October 16th was National Feral Cat Day – but we celebrate this day everyday as mom is always thinking about the feral cats and the community cats of our local area of Hudson County, NJ!
It all stems from her commitment to be a voice for promoting active TNR and TNA initiatives - to trap, spay/neuter, and if feral, release to the area or colony from where it was trapped….or if friendly, prepare for adoption to find its forever family...just like my little buddy Beau and me!
It all started when she moved to our block and noticed some stray cats walking through the backyards. After asking around, she found out that there was a regular feeder, who tried to keep up with the spay/neutering, but now there were too many cats and she needed help.
Along with many of the neighbors, we formed a “block association” to contribute money to cover the vet bills. And within two summers, the group took care of 7 cats all of which were either released in our backyards or adopted. Currently the block has not seen any new unfixed community cats! Success!
Mom always says that a steady and consistent TNR/TNA initiative will effectively reduce the community cat population over time to zero. There are already communities and towns who are doing it and proving the nay-sayers wrong – more about them later!
This small example of what one block and a group of caring neighbors can do to help the feral cats and in turn help themselves inspired her to get more involved in TNR by writing about it – our community cat section on this blog is the number #2 read section after food and nutrition!
Volunteer to Help Your Feral Cat Community
By helping out TLC Rescue of Weehawken/Union City at their fundraisers, she learned a lot about the many layers of cat rescue and how easy it is for cat-lovers like mom to get involved and volunteer – all for the sake of the cats!
This past year, mom has been volunteering with a dedicated group of volunteers to launch UCAT – Union City Animal Trust – started by Mayor Brian Stack of Union City to address the community and feral cats on their local streets. Lead by a city-appointed logistical coordinator, the trappers have been busy trapping, neutering and releasing cats as well as preparing the friendlies for adoption. Thanks to all fosters who host the adoptable cats as they wait for their furr-ever homes!
As she stays in touch with what’s going on with TNR efforts across the country, mom feels that the tide just might be turning for the feral cats of America, as more towns and communities are adopting city-financed and volunteer administered TNR programs as the most effective way to control the community/feral cat populations…which is a win-win for the cats and the communities.
However a word of caution, she says, there are still some uninformed and just plain dumb bureaucrats who think that TNR does not work, and eradication and/or relocation is the best solution, but us cats know better, you can take us away, but new cats will move in and fill the void!
Benefits of TNR/TNA Education
So EDUCATION about TNR/TNA is still the number one way to push back against rumors and misinformation regarding the benefits to everyone and every cat when a town implements a TNR/TNA initiative.
We need to start in our schools to teach empathy about all animals, but especially about our community cats that live in close proximity to everyone and who need our help the most. Without human intervention, the feral and community cats will go on having multiple births and/or be doomed to a life on the streets if they are friendly.
So in honor of National Feral Cat Day – get involved and volunteer and/or donate to your local cat rescue group and be part of the change that you would like to see in this world for the most vulnerable in the feline world