Feral Cats: June 2008 Archives
A 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.
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 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.
The 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!