National Feral Cat Day

Happy National Feral Cat Day! Alley Cat Allies launched National Feral Cat Day in 2001 to raise awareness about feral cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and recognise the wonderul people who care about feral cats. Every year on the 16th of October, many events are held across the US, to help raise awareness and provide information on how you can help feral cats. Hopefully over time this special day will become the 'INTER-National Feral Cat Day'.

Today's post is dedicated to the amazing people who take the time to care for these forgotten cats, all over the world, and to spread a little more information about what you can personally do.

 

 

Many people feed feral cats but are not quite sure what to do next. Sometimes even determining what the meaning of feral is can be difficult. A feral cat is one that was born in the wild, or rather on the streets, and has had little to no human contact. Stray means something entirely different - a cat that previously had a home, but has become lost or was abandoned. Stray cats often join feral colonies.

The next step after feeding is TNR - Trap-Neuter,-Return - to stop the colony population growing, and therefore diminish the number of cats living a hard life on the streets. There are also numerous health benefits for neutered cats, as well as them no longer having the need to roam to find a mate. This in turn reduces annoyance to the community (we all know the unmistakable sound of a cat calling for a mate!), the risk of injury or death from cars, and cat fights. If you don't know how to TNR, click here to get more info from Alley Cat Allies, or contact them for advice. You can also conact your local cat shelter, however, I hightly recommed avoiding big government run shelters, like the RSPCA for example, who will simply remove the cats to have them euthanized.

 

 

From there, after TNR, we recommend giving your feral friend a home away from the harsh weather. Cat Tee Mission reader and advocate for feral cats, Valerie, shares with us how to make a simple but comfortable feral cat shelter.

 

Here in NYC Autumn is upon us, and soon enough Winter will be knock knocking on our doorsteps.  Freezing temperatures and frost bite are no match for a sweet little kitty without someplace to stay warm.  A winter shelter for a homeless cat can truly save its life.   So no matter if it is Spring, or Fall, here are a few tips on how to construct a Homeless Cat (Winter) Shelter; No man required.

 

Materials:

 

1 18 Gallon Rubbermaid Container (must be the heavy duty roughneck plastic kind or else it will crack in freezing temperatures) * Disclaimer: the brand i used in these photos is not preferred. It will crack.*

1 10 Gallon Rubbermaid Container (to place inside the bigger one)

2 inch thick Styrofoam insulation (I bought some from Home Depot for $7.00 U.S)
1 box cutter or really good knife/sciccor
1 paving brick to place on top when done to weigh it down otherwise it will blow away
duck tape
1 willing Kitty to test it out for you (throw some treats in!). 

Step 1:  Cut out a layer of Styrofoam to fit the bottom of the Bigger containters floor.  Once cut, place Styrofoam onto Floor of Bigger Container.

Step 2:  Place smaller container into bigger container on top of styrofoam floor.  Now take a ruler and measure at least 4 inches up from the floor.  We are going to cut a 6 inch circle for the entrance, however you must make sure that it is at least 4 inches off the ground.  You might have to increase the height of the entrance if the smaller containers floor lines up with 4 inches.
Step 3:  Once you measure 4 inches above the ground, mark that with a pen, and draw a 6 inch diameter circle. 
Step 4: Cut out said circle
Step 5:  Trace the hole of the circle onto the smaller box.
Step 6:  cut that circle
Step 7:  Cut the Styrofoam and place it in between the wals of the smaller and bigger containers
Step 8:  sand down any rough edges, use duck tape to cover entrance
Step 9:  put brick on top to weigh down ceiling
Step 10:  dont forgt to put a layer of styrofoam for the celing, and a kitty to test it out. 

Click here for more examples.

 

Valerie's cat shelter

 

Valerie's formerly-feral kitty, Oliver, giving his approval. 

 

There are many cat rescue groups around the world who will offer advice, if not help you directly, if you're willing to take on the hard, but rewarding work of being a cat colony angel. CatRescue, one of our partners, operates out of Sydney and takes on as many colonies as it can handle, but always needs more people who are willing to help. If you are one of these people, please get in touch with CatRescue, or your local group which conducts TNR operation.

 

Remember you can also buy yourself a cat colony CTM tee- 100% of our profits go to cat rescue groups around the world, who work in the areas of rehoming and/or TNR.

 

Happy National Feral Cat Day!

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