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  1. My indoor-only cat just got out, and now I can't find him, what should I do?

  2. What is a feral cat?

  3. What is TNR?

  4. What is ear tipping?

  5. Can we avoid ear tipping on our ferals/strays in case we can get them homes in the future?

  6. What Are The Alternatives to TNR?

  7. What is the vacuum effect?

  8. How old do the kittens need to be before they can be spayed or neutered?

  9. When is it safe to spay/neuter a mother cat and kittens?

  10. When is it safe to bring in a lactating female to be spayed?

  11. What if the cat is pregnant? Should I postpone surgery until after she has her kittens?

  12. Shouldn't cats be allowed to have at least one litter of kittens, to have the joy of motherhood so to speak?

  13. Can a cat be fixed when it has diarrhea, sneezing/coughing, ringworm or other contagious disease?

  14. Can I bring in more than one kitten in the same carrier or trap?

  15. Is there a closer spay/neuter drop off point for those living in other areas far from the Dallas, or Ft Worth, drop off point? Or are there other alternatives in my area?

  16. Do you Spay/Neuter dogs?

  17. I am secretly feeding a colony of cats at work because my employer says anyone who feeds the cats will be fired. Will KittiCo help me trap them?

  18. I am currently feeding stray/feral cats, but don't have time to trap, can you please come trap for me?

  19. Some cats have shown up in my yard, can you come and pick them up?

  20. My neighbor/boss is poisoning/shooting the cats, what can I do?

  21. I have been feeding a colony of feral cats. I'm moving. Can KittiCo take over feeding them for me?

  22. I'm feeding some cats that are in a dangerous situation; can you take them or relocate them to another property?

  23. I live in an apartment complex where several cats are running around. Can you help?

  24. I have been feeding a feral cat for a year. She lets me pet her now. Can you help me find someone to adopt her?

  25. What about taming down feral kittens?

  26. Will KittiCo test the cats for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)?

  27. I have been trapping for a while, and I am having trouble catching those last few elusive cats, do you have any ideas?

  28. How do I actually do the trapping?

  29. How do I educate my neighbors on the benefits of TNR?

  30. Your waiting list to borrow traps is quite long, where can I purchase my own traps?


  1. Q: My indoor-only cat just got out, and now I can't find him, what should I do?

    Lost Cat Behavior:
    The silence factor. A lost indoor-only cat WILL NOT come when called, will not answer an owner's call, and will not meow until the 7th to 10th day. They will not show themselves, will not emerge during daylight hours, and will not allow themselves to be seen or found during this time. In the few instances where owners or neighbors have gotten a glimpse of their lost cats, the majority of cats immediately fled. This behavior in some cases will continue up to seven weeks, possibly longer.

    They're closer than you think. Research indicates that most lost indoor-only cats are hiding much more closely than most people realize, generally within a 2-3 house radius from their home. They hide in sewers, under storage buildings, between fences and under decks - in the smallest and most unlikely places you can imagine. These cats are frightened and revert to feral cat like behaviors - hide, stay quiet, and don't move.

    What To Do If It Happens To You:
    The single most effective way to ensure that you get your cat back if it ever gets lost is by putting a collar with an ID tag on your cat, or getting your cat implanted with a microchip type ID. The second way is through the use of humane traps. It is imperative that you begin the trapping process as soon as possible after losing your cat.

    Whenever possible, talk with each and every one of your neighbors as soon as possible and ask them to be on the lookout for your cat. Distribute flyers to each and every house within a 3-block radius. Post larger flyers in each block. Get everyone involved. Talk to the postman, the paperboy, and all the kids in the neighborhood, too. Search thoroughly day and night in your own yard and that of your neighbors. Be sure to bring along a flashlight to look under decks and in dark, cramped spaces. Look in, over, around, and behind everything. Drop off flyers at every veterinary office nearby. Contact all the local rescue groups, and deliver flyers to every shelter and animal control facility in your town. Post your cat's information at pets911.com, petfinder.org, pets.lostandfound.com, and with any local agencies, or lost pet clearinghouses.

    Remember, while the return rate on lost indoor-only cats is dismally low, an understanding of basic lost cat behavior, perseverance, and hard work can increase your chances of retrieving your lost cat greatly.
  2. Q: What is a feral cat?

    Feral is just another word for wild. It means that the cats have not been socialized to humans and that they are afraid of people. It does not mean that the cats are aggressive or dangerous. Feral cats run from people. They do not attack unless they are cornered and feel that they have no other alternative but to fight for their lives. Feral cats are the 'wild' offspring of domestic cats and are primarily the result of pet owners' abandonment or failure to spay and neuter their animals, allowing them to breed uncontrolled. Feral cat 'colonies' can be found behind shopping areas or businesses, in alleys, parks, abandoned buildings, and rural areas. They are elusive and do not trust humans.
    Many people assume their animals will survive when they move away and leave them behind. Contrary to popular belief, domestic animals do not automatically return to their "natural" instincts and cannot fend for themselves! Already, U.S. animal shelters are forced to kill an estimated 15 million homeless cats and dogs annually. The alternative to humane euthanasia for almost every stray is a violent end or slow, painful death. Many "throwaways" die mercilessly outdoors from starvation, disease, and abuse --- or as food to a predator.
    A pair of breeding cats, which can have two or more litters per year, can exponentially produce 420,000 offspring over a seven-year period, and the overpopulation problem carries a hefty price tag. Statewide, more than $50 million (largely from taxes) is spent by animal control agencies and shelters for cat-related expenses.
    KittiCo's focus is not on the temperament of the homeless cats living on our streets; this is not the real issue. It is true that most cats in colonies (families of cats) living on our streets are certainly not tame enough to be adopted as household pets. However, whatever the temperament of those cats, the critical fact is that most of those cats have not been sterilized unless trap-neuter-return has been practiced there. As a result it is those cats that are overwhelming responsible, whether tame or feral, for the flood of homeless cats and kittens streaming into our shelters.
  3. Q: What is TNR?

    TNR are the initials for Trap-Neuter-Return.

    Trap: Cats are humanely trapped using food as bait.

    Neuter: The cats are taken to a veterinarian where they are spayed or neutered. Their left ear is tipped so people will recognize that the cat has been sterilized.

    Return: Unfortunately, adult feral cats are extremely difficult to tame and are not adoptable, so they are returned to their original environment where caregivers agree to provide them with food and water.
    Studies have proven that trap-neuter-return is the single most successful method of stabilizing and maintaining healthy feral cat colonies with the least possible cost to local governments and residents, while providing the best life for the animals themselves. Spaying/neutering homeless cats:
    • Stabilizes the population at manageable levels
    • Eliminates annoying behaviors associated with mating
    • Is humane to the animals and fosters compassion in the neighborhoods
    • Is more effective and less costly than repeated attempts at extermination --- costs for repeatedly trapping and killing feral colonies are far higher than promoting stable, non-breeding colonies in the same location. Vacated areas are soon filled by other cats who start the breeding process over again
    To view a report on TNR programs go here: www.feralcat.com/feral-tr.html or visit our TNR page.
  4. Q: What is ear tipping?

    Ear tipping is the nationally endorsed method of identifying sterilized, free-roaming cats that are part of a managed colony. Ear tipping is painless and humane. While the cat is under anesthesia for the spay/neuter surgery, the point of the left ear is flattened slightly.
    Should a cat that has been ear tipped enter a trap again, it is immediately released since it is clearly marked as having been sterilized. Recognizing a cat in the field as previously sterilized prevents that cat from enduring the additional trauma and risk of another trip to the clinic, being put under anesthesia, and in some cases undergoing exploratory surgery. Not only does the absence of ear tipping cause further trauma and risk to sterilized cats, it wastes valuable resources such as money for veterinary services.
    Other forms of identification have been tried, but have not proven to be as effective as ear tipping in signaling early on in the trap-neuter-return (TNR) process that the feral cat is sterilized. For example, internal microchips and ear tattoos are impossible to detect in the field and nearly impossible to detect on a feral cat before it has been anesthetized.
    Ear tipping is lifesaving in other ways. Dallas Animal Control and many other municipalities work with KittiCo in many ways on feral cat issues. Among other things, KittiCo has trained local intake staff at animal control facilities to look for ear tipped ferals being brought in by the public for euthanization. On at least one occasion, intake personnel immediately recognized the ear tip before the trapper had left and explained that the cat was sterilized and lived in a managed colony. The trapper remarked that she would be glad to release the cat back where she had trapped it. Her only concern had been further breeding. Tattoos and microchips would not have been recognized before the trapper left the cat there to be euthanized. Ear tipping saved that cat's life and got it back to its colony.
  5. Q: Can we avoid ear tipping on our ferals/strays in case we can get them homes in the future?

    We will always tip the ear of cats in traps, no exception. As for strays that are tame, it is really best to have the ear tipped if they are going back outside and/or you don't have a home lined up yet. The ear tipping does not make the cats less adoptable (we adopt ear-tipped cats out often) and, despite your best efforts, you may not find a suitable home for the cat, who will remain outside. The ear tip will signal to animal control that this cat is altered and not a source of reproduction. This may give the cat a chance to not be taken to animal control to be euthanized.
  6. Q: What Are The Alternatives to TNR?

    Do Nothing: Eventually the problem will reach unmanageable levels and cause untold suffering. One unaltered female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats in just seven years.
    Trap & Kill: Aside from being inhumane, this approach is not a solution. The problem is everywhere. More cats will simply move in to fill the void and start the cycle over again.
    Catch & Tame: With the exception of young kittens, this approach is not realistic. Wild adults cannot be socialized to humans to the point where they are able to find homes as pets. For a small minority that could be tamed, the time and effort that goes into helping just a few cats is prohibitive. Even with very young kittens, taming can take several weeks of intensive socialization work.
    Relocation: There is no other place for them to go and studies show that if you remove cats from their original location, others merely move in to take their place. This is known as the vacuum effect.
  7. Q: What is the vacuum effect?

    The vacuum effect is a situation arising when feral cats are removed from an environment. Other cats then move in to take advantage of the food source that is available. (Something brought those cats there in the first place, be it rodents available to eat, or human intervention) They will quickly fill the space from which the cats were removed. These new, usually unsterilized cats will breed to the capacity of the site.
  8. Q: How old do the kittens need to be before they can be spayed or neutered?

    It is not a matter of age, but really of weight. Our veterinarians practice early age spay/neuter, also called Pediatric spay/neuter. Pediatric spay/neuter is recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Kittens as small as two pounds, which is roughly equivalent to 8 weeks old, are routinely and safely sterilized by our veterinarians. For more information about Pediatric spay/neuter and an overview of the scientific studies supporting it, go here.
  9. Q: When is it safe to spay/neuter a mother cat and kittens?

    Cats can come into heat and get pregnant while still nursing kittens, therefore it is a good idea to get them fixed as soon as possible; this is especially true when dealing with feral cats. Most healthy kittens should be able to eat solid food by the time they are 6 weeks old. By 7-8 weeks of age, they can survive completely on solid food without the need for mother's milk. This is the most advantageous time to bring in the mom and kittens to be fixed. First, the mother cat will usually continue to nurse the kittens post-surgery, but it is not critical for their nutritional needs if she does not. Second, the mother cat will still be around her kittens because of their young age, and therefore easier to catch (if feral). Lastly, this will be a time to fix the mom prior to her becoming pregnant again.
  10. Q: When is it safe to bring in a lactating female to be spayed?

    See question above as it relates to kittens and timing. This question deals more with the mother cat's comfort. If a lactating cat is feral, then you should follow the recommended guidelines above for the timing of spay/neuter. After surgery, the mother cat will be sore, but most often will continue to nurse the kittens in a short time. If there are no kittens, or if she does not continue to nurse, then she will become engorged with milk. This is safe, but uncomfortable, as many human mothers can understand. Basically, the milk will continue to be produced for a short period of time, and the mother's nipples will become swollen and warm. This will subside on its own, without human intervention, in anywhere from a few days to a week or so, depending on how often she was nursing her kittens and how many kittens she was nursing. If you can touch the cat (not feral), and you feel the need to do something, then use a warm (not hot) heating pad for her to lie on. If the cat is tame, and you want to bypass this engorgement process, then you need to help with the weaning process. (This is only if the mother cat will not be returned to a place where she can continue to nurse her kittens). When the kittens are around 6 weeks old and able to eat solid food, start separating the mom from the kittens for increasing amounts of time. This will slow the milk production naturally. The mother cat must not be nursing at all, if she will be completely separated from her kittens after surgery, to be free from any effects of engorgement. This method or reasoning should not be used to delay the sterilization of a feral cat!
  11. Q: What if the cat is pregnant? Should I postpone surgery until after she has her kittens?

    There are millions of animals, tens of thousands in the metroplex area alone, that are euthanized annually because of the overpopulation problem. This is a controversial topic with many people. Even those that are pro-choice for humans, have a hard time sterilizing (effectively ending the pregnancy) animals that are pregnant. There are many reasons to get the cat spayed while pregnant. First and foremost, this may be the one and only time you ever catch this cat if it is feral. Cats become trap wary or smart, and it is hard to catch them even a second time. Second, if you wait until after the kittens are born to have the mother fixed, you have just added to the cat overpopulation (and euthanasia) and risk having the mother cat become pregnant before the kittens are weaned (this happens more often then you think!) Third, many cats have had multiple litters of kittens and the more they have, the more stress on their bodies; especially feral cats who may have had their first litter as young as 6 months old. They are more susceptible to mammary cancer. Ovario-hysterectomy (spay surgery) alleviates this problem.
    By spaying the pregnant feral cat, you spare her future offspring the guaranteed hard and short life of a feral cat; saving them from cruel humans, cars, harsh weather, starvation, and predators.
  12. Q: Shouldn't cats be allowed to have at least one litter of kittens, to have the joy of motherhood so to speak?

    First, this question assigns human emotions to an animal, which is called anthropomorphism. Did your cat tell you she wanted kittens? Probably not. Second, it presupposes that any female of any species is incomplete without having children; which many humans can tell you is not the case. So, the answer is NO! Don't add to the needless death by euthanasia, starvation, cruelty, or predators that the overpopulation of animals has caused!
    The actual spay surgery for a pregnant cat takes a bit more time and care, but it is completely safe.
  13. Q: Can a cat be fixed when it has diarrhea, sneezing/coughing, ringworm or other contagious disease?

    It is best to only bring in healthy cats. Anesthesia can increase the severity of many symptoms such as diarrhea, or URI, by lowering the immune system's response. This can sometimes lead to life and death situations. Ringworm, mange or other diseases that may not be life threatening, can also worsen with the affects of anesthesia. Aside from the facts of the cat who is sick, there is also the possibility of spreading the illness to otherwise healthy cats, whether in our clinic or in the same household or area. Although we have strict protocol for ill animals and thorough hygiene to prevent contamination or communication of disease, we strongly request that you not bring in animals that are ill.
    On the other hand, if we are talking about feral cats, then there is a different issue. As feral cats become trap wary or smart, it is often hard to catch them even a second time. For this reason, we must act when we can with feral cats. Most can be fixed and given very powerful, long-acting antibiotic injections at the time of surgery. This is usually enough to help their immune system. The veterinarian will always assess a cat's health prior to surgery. If there is a concern, the veterinarian or technician will call the caregiver to discuss surgery and treatment options.
  14. Q: Can I bring in more than one kitten in the same carrier or trap?

    If you choose to send in kittens in the same carrier (as long as it meets the specified guidelines), then you must provide an empty carrier for each cat/kitten to recover in after surgery. Each cat, regardless of age, must have their own carrier or trap after surgery; this is for the safety of the cat as they are recovering from anesthesia. Our vet staff must have clear view and access to each cat during recovery, and the cats must be free from any obstacle that could pose a choking or suffocation hazard. Anesthesia effects can cause hallucinations which could bring on fighting if more than one cat in a carrier. Also, kittens tend to snuggle and could inadvertently suffocate their carrier/trap mate while under the affects of anesthesia.
    If you happen to trap more than one cat in a trap, do not try to separate them. Just bring an extra carrier or trap for them to be placed in after surgery.
  15. Q: Is there a closer spay/neuter drop off point for those living in other areas far from the Dallas, or Ft Worth, drop off point? Or are there other alternatives in my area?

    At this time, we are only operating the Garland clinic and do not accept drop offs at other locations.

    Q: Do you Spay/Neuter dogs?

    We only work with cats, but we suggest the Kaufman County Animal Awareness Program.
  16. Q: I am secretly feeding a colony of cats at work because my employer says anyone who feeds the cats will be fired. Will KittiCo help me trap them?

    KittiCo, for legal reasons, will not send volunteers to trap on private property where caregivers are not authorized to continue feeding the cats on their return or where it is known that the owner of the private property is opposed to TNR. The position the volunteer trapper could be faced with is entirely untenable. Volunteers could be cited for trespassing. They could be faced with hostility when they come to trap. When they return to release the cats they could be met by a hostile property owner that refuses to allow them to return the cats. We can assist you by trying to help educate the property owner about the benefits of TNR. We have publications to help with this and/or we can even come talk to your employer if they are willing to listen to us. You may also seek to find places near your workplace that are not on private property, so that you may legally trap and feed there. We will still loan you traps for that endeavor.
    KittiCo has a long list of people waiting for our help and willing to have the cats back, feed them and let them live out their lives. It is a waste of scarce resources to TNR cats that will be killed on return. We must change the views of the property owners to save the lives of the cats. Trap and Kill does not work. Ordering people not to feed does not work. Unfortunately cats die every day when people believe these things work.
  17. Q: I am currently feeding stray/feral cats, but don't have time to trap, can you please come trap for me?

    First, feeding without trapping is making the problem exponentially worse in a short period of time. The only time you should feed and not trap is for a very brief period at the beginning of trying to maintain a colony. (This will get them used to a time and place to be fed, and then you put out traps in that area when a consistent schedule has been set up). We understand the compassion and heart that you have for the cats, but you must make that final step to make your endeavor a responsible one.
    Second, once you have a fixed feeding schedule, trapping takes just a small amount of time more than just feeding does. By placing traps out where and when the normal feeding takes place, you can quickly trap cats.
    Lastly, we encourage all able-bodied humans to take the initiative to do the trapping, especially those who are already feeding a colony. KittiCo will help you with the necessary traps, and the spay/neuter services. There is a very long list of elderly, indigent and/or disabled persons who need help from KittiCo to physically trap and/or transport for them. This takes an enormous amount of volunteer time. We simply do not have the resources to trap for everyone who doesn't have time to trap himself or herself. If you are still unwilling or unable to trap, then we will put you on our list, after those listed above who qualify for KittiCo trapping assistance.
    If you are dealing with a colony that you know is large (more than 20 cats or so), please let us know. We will try to place you on a mass-trapping-needs list. As volunteer help becomes available, we do large scale trapping events at these places to try to get as many in one time as possible. We encourage you also to seek help from friends, neighbors, and coworkers to share in your TNR endeavor.
  18. Q: Some cats have shown up in my yard, can you come and pick them up?

    KittiCo does not pick up cats for removal, this is only something that city animal control does for it's residents. We encourage and recommend TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) as an alternative to trap-remove-kill for feral cats. If the cat is tame, you can contact rescue groups or shelters to verify if they have room to take them in. Be advised that from March until late September, it is kitten season, and many rescues and shelters are full. Many animals are euthanized daily for space in many shelters due to overpopulation. You may consider taking care of this stray while waiting for a place to take it in.
    If the cats are safe and content, and you are willing to feed them, then please borrow traps from us and/or use our spay/neuter services to make sure that no more cats are born from the group that arrived at your home.
    Be advised: we do not loan out our traps or carriers for animals that are to be taken to animal control or other kill facilities. Many municipalities will recognize our marked traps/carriers and contact us. You will forfeit all of your trap deposit at that time, and depending on the city, they may make you bring the animal(s) back in a different carrier/trap to keep our agreement. So, save yourself time and money if you are removing cats from your property to a kill-facility. Use the city's traps, not ours. Our resources are for those wishing to end the cat overpopulation problem by using TNR and other responsible methods. Trap and Remove or Trap and Destroy does not work. Other cats will just fill the void.
  19. Q: My neighbor/boss is poisoning/shooting the cats, what can I do?

    This is tough. If you think they are open to discussion, then let them know that they are practicing animal cruelty, which is now considered a felony. Let them know about TNR and other responsible practices to handle the cat colony. If you do not think this will help, then enlist neighbors/coworkers to help with the situation. A little pressure or poor publicity goes a long way, especially for a business owner.
    If communication efforts fail, then contact your city police department, city animal control facility, and SPCA for further instructions. Here are some other helpful links:
    Animal Legal and Historical Web Center
    Animal Legal Defense Fund
    Findlaw.com
    Municode.com
  20. Q: I have been feeding a colony of feral cats. I'm moving. Can KittiCo take over feeding them for me?

    No. KittiCo concentrates its scarce volunteer resources on our efforts to sterilize the cats living on our streets. Find a friend, relative, or co-worker to feed the cats. Start now. Don't wait until just a few days or weeks before you move. You might try offering to continue to help paying for the food as an incentive. Another alternative is to purchase large self feeding and watering containers from a pet food store and returning periodically to fill them yourself. Please don't just abandon cats that have become dependent upon you.
    The one thing we can do is look at our database to determine if there is someone in the area near you that also feeds a colony. We can contact them and give them your information.
  21. Q: I'm feeding some cats that are in a dangerous situation; can you take them or relocate them to another property?

    First, a little definition to decide if a location is unsafe. A feral cat is safest and most humanly treated by leaving it exactly where it is. If it is an adult it has already figured out how to traverse it's territory.
    We ONLY RELOCATE if an entire city block is being torn down or some circumstance which is that extreme. A busy street, people making idle threats, etc are not considered a reason to relocate. Humans tend to project their own fears and emotions on the cats and unnecessarily relocate. We have that policy for a lot of reasons. The primary ones are as follows:
    1. Feral cats taken to shelters will be euthanized. Shelters do not have the resources to tame even the smallest feral kittens; it is a labor intensive and time-consuming process. Feral cats are wild, they are not socialized to humans, they are afraid of people. Their temperament prevents them from being placed for adoption.

    2. "The vacuum effect." If you remove the colony, more cats will come.

    3. There is no place to take them. Let's assume for the sake of argument that we had a safe, common relocation area. Given the extremely large number of ferals in the metroplex, unless you severely restrict the guidelines for relocation to that area, any such sanctuary in our area will be filled to capacity in very short order leaving us back at square one.
    Next, Relocation is VERY HARD on a feral cat. The success rate of having them stay in the new place even after being confined for 4 weeks (which is extremely hard for them) is only about 50%.
    If you must relocate, after determining that the situation requires it, then a great resource for instructions can be found on Alley Cat Allies website: www.alleycat.org/pdf/relocate.pdf. Another resource, although very limited availability, is to contact Barn Cats: 972-315-2875 or www.barncats.org.
  22. Q: I live in an apartment complex where several cats are running around. Can you help?

    In a situation like this, KittiCo needs you to take charge. You must speak with your neighbors to find out if the cats are owned. If they are owned, find out if they have been spayed/neutered. Low cost spay/neuter services are available, and will help prevent unwanted kittens that may become homeless. If the cats are abandoned or homeless, a resident needs to take responsibility for the cats. This caretaker must speak with the apartment management to gain their approval to have the cats spayed/neutered and returned to the property (TNR). We have documents to help you with this. Once the cats are returned, a permanent caretaker must promise to provide food and water on a regular basis. KittiCo can help implement a TNR program, but a resident must take responsibility for the project and educate management and neighbors before KittiCo can assist.
  23. Q: I have been feeding a feral cat for a year. She lets me pet her now. Can you help me find someone to adopt her?

    Often feral cats will learn over time to allow one or two caregivers to come close to them, pet them, and even very rarely to pick them up. This is sometimes called "feral fixation." The cat develops a strong attachment to those one or two people who have been caring for them for a long time. On some level they have learned to trust those who have long provided them with food and water. That does not mean that the cat is tame enough to be adopted and placed inside someone else's home. If you want to test how tame the cat really is bring someone with you to the feeding station that has never been there before. You will probably find that someone who is a stranger to the cat can get nowhere near it.
    This cat is happy in her familiar environment. While it may seem to you that the cat's living conditions are horrible and that an indoor home would be better, the reality is that the cat is better off where she is. In a shelter or in the home of a stranger she would most likely spend her days in fear, hiding under a bed or in a closet. Finally, remember that tame cats and kittens surrendered by their families to open admission shelters are still euthanized because there are not enough people willing to adopt them. As long as that is the case there is no point trying to tame adult feral cats or trying to move semi-feral cats from the street into adoptive homes.
  24. Q: What about taming down feral kittens?

    For the reason stated above, although a bit different, we do not advocate or take in feral kittens to tame down. Our adoption program tries to focus on rescuing cats from local animal control facilities, which have limited space to house the many unwanted tame and healthy pets. Once shelters are no longer euthanizing tame cats for lack of adoptive homes, we might reconsider what is best for feral cats and kittens. Even though we do not advocate or have the resources to tame down feral kittens, there are resources out there to assist you in this area: www.vetcentric.com/magazine/magazineArticle.cfm?ARTICLEID=1768%20 and www.alleycat.org/pdf/socializingferal.pdf
  25. Q: Will KittiCo test the cats for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)?

    We do not routinely test the cats brought into our spay/neuter clinic, unless ordered and paid for by the client. If a cat seems in very poor health, the vet staff has the choice to test any cat in a trap. (We only do this if the cat is sick.) If the test is positive the cat will be euthanized. Releasing a feral cat that is sick is inhumane because the death is slow and painful. In addition an infected cat that is released can infect others in the colony.

    Cats in carriers will not be tested unless a test is asked for and paid for. Any cat testing positive will be euthanized.

    There are many reasons why KittiCo does not generally test the feral/stray cats for FeLV or FIV. Here are a few of those reasons:
    • Studies show that there is no greater incident of disease in feral cats than there is in tame, owned free-roaming cats.
    • It is unaltered cats, regardless of whether they are from feral colonies or private homes, that wander, fight, reproduce, and have the potential to spread disease.
    • Sterilization reduces or eliminates the behaviors which spread disease.
    • Studies show that using our scarce economic resources to sterilize more cats than otherwise would be sterilized given the cost of testing; actually works to more quickly reduce the number of FeLV positive cats.
    • The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) recommends retesting all cats that initially test positive. AAFP states that the decision to euthanize should never be made solely on the basis of one positive test. It is impractical or impossible to hold feral cats for the period of time necessary before retesting can occur.
  26. Q: I have been trapping for a while, and I am having trouble catching those last few elusive cats, do you have any ideas?

    First, determine the actual problem. Are the cats trap wary-meaning the wont go near them? Or are they able to get in and remove the food without tripping the trap mechanism? It may be as simple as getting a smaller trap. KittiCo uses smaller sized traps often used for other animals to alleviate the problem of larger cats able to get in and get food without setting off the trapping mechanism. There are a number of camouflaging techniques, training techniques or trap innovations to help you in this. Alley Cat Allies has a great page along with pictures and more links to help you with this: www.neighborhoodcats.org/info/hardtocatch.htm.
  27. Q: How do I actually do the trapping?

    There is a lot of information available to help you. Please visit our The Basics of Trapping page, or download our printer-friendly version (Word/PDF/Text).
  28. Q: How do I educate my neighbors on the benefits of TNR?

    Several resources are available to help you with educational efforts. We offer a T-N-R Neighborhood Program Flyer (Word/PDF) for download & distribution. For comprehensive articles, fact sheets, and how-to documents, visit Alley Cat Allies Info Center at www.alleycat.org/ic.html.
  29. Q: Your waiting list to borrow traps is quite long, where can I purchase my own traps?

    KittiCo uses and recommends the humane box trap: 30LTD Lightweight Tru-Catch Trap
    ACES (Animal Care Equipment & Services, Inc.)
    P.O. Box 3275
    Crestline, California 92325
    Phone: 800.338.ACES
    www.animal-care.com

    Holding pens or cat playpens can be purchased from:

    Drs. Foster & Smith
    Phone: 800.381.7206
    www.drsfostersmith.com

    R.C. Steele
    Phone: 800.872.3773

    Other resources and equipment:

    Animal Care Equipment & Services, Inc. (ACES)
    Affordable Cat Fence
    C & D Components (outdoor cages for relocation)
    Cat Fence-In™
    Critter Comforts
    Hawks Will Custom Wood Work (feral cat feeders and shelters)
    Heart of the Earth Marketing (Tru-catch traps)
    Purr-Fect Fence
    Samples of different cat enclosures from Cat Fancy
    SafeCat© Outdoor Enclosure
    Tomahawk traps
    The Trap-Man


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