THE CORRECT WAY TO MANAGE A ‘COMMUNITY CAT’ COLONY'
Our volunteers always remove young kittens from dangerous outdoor situations and there is a great need of foster homes for a few weeks for these precious little ones to have a chance. A small, safe space with food, water, and love being given is not much to ask for these innocent little ones so they will be ready for adoption.
Once the colony ‘TNVR’ is completed, there is a tremendous sense of accomplishment when this goal is attained! The colony caretaker can relax and enjoy the feeding experience without the worries of fighting males, pregnant females and dozens of kittens. The determined efforts by the colony caretaker that made it possible are commended by other colony caretakers as we all know that one more area of our City is ‘TNVR’ complete.
It is very important to have a particular feeding time so the cats are not wandering in the area wondering where and when feeders are going to show up. We strongly suggest feeding preferably just after sunrise or at sunset as cats should be out of public areas during busy people hours and sleeping during the day. For their safety, the feeding sites should always be in protected areas where no people or other animals, such as dogs, will disturb their feeding time. It is necessary for caretakers to have a watchful eye for any injuries, and the best time to do that is when the cats are eating in front of you. We encourage all cat colony caretakers to always be looking for any dangers that could be in the area, such as broken glass or fire ant mounds. ‘Community Cats’ should be fed in safe and quiet locations, away from public view and traffic areas.
Water bowls, preferably clear glass, should be cleaned daily and fresh water given every time the cats are fed. These safe water sources are incredibly important and need to be kept hidden in the shade, and placed so they cannot be tipped over. It is important to always offer fresh water in order to avoid cats drinking from puddles of water as these can be contaminated with car liquids, pesticides, fertilizer runoff, soil-related bacterias and fungus that make cats sick and can poison and potentially kill them.
Cats are carnivores so colony caretakers need to provide an assortment of healthy foods such as small pieces of raw meat, organs, quality canned foods and limited grain-free dry food. Food should be placed in plastic containers wide enough for the cats to eat out of or in disposable paper plates are popular as well as each cat prefers to have his own ‘place at the feeding’ and not share. After years of sitting and observing our colony cats, it is interesting that similar to family members at the dinner table, each cat will choose an eating ‘space’ of their own and do not appreciate another cat coming to investigate what they have on their plate. We have found from years of experience that the majority of cats will eat calmly and enjoy their much-needed meal time if they have their own plate. Several cats eating from one plate creates a competition and gulping and pushing and even fights can take place. Food should not be placed directly on the ground without bowls or plates, due to the multitude of environmental toxins and chemicals that will contaminate the food.
PLEASE - it is urgently important that as a colony caretaker that you remove all plates from the feeding site after the cats finish to keep ants, flies and assorted insects away. It is important to take any leftover food away to discard safely in your home outdoor trashcan for several reasons:
1) It is a violation of County Ordinance to DUMP food and you can be cited for doing this should a property owner or concerned persons witness this neglectful act
2) In a matter of minutes, insects will be attracted to the food site and those -such as biting ants or flyes can create a huge problem for all animals in the area. Annoying flies make the food unsafe to eat as they can deposit eggs on any available food source.
3) The scents from dumped food attract abandoned and terrified pet cats to the established cat colony feeding site which creates major territorial issues. The established colony cats will stop them from getting to the food which can result in serious injuries. These starving pet cats are no match for wild born and well-fed cat colony fighters and the outcome is tragic for abandoned pet cats.
4) Unsterilized, wild-born cats will be attracted to the dumped food area which forces ‘TNVR’ colony cats to unfairly have to deal with starving, wandering, male ‘fighter’ cats. This is dangerous and extremely disturbing for the established Community Cat colony holding that territory. Life-threatening injuries even for the strongest, top defenders of territory boundaries can and do occur as they fight to protect their turf. Our Community Cat colonies have been seen working as a team to keep out intruders, with even the females maneuvering to assist the lead male protecting that colony.
5) Wildlife, such as raccoons, are so challenged in their diminished natural spaces trying to find food. People dumping cat food creates another challenge as these starving raccoons can be very aggressive, will fight for that food source and establish territory in that area. We have such compassion for their plight and love raccoons - fortunately, some can be docile. However, we have witnessed too many attacks and injuries to kittens and young cats and the interaction needs to be avoided. In addition, young raccoons and female raccoons are viciously attacked by large male raccoons who do not wish to share the food.
Feeding time can be critical for any cats that have been wounded as natural supplements to assist them in their healing must be administered in their wet food. For those cats with serious wounds, respiratory problems, and infections, our holistic remedies have a phenomenal success history for quickly healing even the most horrific looking wounds and for illnesses.
It is important to understand that once a Community Cat has been trapped, they will bolt even at the sound of the trap metal clinking while unloading at your car or even a well-disguised trap being brought into their territory. Their sense of smell, as well as their intuition, is outstanding, and they remember the terrors associated with being trapped and abandoned or being trapped for ‘TNVR’. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to retrap a cat, making any type of veterinary visit impossible for the remainder of their lives. Our extreme success with holistic ‘field remedies’ added to their food is their only hope for surviving serious wounds and illnesses.
‘CCCBR’ is always in need of volunteers who would like to assist in the feeding of established cat colonies here in Boca Raton. We also need volunteers willing to deliver food to lower income colony caretakers who are in great need of donated food for their cats.
If you don’t have the extra time to assist us in feeding the ‘TNVR’ established cat colonies, your generous donation enables our group to purchase urgently needed cat food and natural ‘field remedies’.
Please remember your tax-deductible donations go directly to the Community Cats right here in our own City. You can even sponsor a particular established cat colony or assist those who are financially challenged to feed the outdoor cats they truly love, but cannot afford to feed.
Tremendous THANKS for caring to help the Community Cats struggling to survive amongst us here in Boca Raton. These nocturnal felines are on ‘rat and roach patrol’ throughout the night as you sleep...the least we can do is feed them one hearty and healthy meal and LOVE them.
POURING CHEAP, DRY FOOD ON DIRT AND DRIVING AWAY IS NOT PROPER FEEDING AND IS A VIOLATION OF COUNTY ORDINANCE! THIS ACTIVITY FUELS CAT HATER COMPLAINTS, PROBLEMS WITH CITY OFFICIALS AND ATTRACTS OTHER CATS AND CRITTERS THAT MAKE IT DANGEROUS FOR THE EXISTING CATS IN THAT TERRITORY.
IT ONLY TAKES 10 MINUTES TO GIVE NUTRITIOUS FOODS, WATER & LOVE!