So many people have a misconception about feral cats. They are seen as wild animals incapable of showing affection and being tamed. In addition to that, they are seen as a plague and many communities work hard to eliminate or relocate them. But this doesn’t solve the “problem.” There will be more cats taking over the empty territory and they will keep on reproducing.
Love Your Feral Felines is a non-profit organization that educates the public on spaying and neutering through the process of TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return) to reduce the number of feral cats entering shelters. They are based in North San Diego County and are trying to improve the lives of feral and homeless cats.
How do they do this? They humanely trap the feral cats, then they spay or neuter them, test them, vaccinate them and return them to their original location. They also ear-tip the cats to indicate to the public they have been fixed.
What are they achieving? The breeding and the behaviors associated with mating stops (like spraying, fighting and yowling). It’s the only long-term, humane method to deal with feral cat colonies. Plus it’s proven to be cheaper than euthanizing them.
The Barn Cat Program conceived by the Love Your Feral Felines organization provides a safe place, food and water to the feral cats and in exchange they keep the rodent population down. They look for people with barns or other outdoor secure structures interested in adopting cats that are not suitable for an indoor life.
This is a win-win situation. People who adopt barn feral cats will safely control rodents, and cats will have a safe place to live their lives. The program will assist people while the cats settle in their new homes. Not every cat is suitable to become a barn cat, the ones suited to be house pets and kittens under 6 months of age are not candidates.
If you are interested in participating in the program, your requirements will be to provide a warm, secure and dry space where the cats can live, the commitment to keep the cats confined to a crate or a pen with a wire top for four to five weeks to acclimate them to their new environment before release, a clean litter-box while they are confined, constant food and fresh water and spending some time with them daily while they become familiar with you. In exchange, Love Your Feral Felines organization will have them spayed or neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped and will provide detailed instructions on safely confining, releasing and maintaining them. There is a negotiable adoption fee of $40 and they recommend you take a minimum of two cats to make the experience less traumatic and easier for them.
Many of these cats will prove that it’s a misconception that feral cats are incapable of showing love and being tamed. This is what Love Your Feral Felines published in their Facebook page about one of their adopters who took in a small colony of cats:
“I’m amazed by the cats. I never thought we would be able to interact with them. Feral beyond belief and now they sleep in our beds, curl up on our lap. It actually brings tears to my eyes thinking they just needed attention and to trust humans again.”
You can also make a difference! Just follow the links and find more information on this wonderful organization and its marvelous programs.