If you can’t afford to adopt any animals or have too many stray cats in your neighborhood, you can help make a difference with the feral cat trap, release, & return program. Check out this website for how to help with the feral cat rescue program: http://www.cap4pets.org/programs/feral-cats.
What is a feral cat? Feral cats are known as “wild or free-roaming” cats. They are the largest cause of pet overpopulation in Houston. Thousands of feral cats are born into homelessness every year, often right in your own neighborhood. Left unattended, feral cat colonies can grow out of control. With you help through CAP, you can help solve this problem through humane trap-neuter-return.
If you have a lot of stray cats they are probably all feral. They are not use to humans touch and are scared of them. Even after they are fixed and returned they may not want any human contact. Cats are territorial and when they are removed new cats will move in and try to rebreed to capacity. The trap release program prevents this by stopping the breeding and helps the colony to diminish over time. Once you release the fixed feral cat back to their captured area it becomes their permanent home and they will live to be happy cats that cant’ breed anymore and they will help control the snakes and rat problems and keep other unaltered ferals away.
How can you get started to help control this feral cat issue. Here are some suggestions: First buy a release cage or borrow one from your local vet. The cages are usually under $30.00 so it is a good investment to help this cause. Place the release trap where the cats usually come to look for food or where you might be feeding them. First place newspapers in the bottom of the cage and then place a small wet can of cat food in the back of the cage pass the release bar on the bottom of the cage. Afterward setting the food in the back of the cage cover the entire cage with a sheet about half way from front to back so that it does not get shut in the trap once the cat is caught. The reason you want to cover the cage is because once they are inside the cages it freaks them out and scares them in the small quarters and it will keep them quiet and from becoming injured in the cage. Prior to setting your traps that day make sure you set an appointment the day before you plan on bringing in the cats to be fixed. You can get all the information at: http://www.cap4pets.org/programs/feral-cats. It has the clinic locations and times and instructions on pre-and after for taking care of the feral cats.
Before you take a trapped cat to be fixed make sure the left ear of the cat has not been tipped this is a sign that it has already been altered. The vets will cut the tip off the left ear during surgery.
If two cats are trapped together then make sure bring another separate cage for after surgery because they need to be left alone for 24 hours apart after surgery. Keep all cats covered and warm during the transport stages before and after surgery. A cat can’t regulate their body temperature for 24 hours after surgery. Do not transport them in the truck of your car unless it is open to the rest of your auto because you will possible make the cat more ill or it could die.
Once the cat is released back after surgery make sure they stay in the trap for up to 24-48 hours. This gives them plenty of recovery time. They usually are not hungry during this time because they are sleepy from the surgery. They won’t starve so don’t worry. Once you release them make sure you do so where you caught them and away from traffic or pets such as your own dogs. If you catch them in a barn or garage then release them back there at the same location. It is not recommended to relocate a cat after the surgery because it is rarely successful. It should only be done during emergency reasons. You can go to www.alleycat.org for relocation methods.
You can also donate your cage to friends or family members that want to help control the feral cat population and have them also join you in the feral cat catch and release program. If everyone in each neighborhood can join this group then the cat population can help be controlled and more cats won’t be euthanized and instead live long happy lives while also controlling the rats and snakes from becoming a nuisance in your neighborhood. In the long run we are helping animals without spending a lot of money and you will feel like you are also helping a worthy cause.
Happy fixed feral cats mean less unwanted cats and kittens to roam the streets of Houston or the surrounding areas. You can become a responsible human being by helping to control the overpopulation of pets in the United States and in Texas alone!