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Q: What can we do about stray cats?

June 15, 2009 | By Ljburke | 10 answers | Expired: 1950 days ago

We purchased property populated by 50 or more stray cats. We can't afford to feed them, and we can't afford to have them all spayed or neutered. What can we do? We live in Taney County, MO.

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Prevost1580
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Jun 19, 2009


:( sadly this is what happens when ppl & SOME rescue groups do not s/n. I wish that you could at least afford to feed them. I hate,hate,hate! to see anything starve to death or suffer :(

AC will euthanize the cats and the super big groups from my own experience,are all talk but that doesn't mean that shouldn't contact them or any of the rescue groups. Keep in mind it's kitten season and it may take a while to get help for you.

Word to everyone,every shelter... please S/N everything before adoption time. You can S/N a kitten at 3 pounds.

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Amber
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Jun 17, 2009

another note regarding animal control & TNR...if these cats are feral (non-socialized) then they will NOT be adoptable. calling in animal control is a surefire death sentence for a feral cat, which these likely are. seeking out a barn cat placement program (see my earlier post) would be the humane option if there are too many ferals for you to handle. now, if you notice that some of the cats do seem to be friendly and socialized, it's possible that they might be lost or abandoned, and if they're socialized then they should be adoptable. if any of them seem friendly, by all means, try to get them into an adoption program with a local rescue group so they can find a good home. that would be truly awesome and a real "win / win" situation, but again, not especially likely.

our animal control isn't great, but i have to give them some credit. they know about feral cats, and they have a policy of not trapping feral cats that they know are being cared for. a very bitter and self-centered woman in our building tried to call animal control on my ferals once, but they wouldn't trap them, knowing that they were fixed ferals and that i was caring for them. in fact, i think they had a word with the neighbor. as for neighbors, Alley Cat Allies has these great door-hangers:

www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=468

they're at the very bottom of the page, and you can download a PDF version too. they're a polite and informative way to let neighbors know that the outdoors is a feral cat's home and that they're being cared for.

feral cats typically get ear-notched when they get fixed...the vet cuts the tip off of one ear. sometimes it's a straight-across cut, sometimes it's more V-shaped. in the group i work with, we tend to favor the V-notch because it's more distinct and easier to spot from a distance. they do it while they're under for surgery, and it doesn't hurt. cats have very few nerve endings in their ear. anyway, the ear notch is a universal sign of a feral cat that has been fixed and is being cared for. when our animal control *does* end up with ear-notched feral cats, they get in touch with the local organizations that fix ferals to try to figure out where it belongs and get it back to its caretaker. hopefully this is common practice, because there's just no sense in killing feral cats.

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Patricia  C.
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Jun 17, 2009

You could use live traps and take them to t he animal shelter.

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Jeanette2562
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Jun 16, 2009

our animal control just traps them and kills them here cause some people dont like cats a nieghbor called on me 1 time cause i was feeding the strays so they set up traps and now we have i stray that comes here to eat but now that same jerk who called has rodent problems and had the NERVE to ask me for a cat to kill the rats i told hm o well ya kill the cats here comes the rats and closed my door

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Momba
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Jun 16, 2009

I had planned to answer this question, but after reading some of the answers you received, they are the best advice you could get. I have nothing to add!

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Lisa B.
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Jun 16, 2009

the SPCA in your local area works with spay/neuter/return make sure they tip the ears so you don't retrap the cats that have been fixed. Feral cats don't have a chance in a shelter, but the kittens if you find them quickly can usually get homes.

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Jillian
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Jun 16, 2009

look for a feral friend in your area: www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=355
sometimes you can find a feral friend to come out and assist you in the trapping for trap-neuter-release.
contact your local shelters and animal clinics. when you have a lot of strays, you can usually find some place willing to help you out financially.
while living there, you will probably always have an abundance of strays, but you can keep that amount to a minimum by having them fixed. many shelters have live traps you can borrow.

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Kris
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Jun 16, 2009

I would check around to find out if someone in your area does TNR (Trap - Neuter/Spay - Release). Check with your local rescue groups, shelters, vets, etc.

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Ches21
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Jun 16, 2009

call a rescue center or the humane socitey they can either give you food for them or if you want them fixed they may be feral cats in which case you call the nearest spay and neuter clinic for feral cats they will fix them for free and then release them. rescue centers would not kill them they would adopt them out they do not kill at rescue centers.

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Amber
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Jun 15, 2009

this web site could be a good place to start:

www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/trouble_affording_your_pet.html

...since it sounds like what you could really use is some financial assistance in dealing with your new feline neighbors. apparently there are quite a few humane organizations in MO, though i don't see your county listed specifically. if none of those are a match for you, get in touch with one of the groups listed anyway. that list is by no means comprehensive, and there could be others out there that might be able to help. someone with one of the listed groups may be able to refer you to an organization closer to you. in our area there are several defferent animal welfare groups that will provide low cost spay and neuter services for folks who can't afford it, and in the case of feral populations they generally fix them completely free of charge. as far as feeding them, some humane groups will have pet "food pantries" for people who need help feeding their pets, and again, it would appear that there are some in MO. if there aren't any serving your area, you might want to talk to pet stores, feed stores, gorcery stores...anywhere that sells pet foods, and find out what they do with their slightly outdated cat food. some places might be willing to give it to you.

if it's a large and mostly undeveloped piece of property that you're dealing with, the cats are probably providing you with excellent rodent control, so getting rid of them most likely wouldn't be in anyone's best interest if it can be prevented. if you find that the feral cat population is just too large, again, check with some of your local rescue groups. some might have "barn cat placement" programs...basically, they help relocate feral cats from a location where, for whatever reason, they can't stay, and into a barn / rural type environment where the owner will feed and care for the cat and the cat will kill rodents for the barn owner. it's probably the most humane option out there if you absolutely can't deal with all of them, and everybody wins.

www.barncats.org/index.php

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