Caring for a feral cat colony is a commitment to make. You have to know the responsibilities and the risks that come with it. As you know, caring for a feral cat colony can expose you to some health hazards. Although the chance that diseases will be transferred to humans is small, the caregiver should still take proper precautionary measures. These include wearing padded gloves and long sleeve shirts and getting a vaccination against rabies.
If you have decided to be a caregiver for a feral cat colony, here are some things that you should do:
- It is a must that you know the governing regulations in your area with regard to animal control. There are states that prohibit the feeding of feral cat colony. You should be aware that caring for feral cats is a controversial issue even in places that allow such activity. Also, it will be helpful for you to have contact organizations that are dedicated to help care for feral cats.
- The commitment to care for a feral cat colony can hardly be undertaken by a single person. In most cases, you will need someone to replace you when you are not around. Find neighbors or family members who can share with this commitment.
- If your place allows caring for a feral cat colony, the next thing to do is to determine which site to care for. Prepare cat traps that are gentle on ferals. You can get this from your local animal clinic and hardware stores. You can also build your personalized cat trap.
- You should be able to provide the basic needs of the cat such as food and shelter. Make sure that you provide the feral cat colony with fresh water regularly. Once you have started feeding the feral cats in a particular hour of the day, try doing it in the same time everyday. It is important to establish a feeding hour so that the feral cats get used to them and become dependent on the foods that you provide. During severe weather conditions, provide crates to shelter the feral cats.
- Find a vet who offers low cost neuter programs especially for feral cats. This is why it is important to get connection with animal care organizations to get referrals from them. Also make certain that the cats are provided with the necessary vaccines that they need.
- After establishing the colony, you have to learn on how to maintain them. Continue to trap, sterilize, vaccinate, and release them until the whole colony is treated including the new members that will take part in it.
- It will be helpful to keep a record of your feral cats to keep in track with their vaccinations and other medications.
Caring for a feral cat colony is the humane approach to deal with the growing population of feral cats. And if you are decided to be a caretaker of a feral cat colony, you must realize that from the time you adopt them, they will start depending on you. So be a responsible caretaker.