Improving the lives of Feral Cats in Central Florida through Trap-Neuter-Return
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Do you have a colony you want to have spayed and neutered? Do You feed these cats regularly yourself, but you have a feeling others in your neighborhood are feeding them too? Did you find a colony at a business that you would like to take through a TNR program?
Here you will find what you need to get started, things you will need to consider along the way, and how to get others to cooperate.
A few things that are of particular note:
Give yourself a thorough understanding of why TNR works and how it works. Also, learn why other alternatives fail in the long run. Beef up your TNR education.
Then, make sure the people around you are going to work with you not against you by keeping neighbors happy and getting others involved:
Learn more about taking care of your colony: Colony Care Guide
Day in the life - a review of daily habits of a typical colony. Great information for caretakers and those starting a new TNR project to determine the best feeding and trapping times!
Familiarize yourself with the current animal code in your county. In some communities, ear tipped cats are exempt from being impounded by local animal services organizations. This is NOT the case in Orange county. Ear tipped cats CAN be impounded by OCAS in accordance with the Orange County Code. It is best to attempt to keep the cats you care for close to your own property, and/or keep their feeding areas clean. Try not to feed on the sidewalk or near dumpsters. Never leave empty cans, plates, or bowls behind. If people will complain, the cats will suffer. So, please try to respect that not everyone loves cats!
Moving Colonies: A Last Resort
Why & How
CARE Feline TNR is only a Trap Neuter Return resource program for community and abandoned cats. We ourselves are not involved in relocation or adoption efforts. That said we have gathered information for those of you that need help with placing cats in new areas.
First, understand that removing feral cats from a colony will not limit the colony for long. New cats will soon move in.
Community cats establish territories based on availability of food sources and shelter. When the cats are removed from this environment, more cats quickly move in to take advantage of those resources. These new UN-sterilized cats will breed to the capacity of the site. The vacuum effect has been documented around the world.
Related to this please read Alley Cat Allies - About the Vacuum Effect
Second, understand that relocation of feral cats is never a guarantee that they will be in a better situation. Relocation efforts are difficult and success rates are low. If the cats are truly feral (they cannot be held even by their main caretaker) it is best for them to stay in their home territory. Cats bond strongly to their home and moving is difficult if not impossible. This should be a Last Resort and only done if there is no safe alternative for the colony.
*If you have a situation where the cats are unsafe or have lost their caretaker they may have to be moved. Find out more about how to move them HERE.
*Friendly cats (strays) and all young kittens should be placed into homes. Releasing these cats in a “safe” colony with little or no human interaction is not a humane or responsible alternative. There are several rescue groups that are willing to help with this process.