a young adult male, with spooky golden eyes. He's a brat.

Welcome to Catcatcher Corner.  What the heck, I went ahead this week and applied to become a non-profit.