Are there any outside cats prowling around your home? If they are too afraid to approach you, this means they are feral, will not thrive in a shelter, and cannot be adopted out. However there is something you can do about it!
Feral cats pose a problem when they are allowed to multiply unabated. Sometimes unaltered domestic cats are abandoned by their former owners at the colony, thus adding to the problem. Feral cats actually provide a service to the community they live in by helping with pest control. How can we be of service to them and to your community? If you ask the LASCPA or Spaymart, it is by humanely trapping, altering, and returning them to their outdoor home to enjoy their lives without adding to the size of the feral cat colony.
Former SPS Assistant Manager Erin never paid too much attention to the cats who would come and go until she started seeing a little gray girl cat daily begging for food. There was an older intact male cat who would appear as well, and Erin began to realize that in feeding the cat at her home she became responsible for it and whatever kittens it would have. Erin named the cat Josephine (pictured below) after her tom cat Napoleon began socializing with her, and she was advised to get her spayed through a TNR program (trap, neuter, return).
It took a few tries to trap Josie due to faulty traps. Eventually Erin chose to borrow a trap from the LASPCA. The Feral Cat Program Coordinator counseled her over the phone on how best to set the trap. Erin lined it with cardboard and newspaper, then put a small amount of wet food on the paper in the back of the cage. The LASPCA’s Spay/Neuter program requires that you set the trap at night, bring the cat in the next morning in between 7:30-8:30 am, and pick it up post surgery after 4 pm the next day. They will also vaccinate your feral against rabies, which is important if the feral socializes with your own outside cats. If you live in zip codes 70114, 70119, or 70131, you can have your feral cat spayed for free–the LASPCA has a grant that will cover the cost because the feral problem is advanced in these areas.
Josie has recently taken to waiting on Erin’s windowsill, and is very slowly becoming more socialized. She and Napoleon have become quite the pair!