Just joined the group today . . . started caring for a stray (likely feral) cat who had a litter of kittens on our property. If anyone could point me to some local resources for low-cost spay/neuter program for feral cats, I'd appreciate it. I want to get the Mom spayed/released before she takes off.
As requested by the Site Administor, here is some background on me:
1.) How many feral/stray cats are you presently involved in caring for?
(other than your own pet cats) One adult cat (four kittens - still nursing - approx 4 weeks old)
2.) How long have you been caring for the colon(y/ies) you're now
involved with? Just discovered them last week.
3.) How many of them are spayed or neutered? None - but want to get the mom trapped/neutered/released soon.
4.) How much experience do you have with TNR and using the humane traps? Very little - just once approx 3 years ago.
5.) How many of the cats you're now caring for have been born in
your colon(y/ies) since you've been feeding them? 4 kittens
currently (that we've spotted, anyway)
6.) What do you feed your colony cats, and do you also provide fresh water? Dry food and water for the Mom - she is still nursing the kittens.
7.) Where do you usually get your cat food? Do you pay full price,
or do you get a price break or donated cat food? Currently feeding the stray/feral what my own cats eat . . . so I pay full price.
8.) How often do you feed your colony cats? Approximately what time
of day? Been doing it twice a day - morning and afternoon. We pick up the food in the evening because there are raccoons and skunks in our area. (In fact, when our indoor cats see them through the patio door at night - we know . . .because it gets them all worked up and sometimes end up picking fights with each
9.) Do you have a problem with raccoons or other animals coming to
eat the cats' food? (Have you found any useful ways of dealing with
this? Please share!) We just make sure to pick it up before nightfall.
10.) Do you provide any form of shelter for your colony cats? If
so, what? (new & interesting ideas are always welcome) I built a couple of winter shelters for them (nesting one storage container - with straw - inside another - also with straw. Cut a round hold in the front for entry - and weigh it down with bricks placed inside the outer storage container)
11.) How many kittens (if any!) do you expect to be born in your
colon(y/ies) this kitten season? I hope NO more!
12.) How/where have you been
getting the cats spay/neutered?
(private vet, feral cat clinic, Humane Society program, etc.) I'm looking for input on low-cost spay/neuter programs in the local (Racine) area.
13.) Is “Eartipping” an essential part of your TNR routine? I would request that of the vet/clinic.
14.) How much have you typically been paying for spay/neuter
& etc.? What does the "etc." include (testing for leukemia & FIV,
Rabies & FVRCP vaccination, leukemia vaccination, worming,
flea treatment, ear mite treatment, eartipping, etc.) for the price? N/A
15.) Are you paying out of your own pocket for spay/neuter/etc,
or are you part of a nonprofit that pays for the spay/neuter? Expect to pay out of pocket.
16.) Do you also keep your own records of each TNR,
do you leave that to your vet? Undecided
17.) Where geographically are you located? (nearest reasonable-
sized city, state) Franksville - Racine, County, WI
18.) Are you in an urban, rural, or suburban environment? Semi-rural
19.) How long have you been involved in cat rescue? How long with
feral cats? I've been doing it on my own for approximately 20 years. All my current (and former) cats have been strays.
20.) Are your family and/or friends supportive of your efforts? Yes. (Although they joke about it - that I like pets better than people! They might actually be right.)
21.) Do you have contact with other cat rescue/feral cat TNR people
your geographic area for mutual help and support? No - but I am interesting in knowing what's available.
22.) What do you do when a cat in your colon(y/ies) gets sick or
injured? Hasn't happened yet - but I'm sure I would seek veterinary asisstance
23.) Although it is very important to stay current with your
tetanus vaccination, have you ever considered getting a
“preventative” rabies vaccination (or have gotten this already)? Hadn't thought about that - but good idea!
24.) How many "pet cats" do you have (as opposed to your colony
cats) are they a pure breed, pound kitty, stray, tamed feral.
In other words, what’s your kitties’ story?
Three of my four cats were strays - one was actually feral.
Eldest male was about 9 months old when he walked into an employer's warehouse in the Summer heat. He was full of fleas (although wearing a cheap flea collar), eat mites, skinny and dehydrated. He's now 15; struggles from time to time with IBD.
Eldest female was a pregnant, feral Siamese mix running around Kenosha city streets one Winter; co-worker who lived in the area trapped her. I let her have her kittens at my (former) home in Illinois. Worked with a rescue group to get the 5 kittens adopted. She is also 15 years old now; also struggles with IBD from-time-to time, also has cataracts in both eyes and glaucoma in one. (She sees a veterinary opthamologist every 4 months or so). While she doesn't hate me anymore, she still runs when I try to pick her up. She LOVES the adult male . . . follows him around everywhere (whether her likes it or not)!
Youngest male was about one year old when we found him rummaging through a dumpster behind a restaurant in the Amana Colonies on December 26th (six years ago). He was in poor physical condition - skinny and had lost most of his hair - but purred when I approached him. Despite reservations from my huband and his family, I took him home anyway (couldn't see him surviving the Winter that way) - and found that he had Ringworm. After almost a year of treatment (involving special shamppos, shaving off his fur, and trying different medication - as well as isolation from other cats in the house), the Ringworm went away. He is the one cat in the house without any health issues - AND is my husband's best buddy. Oh, and he's polydactyl - 7 toes on each foot! He is 7 years old now.
Youngest female was about 9 months old when we found her in the snow outside my husband's family farm. She had been taken shelter in their abandoned chicken coop - and was extremely friendly. Eventually found out that she had come from a neighbor's farm. She's prone to bladder stones - so she's on a special diet (had to have one surgery to remove the stones) . . . and also has allergy problems. The food keeps the bladder problem under control - so she's BASICALLY healthy. (Just needs an occasional intervention for the allergies.) She is 7 years old now.