Recently in Feral Cats Category

pictures_cats_rescuing_kittens.jpegRead this article by Dr. Peters of Hi Plains Animal Welfare Society before you try to remove kittens you find. You can also read more about Kitten Season there.

Just yesterday, a group of children brought me a box of kittens and asked me to "rescue" them. Their mothers had told them to put the kittens back where they found them. The kids were unhappy with that order and soon located me.

I'm the local cat rescuer, so it seemed logical to ask me. But the facts of the situation show how little people know about cats, kittens and proper rescue procedures. The mothers weren't too far off with their advice, except that it doesn't solve anything. It only would have helped these kittens survive in their current situation... maybe.

Are They Really Abandoned?

pictures_cats_kittens.jpegThe first mistake the kids made was to assume the kittens were lost or abandoned. But when they approached and gathered them up, they saw the mother cat dart away. They then felt justified in assuming she was abandoning them, and if they were to survive, it would be up to them.

This action deprived the kittens of their mother, the one who is best equipped to raise them, and it deprived the mother cat of her young, to whom she is physiologically and instinctively committed. Without naturally weaning and releasing them herself, she will now go into heat soon and become impregnated again.

The overpopulation cycle actually speeds up with this simple theft of the young from the nest. It mimics what cats do: Roaming males, or tom cats, seek out females to reproduce with. If they find kittens they didn't father, they kill them, the female soon goes into estrus, and the male completes his mission to reproduce his own gene pool.

Have a Plan

So how can we end the overpopulation cycle? First, we have to be smarter than the cats. Simply collecting kittens without a plan only contributes to the stray cat problem. Even with barn cats, I no longer accept what farmers often call "excess" kittens without their mother, who must be spayed before they are returned to their barn life. (After accepting 3 litters from the same cat at one farm, I learned that these people weren't going to fix the problem, so I did, and it became a policy of my shelter that mothers, if available, must accompany surrendered kittens.)

This is how the children should have handled yesterday's litter:

When they discovered the crying kittens, all nestled together in a grass thicket or a wood pile, they should have called their local shelter (or some responsible adult who understands cats) to request help rescuing this little family. While waiting for help to arrive, their mission would be to keep an eye on things from a non-threatening distance. The mother cat would most likely return, and then might remove her babies to another, safer (in her mind) location. Cats seek privacy when they have babies to care for.

Call an Experienced Rescuer

pictures_kitten.jpegIdeally, help would arrive before she moved any, in the form of someone with a trap. One or all of the kittens could be placed into it, as "bait." Then, when mama kitty goes in, you have them all safely confined and they can be moved.

Admittedly, that kind of luck is not common. Therefore, the next method is to gather the kittens and take them to a safe place, while a trap is set for the mother at that location. Keep enough distance so she will return to see if the babies are still there. Instead of using food as bait, place a cloth that has the kittens' scent on it inside the trap. If you put food in it, some other cat might go in to eat, and you will collect the wrong cat.

Never Leave a Trap Unwatched Too Long

The trap needs to be watched so you can take her quickly to join her young ones, probably to a shelter where she can attend to them in a comfortable, quiet setting. If they are put into a cage in the general, noisy or bustling surroundings, she might kill them, as mother cats often will refuse to raise a family in what they consider to be a threatening environment.

This is most likely to happen with feral cats, as they are afraid of humans. Strays, on the other hand, are usually abandoned former housecats and may be wary, but not terrified. (Warning: It's still wise to deal with all loose cats cautiously to avoid injury. Even a tame mother animal can be a tornado if frightened. Therefore, do not try to touch them.)

Feral moms should be spayed and vaccinated before being returned to their territories, while strays may be adoptable after they have weaned the little ones and have been spayed.

Though cats can reproduce at any time of the year, spring and summer are the most common seasons to bring new cats into the world. It's called Kitten Season, and is the time when most people encounter kittens in all kinds of scenarios and may try to "rescue" them. It's critical to do it correctly if you truly want them to survive. Dr. RJ Peters established a rescue shelter in 2002 and likes to share the lessons learned to help others.

pictures_feral.jpgMost cities and towns have some form of animal control in place, usually as a division of the police department. Thus, an animal control officer's boss is usually the chief of police. But police departments typically have less interest in the welfare of animals than in law enforcement related to the more exciting pursuit of human derelicts and dastards.

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One officer smiled at me and said he wasn't able to investigate a cruelty case I reported, as he had more urgent business with a burglary at the moment. That's understandable, but this is usually more of a problem in smaller communities because they have less money and resources to cover all the bases. In fact, most of these smaller, local agencies would rather dispose of animal problems... literally... because the paperwork is cumbersome, and "more important" issues must be handled first.

Understanding the link between animal and human violence

Law enforcement officials in many small towns have not grasped the connection between cruelty to animals and to humans. Thus, they are very unlikely to look into animal problems involving mistreatment of pet cats, and much less to strays.

These agencies often view the problem of overpopulation, especially of cats, as a "vermin" problem, best handled by extermination. Thus, cruelty against strays is typically ignored.

Many communities have utilized proven feral cat strategies, but they are almost always organized and managed by private individuals, and then are scoffed at by city officials.

Until authorities actually wake up and get it, it must remain with us, as caring citizens in any town, to deal with these unfortunate cats. It's possible, but isn't always welcome in our own communities. Those residents who hate cats, for instance, will continue to demand a simple trap-and-kill program, often "contributing" to this strategy in their own cruel ways, by placing poison and leg-hold traps in their yards or other locations.

Trap, Neuter, Release

What they never seem to get is that killing has never worked, and never will. The only program that has ever made a truly significant difference is one known as Trap-Neuter-Release, where strays are captured, altered, vaccinated and treated for any medical problems, then released back to their territories if they are healthy, but not adoptable.

Also known as Trap-Neuter-Return, this is the only effective way to humanely handle the problem, since there are not enough homes for them all, and killing only leaves space for new ones to enter the group.

If you are feeding strays, here are some ways to help them:

pictures_cats_outside.jpgSet up feeding stations. Make or find small containers to serve as miniature "dog houses" to provide shelter. Monitor the colony, or group of cats you feed. Don't just toss a bag of food out for them once a week. Keep an eye on them. If you can't trap them, notify someone who can, and get them fixed and "vetted" (treated by a veterinarian).

Find or organize a feral cat club or group so you can help each other to help these poor cats. Collect any kittens you find, as they may be adoptable if young enough to be tamed. Find a local shelter or rescue group to help with this, if possible.

Find a veterinarian who is willing to participate. Not all of them are interested, so you may need to ask around. Look for area spay-neuter clinics that offer discounted surgeries. While shelters and pounds euthanize (kill) between 3 and 4 million cats and dogs every year, no one is counting the number of strays and ferals who are shot, poisoned and starved to death. If we truly have dominion over the animals, people must learn that dominion means responsibility... It's not a license to be cruel.

Dr. Peters has an extensive background in health care, animal care, journalism, computer repair and systems administration. She writes articles over a wide spectrum of topics and has numerous ebooks available on the Internet. Visit her websites, The Problem Cat and HiPlains Animal Welfare Society for more articles and information about pets.

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Pictures_cats_cleaning_ears.jpgFirst, let's define what is meant by "feral." Technically, the term refers to a cat that has had no human contact and is thus truly wild. However, in everyday usage, most people think of feral and stray as the same thing: cats who bunch up and form colonies, create messes, are a health hazard, and produce great numbers of wild kittens.

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Practically speaking, it probably doesn't matter whether we call them feral or stray. The fact remains, they are shunned by humans and left to fend for themselves in whatever environment they occupy. In cities and towns, this may be abandoned buildings, alleys, behind restaurants, or wherever they might find food and water and some shelter. In the rural areas, where many town people dump unwanted cats, they must find these basic needs in a much more difficult scenario. There is little if any water, no shelter, and food is sparse or non-existent. Hunt, you say? Hunt what? Does anyone really think mice are that plentiful? Does anyone really think a former housecat has hunting skills? Instinct, yes, but skill, no. That has to be taught. They don't have time to learn it the hard way.

They need what we need... what any living being needs... food, water and shelter. And for that people hate them? Being stray or feral isn't even their fault, yet we blame them for many things anyway.

pictures_feral_cat.jpgThese are the most common misconceptions about feral cats:

1. They are a health hazard because they harbor many diseases. Ferals, or strays, are typically quite healthy, in fact, as long as they're thriving in their environment. Perhaps someone is feeding them, or possibly they are in a "managed colony" where compassionate people have already trapped them, "fixed" them, and returned them to their neighborhoods. Or maybe their living area provides sustainable options, such as shelter, food and safety. Under good conditions, they are not likely to have any diseases. Even rabies isn't common among cats.

2. They are dangerous and could attack if you get too close. Ferals, and most strays, are fearful of humans and won't approach. And if a person tries to approach them, they run away. That's why Trap Neuter Release programs use traps. Granted, once trapped, they are extremely terrified, so it's not a good time to touch one. You will be bitten and/or scratched.

3. They can never be tamed and put into homes. This can be true if the cat is mature and has grown up without human interaction. However, feral kittens usually can be tamed. Mature cats that are stray may have been abandoned from a home life with humans. They can be retamed by people who understand cats and are willing to work with them. Still, even a feral can be taught to trust a human, but typically this will only be one or two regular caretakers, and cuddling is out of the question.

pictures_cats_feral.jpgWhat is the answer? Only one that works: Managing them. "Trap-and-kill" has never worked, and never will. Ignoring them only encourages the situation. The best way to manage them is to trap, neuter, and return them to their locations, where they settle down, live out their lives, and do not reproduce. In time, the population at that area dwindles, sometimes to no cats at all. But if there is no continued management, more strays arrive and the cycle of misery repeats. And where do these new arrivals come from? People who dump cats they no longer want. Therefore, managing a colony must also be supported by restrictions about abandoning pets. In some areas, abandoning them is against the law.

The bottom line is that whether a person likes or dislikes animals, they must be responsible enough to protect their communities by doing what works.

Learn more about the problems of cats from Dr. R.J. Peters.

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Pictures_of-Kittens_cats.jpgThis is one of the best articles I've read about feral cats. Robert Gallegos is a life long lover of cats. He is dedicated to sharing his understanding of the cat experience, reducing the epidemic feral cat situation, and helping cat lovers to provide the best care for their cats.

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Ever Wondered What It's Like to Be Lost in a Mean World?

That's a scary thought. Dark, lonely nights shivering with the chill of an impending winter; finding warmth in any nook that can be found. Not a friendly face in sight if she was born feral. Food is scarce and looking for more is really tiring, but she continues searching anyway... anyway she can, or else she'll starve. She might find a group of like-minded souls and together they form a kind of "self-preservation" society. Staying together to stay alive even in spite of the diseases that can (and often do) spread through the colony. But then, they're not her kind and only remind her of what it is she has really lost. Home, family, comfort and peace of mind. That's what it's like to live the life of a feral cat.

pictures_feral_cats.jpgSo, just what is a feral cat? Well, they are domestic cats that, for whatever reason, have found themselves homeless. Or, they are the children of domestic cats. They are not "wild cats" which are animals that have never been domesticated. How a domestic cat finds herself homeless is a matter of speculation. She may have run away from abuse or neglect. Many belong to unwanted litters and have been abandoned to fend for themselves by people who haven't the heart to take them to an animal shelter, fearing they'll only be euthanized. But then, some just get lost and no one's to blame for that. And, who knows. Cats may very well have to take some of the blame themselves for coming off so darned self-sufficient, aloof, and independent. It leads people to mistakenly think that a 'domestic cat in the wild can quite easily take care of herself, thank you'.

Of course that's not true. The normal domestic cat's life span averages somewhere around 14 or 15 years compared to a feral life expectancy of 2 years. If she's born feral she'll be lucky to make it out of kitten-hood. The mortality rate for feral litters is 50%. Those that make it to adulthood are, if they are female, always pregnant and the males are always in a fight for mating privileges. That's not much of a life in my book. And since so many feral cats find themselves in an urban environment, the search for food is very challenging (a lot of dumpster diving). Nope, not a pretty life.

If you come across a feral cat, can she be re-domesticated? Good question. If she has the memory of a home and the domestic life, there is good reason to believe she can accept a new home offered to her. Feral kittens caught by the time they are 4-6 weeks old can usually be quite easily tamed. Older kittens may be domesticated, but with greater difficulty. Fully grown feral cats are usually impossible to tame, let alone allow you to get close enough to pet them. In all cases it's persistence on the part of a human care-giver that greatly determines the success of a feral cat being re-domesticated.

Feral cats will form into colonies where they seek safety in numbers and share nursing responsibilities. Un-spayed females can have up to (3) litters a year. It's that prolific breeding rate that is the biggest problem. Some estimates project there are 60 million feral cats in the U.S. Coupled with another 60 million cats in homes, that averages out to about (1) cat for every (2+) people in this country alone. That's a lot of cats!

pictures_of_stray_cats_lost.jpgSome want to blame feral cats for the decimation of bird populations, and play on our fears that these homeless are spreading health hazards (though most of the health hazards come from living in the colonies themselves). But, the most compelling argument for declining bird populations could be from the loss of habitat and window strikes do to people moving into areas that not long before had been natural wilderness or farmland. I haven't seen many gangs of feral cats scourging the countryside like Vandals preying on rare birds or other habitat species.

What do you do if you discover a feral cat or even a colony? TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) programs have sprung up all over the country. These programs consist of rounding up the colony and taking them to a pre-arranged clinic where they are neutered or spayed, given medical check-ups and released back to where they were captured. Then care givers provide them with food and shelter until the colony disappears from natural reasons. Mainly, because there are no more litters being born. There are those who propose "search and destroy" missions to rid the problem... but, we're not Neanderthals here, so I won't go there. Find a program by asking your veterinarian, calling the animal shelter in your town, or look in the phone book for local humane societies. Usually traps can be loaned for the purpose of capturing feral cats and clinic dates can be arranged for their neutering and spaying.

It's believed that around 3500 B.C. Egyptians began to domesticate the wildcats of Africa. Since then cats have been companions to humans and have been populated around the world wherever people have taken them. Their initial "wild" instincts for survival only remain in rudimentary form. Hence, if a modern day "house" cat becomes feral, she is just as influenced by her millenniums of domestication as she is by the natural instincts of the wild environment she left so long ago. If you have ever owned a cat that failed to come home... the sting of that loss can be felt right in your soul. As for your cat, who's to say she doesn't feel that pain, too.

All animals have the ability to show hurt, joy, sadness and even loss. Maybe they can't articulate feelings into words or cohesive thought... but, they still can feel emotions. A feral cat is a lost cat who wants to come home. She may not know how to to that, but, the instinct to bind with human companionship keeps her near to us; whether she is hiding in alleyways, or in a farmer's barn. Likewise, our appreciation and desire for her companionship drives us to want to help her escape that mean and fearful situation.

pictures_feral_cat.jpgThe modern advancements of our technological world tend to insulate people, causing them to believe we have a distant "otherness" from the natural world. But, denying that we are in-separate and well ensconced in nature is done so at peril to our own existence. Applying our nobler nature to resolving the feral cat condition will only raise our consciousness to a higher level and manifest the realization that what happens to one of us as creatures of the earth, happens ultimately to us all. We need to bring our lost kitten friends back into the fold of our compassion and our homes... where they belong.

Visit Robert J Gallegos' website, Cat Lover Gifts World, a web site dedicated to proper cat care with quality cat lover gifts based on an understanding of cat behavior, instincts and the unique requirements for healthy cats as pets. Cats are the newest of animals to be domesticated and still have one paw in the wild. It's a major reason why they're so mysterious and resistant to human expectations.

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Kate Tilmouth of Our Happy Cat writes about socializing feral cats.

pictures_feral_cats.jpgThe literal meaning of feral is “gone wild” and when used to describe a cat usually means that they have either been born in the wild or have once been domesticated but have been lost or abandoned and have reverted to the wild. Feral Cats are usually found living in groups or colonies where there is an easy and plentiful supply of food.

Feral cats may have very limited experience of human contact and so will generally keep away from people and run away if you try to approach them. However, as long as the cat is not too old, it is perfectly possible that they eventually could become very loving pets, if approached correctly. But be warned it can be a very long process of gentle persuasion and patience on your part. It can take weeks, even months before a feral cat may feel comfortable enough to be a part of your family.

It is essential that anyone considering re-homing a feral cat that they have a good understanding of cat behaviour and be prepared to take things at the cats pace. Cats generally learn by experience and so making the whole socialisation process a pleasant one will help to teach the cat not to be afraid of people and domestic life.

There are several steps to take to socialise your feral cat and each one can take weeks or months to complete and may even have to be repeated if a set back occurs. The first step is to provide the cat with a small room or pen where the cat cannot escape from and that does not have any hiding places. It should be a quiet area and be equipped with bedding, fresh water and food and a litter tray. Let them become accustomed to this area for a while before you attempt to introduce yourself to them. It is important that they feel safe.

Next spend some time with them, talking quietly to them but not attempting to touch them. After a while you may even be able to tempt them to take treats from your hand. Repeat this process daily until you sense that the cat is becoming less afraid of you. Only then try to stroke their head and back. If they back away, don’t worry; just repeat the hand treat regime for a few days more. A useful tip is not to look at your cat directly as they find this a threat. Instead either look away or half close your eyes.

Pictures_cats_cleaning_ears.jpgOver time the cat will become used to you and realise that you are not a threat to them. At this stage let them wander around the rest of the house and become accustomed to the whole house. Make sure other people in the house approach the cat in the same way as yourself by offering treats. It can take some feral cats quite some time to accept the whole family.

If you have other cats around make sure your new feral cat has become use to their scent before he meets them, do this by rubbing their bedding around his living area, do the same for your existing cats. Feral cats usually respond well to domesticated cats and it can even help speed up the socialisation process, as they will learn from their behaviour.

Finally when you notice the cat grooming itself and happily using the litter tray, it is safe to let them explore the outside world. By this time they will have become use to you and your home and have probably made it part of their territory and so will return for that free dinner and comfy bed. Many feral cats have become very loving pets and have settled down to domestic life very well.

I was looking back at pictures of Neo shortly after I brought him home and I found these great shots of him in the sun. He loved to bask in the sun all the time.

little_neo_in_the_sun.jpgNeo was born in a feral cat colony that had been taken care of by two little girls and their mom. You see, Neo's mom was the kitten of a feral cat in the community. Neo's mom was fed and cared for by the little girls and their mom and so she became comfortable around them. She and her sisters kind of moved in to their yard and the so the colony was established.

Neo's dad was also feral from a neighboring colony who had wondered into the community. He was nicknamed "Cowboy" and he rode into town and then disappeared for weeks on end. But he always returned much to the dismay of the people in the community. He would terrorize the neighborhood cats and you'd hear cat fights late at night when he was around. But oddly enough, he started to get quite comfortable with people, even moving in to the newly established colony that Neo's mom established.

Unfortunately, none of the cats were ever spayed or neutered so Neo's mom and her sisters all had kittens within a few months of each other. Neo's mom was still a kitten herself! So the colony grew by 14 kittens that spring, Neo was one of them.

On a positive note, Neo and his brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, mom and dad were given the best love a cat could get. The love of two pre-teen girls who spent all their waking moments with the cats. All of the kittens were handled right from birth and all the neighborhood kids and adults alike visited the kittens.

Neo_chair_sunlight.jpgMy sister has a cottage in that community so my two nieces and my sister would visit and play with the kittens. My sister has spotted Neo when he was just a few days old. If she didn't already have a cat, she would have adopted him. But she would bring him back to her cottage and spend the afternoon petting him, grooming him and playing with him.

So Neo is not a typical feral cat. Most ferals are afraid of people because either they are born far away from people or people consider them a nuisance and hurt them or scare them. This makes ferals very distrustful of people, but the cats in this colony, that summer had the best opportunity to learn to love people.

It's really no wonder that Neo is so cuddly and lovey dovey all the time. And it makes me feel strongly about feral cats in other communities. If given the right set of circumstances, all the ferals of the world could be loving pets too.

Pictures_of_cat_house_on_the_kings_virgil.jpg700 cats and several dogs living in harmony on an acreage north of Los Angeles. The cats are clean, well-cared for and are all available for adoption. How did all of these cats get there?

The Founder of Cat House on the Kings, Lynea Lattanzio created a true sanctuary for cats. After visiting a local animal shelter, she returned home with 15 kittens needing to be bottle-fed. After that, she knew this is what she wanted to do.

She started out with 92 cats and the number has increased to up to 700! People call her and ask her to take cats and kittens that were not wanted, feral, or going to be destroyed. She takes them all, it is a one of a kind, no-cage, no-kill cat sanctuary where cats can live out their lives or wait to be adopted into a loving home.

The cats can go in and out of the house, eat and drink at 10 different feeding stations, climb trees, run, play and sleep in their cat paradise. You'll see in the video how these cats are treated, with love and respect.

You can donate money, time or items the humans need to keep taking care of these cats. It only costs $1 to feed a cat for one day, but with 700 cats, that is a lot of cat food! You can also sponsor a cat for $15.00 a month.

Watch this video, you'll be amazed. I know I've never seen a cat shelter like this before.

Other posts I think you might like:

The true story of Christian the lion...

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

The European Cave Lion was the largest cat that ever lived...

A cat's daily diary vs a dog's daily diary...

Blackjack_feral_cat_rescuejpg.jpgIn an earlier blog post, I asked for your signatures so that C.H.A.T. Celia Hammond Animal Trust organization could get into the 2012 Olympics site to rescue the feral cats that call it home.

Well, all our signatures helped, because C.H.A.T. was permitted onto the site to set up feeding and trapping stations for the 186 cats. There was one cat that was particularly allusive, they called him Blackjack, pictured here. They watched and waited for three weeks and finally caught him on July 11, 2008.

The rescuers had known he was there, but couldn't catch him the many times they set up their stations. When they were forced to leave on May 1, due to construction, they didn't think he would survive. But was sighted and the team came in and caught him.

He is a bit wild, but they are working to calm him and tame him and hope to find a home for him in the next month or so.

That is one lucky cat!

Read the full story about the Last Cat Saved from Olympic Site and visit C.H.A.T. Celia Hammond Animal Trust to see pictures and read stories about all the rescued cats.

Other posts I think you might like:

Christian the Lion remembers his human friends after he was released in the wild

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

Six diseases caused by dry cat food

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

Two+Cute+Kittens.jpgA story of three little ferals found by Alma and Nikki, who left a comment here. They found three feral kittens but don't have the time to socialize them properly so they are asking for help.

I was a little surprised to find out that a number of feral cat organizations don't actually provide shelter to ferals that are found. Their focus is on trap neuter and return, which is very noble and a very important part of feral cat care. But what do you do if you find 3 kittens too small for adoption, but that you can't care for? Where do you take them?

Most shelters will euthanize them. They get killed just because they are feral. Horrible. Everyone knows that feral kittens can be socialized and they make great companions. Neo, my own cat was a feral kitten and I have never known a more loving cat in my life!

So what do you do? The first thing, is take precautions, sometimes they carry diseases and if they bite you or break the skin, you will have to see a doctor. But if the kittens are small enough, their hiss is much worse than their bite so you will be safe from any diseases they might be carrying.

But they have to be checked out by a vet right away. It is easy to get attached to found kittens but if they are sick, you may not be able to tell right away and when the symptoms do show up, it will be a very sad day if you have to euthanize them. Sickness in cats from fleas is a big problem for feral kittens.

So here is what you do if you find and catch feral kittens.

1. Handle the kitten with towel. Wrapping a towel around the kitten will keep you from getting scratched and biten.

2. Keep them contained. They are small and can run and hide far out of your reach if they get scared. A dog cage or cat carrier would work well.

Kitten+Attacks.jpg

3. Groom them using a brush or comb for cats. Their mothers groom them, so if you start, they will transfer their parental dependency onto you which helps them become socialized.

4. Take the kittens to a vet for a complete check up. Your vet might also be able to suggest families that have just lost cats that would be willing to care for your ferals and keep them.

5. If you can't keep them or if you are not around much to socialize them, the only thing you can do is find someone who can take them or contact your local shelter. If the local shelter won't take them and care for them until they can be adopted, they will be able to provide information on the nearest feral cat shelter. But before you take them anywhere, ask what their policies are, you might end up taking the kittens to their death!

Unfortunately there isn't that much support for feral kittens who need shelter. It is up to the people who find them to take charge of their futures. Make sure they are healthy and provide food and shelter and socialize them. And in some cases, find a new home for them. There really is a void out there for people like Alma and Nikki, who find kittens and want to help them, but can't keep them.

I'll keep you posted on the outcomes of these 3 kittens.

Swan_lake_picture_of _feral_kitten.jpgSwan Lake in California is home to hundreds of feral cats. Some have been abandoned by their humans and some are feral and have formed a colony there. But this isn't a sad story about feral cats, this story will have a happy ending because of some wonderful cat lovers who have opened their homes to these cats.

Two teens in California, Elizabeth Lloyd and Devon Powell with the help of their parents and Corona residents Beth Kohler and Ray Deese have taken in dozens of strays and feral cats. They have also paid out of pocket expenses to have the sick ones cared for and all of them spayed or neutered.

Swan_Lake_pictures_of_orphaned_kitten.jpgThe group has worked tirelessly to trap and rehabilitate kittens and older cats. The kittens and the tame adult cats are available for adoption for a fee of $25.00, which will be returned to you once you show proof you've had your adopted kitten neutered.

Visit Teens Helping Adopt Needy KatS to see the cats for adoption, fill out an application form and sign the adoption contract. You can donate money, time or supplies to help these good people and their sweet little feral cats. If you would like to make a donation to help cover the costs of spaying and neutering, contact AAA Animal Hospital in Corona at 951-371-7117 and tell them your donation is for the Swan Lake Account. Every little bit helps so donate whatever you can.

In addition to helping these cats, the group is working with Alley Cat Allies, and the Riverside Department of Animal Services. Their goal is to have a trap neuter, return program for the other wild cats so they will live out their days wild and free at Swan Lake. They are waiting to hear from Swan Lake management - I'm not sure why they didn't already approve. Trap, Neuter, Release programs are the only way to successfully take care of feral cats humanely.

It makes me so happy to see stories like this about good people making an effort to help cats rather than bulldozing right over feral cats or paying residents to kill feral cats when in fact, feral cats exist because of humans. Keep up the good work, Kudos from FaceKitty!

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