- What do you mean by “Humane Cat Colony Management?”
- Are you a project for feral or stray cats?
- How do I know what is or isn’t humane treatment of the cats?
- Do you have cats for adoption?
- Do you need volunteers for fostering cats?
- What is targeted TNR?
What do you mean by “Humane Cat Colony Management?”
Humane Cat Colony Management basically means having or showing compassion or benevolence for the cats in our community. Many nonprofits or individuals will feed stray, feral, abandoned community cats and kittens. They will toss them some scraps, maybe pile some wet or dry food on the driveway and that’s it. This is NOT HUMANE.
To demonstrate humane management of these cats is to treat them with compassion, kindness and to try to get other humans to understand why this is important if we are to ever reduce the overpopulation of community cats globally. It isn’t enough to “just feed” them, one must also insure that they are spayed or neutered to eliminate unwanted litters of kittens. One breeding pair can reproduce 140,000 more cats in seven years!
The cats must be monitored for illness or injury and when necessary, humanely trap and transport them to a vet to get medical treatment and medicine. The cats need to be fed in clean dishes that are washed daily to avoid bacteria build up. When possible, these cats need to have shelter provided for them if there is none nearby so that they can find relief from extreme cold, heat, snow, rain, etc. This is all “human management” of community cats.
Are you a project for feral or stray cats?
No, most of the cats and kittens in the Pittsburg community are abandoned, meaning that they have had contact with humans at some point in their lives.
A feral cat is a cat who has either never had any contact with humans or her contact with humans has diminished over time. They are not likely to ever become a lap cat or enjoy living indoors.
A stray cat is usually a cat that simply has strayed from its home and someone is searching for it.
We have adopted “abandoned” community cat because we are finding that 99% of the cats we are helping have all had human contact at some point in their lives. The international movement to help ‘feral’ cats has moved to the language of “community cats” because the source of the overpopulation starts with communities that do not promote and provide affordable spay/neuter services. And most do not anywhere in the USA. Delta View Cats, therefore, fills this role within Pittsburg, CA.
What is targeted TNR?
Trap-Neuter-Return, commonly referred to as TNR, is the only method proven to be humane and effective at controlling the free-roaming cat population, which includes abandoned and lost pets and their offspring. Using this technique, cats are humanely and safely trapped, spayed or neutered, then returned after recovery to their outside “home” where a caretaker provides food and water (and some form of shelter, if possible). Ideally, kittens who are still young enough to be socialized to people (generally under 3-4 months old) and friendly adults are not returned outside, but adopted to responsible homes.
TNR has many advantages. It immediately stabilizes the population by eliminating new litters. The nuisance behavior often associated with free-roaming cats is eliminated, including the roaming, yowling and fighting that are part of mating activity, and the odor of unneutered males spraying to mark their territory. Neutered cats generally stay close to their food source, guarding their territory and limiting or preventing more cats from moving in and beginning the cycle of overpopulation and problem behavior again. Free-roaming cats provide superior, poison-free rodent control, particularly important in high-traffic areas that generate a lot of trash such as schools, supermarkets and multi-unit housing.
Another significant advantage of TNR is the reduction of the number of kittens and cats flowing into public shelters. This results in lower rates of euthanasia (killing) of surplus animals at taxpayer expense and the increased adoption of cats already in public and private shelters.
TNR is not just the best alternative to managing free-roaming cat populations, it is the only one that works. Doing nothing has resulted in the current overpopulation crisis. Trying to “rescue” all the cats and find them homes is impossible, given their numbers and the futility of trying to socialize older kittens and adults who have not had sufficient interaction with humans during their critical early months. Trap and remove has been found to be ineffective. If all the cats are not caught, the ones left behind quickly breed to the former population level, and beyond. If all the cats are removed, new ones who are likely not spayed or neutered may move in to take advantage of existing food sources, and the cycle starts again. This is why public animal control agencies throughout the United States, including the facilities in Contra Costa County, have adopted TNR as the standard of control/care of free-roaming cats who are not considered to be adoptable as pets due to lack of socialization.
Finally, TNR is an idea whose time has come. It recognizes there is a new balance in our urban and rural landscape, one that can include free-roaming cats. It seeks to manage this population with enlightened techniques that allow the cats to live out their lives, while minimizing any possible negative impact on the surrounding human population. TNR is a movement that is continuing to grow worldwide. In time, it is expected to become the predominant (and mandated) method of free-roaming cat management.