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Five Ways to Help Homeless Cats this Summer

 

Velcro

As a “mom” to five cats, a dog and some Goldfish, I have a soft spot in my heart for all animals. I never want to an animal suffer. I want to do whatever I can to help them.

Four of our five cats were adopted from our local animal shelter (as was our dog). One of our cats, our eldest cat name Velcro, was a feral kitten. His mom and dad were both stray cats that lived in our condo complex. His mom, which was named “Mama Cat”, gave birth to a small litter of kittens on our neighbor’s balcony. Knowing that the kittens would need to be handled by humans right away he took the kittens inside and immediately started to interact with them so that they were familiar with people. He would let Mama Cat inside to feed them then chase her out when they were done.

Feral cats are not always the nicest creatures. We tried to take in another feral kitten long before Velcro and we had to release him back “into the wild” because he was downright vicious and kept attacking us. :-(

Thankfully Velcro and his littermates were exposed to humans from day one and were able to be placed in good homes. Mama Cat and several other cats in the complex were captured, fixed/neutered, and released back into the wild. We haven’t seen Mama Cat in about 12+ years. I guess she passed away.

Occasionally we find kittens in our complex. Nothing like it used to be (there were dozens at one point). Last year there was a litter of three kittens that appeared at the main entrance to our condo complex. People have tried to capture them but they would run off into the brush. These days we only see two cats (one of which I think is the mom). I don’t know what happened to the others.

Our son with Velcro as a kitten. Our son will be 14 next month. He's been a part of our family for a long time.

Our son with Velcro as a kitten. Our son will be 14 next month. He’s been a part of our family for a long time.

People are caring for them. There is a box for shelter and dishes with food and water. I don’t know how they survived the winter and the harsh summer temperatures we had a few weeks ago, but I guess they have.

Here are some great tips from Pet360.com on how to care for homeless cats this summer.

With tens of millions of stray and feral cats left to fend for themselves in the U.S. alone, Pet360.com has pulled together a list of five ways people can help homeless cats this summer. I’d love your help spreading the word, and hopefully together we can save even more lives! Please let me know if you have any questions at all.

TNR – Participating in a Trap-Neuter-Release program is the number one way you can help feral and stray cats. Designed to control the homeless cat population, people who participate in this program trap cats and take them to a vet where they are neutered and receive a physical exam. Once recovered, the cats are then returned to the place they were found. If participating in a TNR program, be sure to regularly check the TNR traps you set. Homeless cats can suffer from heatstroke if left too long in a trap.

Water  – Those looking to help stray and feral cats in the summer can be of great assistance by providing extra sources of water around their backyard or neighborhood. Since water evaporates quickly in warmer temperatures, make sure to place the water bowls in well-shaded areas.

Food – Although feeding homeless cats cat food is the best option, hungry stray or feral cats will eat any food left out for them. However, if the food remains uneaten for 30 to 60 minutes, experts recommend confiscating it. It is also very important to maintain a neat feeding area; keeping food dishes in one place will facilitate an easy cleanup.

Shade – Creating a cool and shady spot for homeless cats to convene is a great way to help them beat the heat in the summer. An area      covered from the daytime sun can be up to 10 degrees cooler and can even act as a shelter from rain and thunderstorms.

Medicine – Many homeless cats are in need of medical attention. If you catch a stray or feral cat, it is very important to take them to see a veterinarian. If you cannot afford the visit yourself, look for a local shelter or non-profit that specializes in the treatment of homeless cats.

Do you have anything you’d like to add? Do you help homeless cats in your neighborhood? Feel free to share your stories.

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Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the benefit of homeless cats everywhere. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted.

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family, five cats, dog, a tank full of fish and snails. She is also a freelance writer and photographer.

Comments

  1. These are all great ideas to help stray cats. Luckily we don’t have any stray cats in our neighborhood. Most people in our area don’t let their cats outside. If a cat does go outside it usually is on a leash, due to the fact that we have a lot of coyotes in our area. Most important thing pet owners can do is to spay/neuter their pets.

    • Cara Daymude says:

      Same here haven’t seen in homeless cats in our neighborhood . Great blog post thanks for sharing

  2. Yes, I am an old softie and fed them all. Somehow I managed to get adopted by one who is now, amazingly, all tamed and loves sleeping with me. It took hims about six months to let me pet him but once he gave me his trust, I was his. :)

  3. I don’t think cats would last too long outside in the immediate area I live in as we have coyotes that sometimes come into our area. Thanks for sharing these great ways to get involved.

  4. I knew I liked you and your blog as a fellow pet lover thank you for caring and including this review on your blog. I have to say that name Velcro cracked me up. Great tips in the article I guess the number one thing is to have your pets fixed. I saw on tv yesterday that France has an estimated 8,000 cats born per day and they are attacking people – scary!

  5. We live in the country and we get people dropping off declawed house cats. Someone even dropped one off during a blizzard. The poor things are usually starving and desperate to come inside. I don’t even like cats but I take them to the spca.

  6. Elisabeth says:

    I have a fried who lives in apartment complex where they get a lot of cats and she does the Trap-Neuter-Release program.

  7. I get sad seeing the posts on Craigslist for help with feeding and caring for cats. Every bit helps. Thanks for the thoughtful post.