Newsday Tuesday – When Cats Begin to Overrun a Community

Many cities and rural areas have similar problems and community leaders find a variety of ways to handle them. Cats become homeless. They band together where they find opportunities for food and water and shelter. When no one pays any attention they begin to multiply. Soon, as happened in Delray Beach, Florida, there are over 10,000 cats and kittens trying to survive—sadly, many of them failing. But they keep doing the natural thing and breeding and adding to the numbers until someone somewhere comes up with a solution.

In Delray Beach they come up with $25,000 to initiate a TNVR program where they will trap, spay/neuter, vaccinate (against rabies) and return the cats to their environment. They’ll also chip the cats. They estimate they can trap 200 of the cats per week. Sounds like quite a project, but does such a process work?

According to statistics, yes. This program is being implemented by hundreds of organizations and individuals nationwide and reports indicate that in areas where there is an active TNVR program there are impressive decreases in the feral cat population in shelters and the euthanasia of healthy cats. Here’s more information on the TNVR programs.

Now if we could only successfully educate the public and help them to care enough to care for the cats they adopt. Too many still abandon their cats when they move, cart home cats to use as barn cats and allow them to continue breeding, give away resulting kittens to individuals who don’t believe in spaying/neutering cats—some wanting to have the kitten experience with the cat—tire of the cat and stop caring for her. There are a lot of such stories out there. Thankfully, there are also a lot of us who rescue and properly care for one or more otherwise homeless cats.

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