Community Cats Programs
END FELINE OVERPOPULATION
Community Cats are defined as feral, unowned cats who are not candidates for adoption.
Feral or Community Cats are cats who are not owned and are not sufficiently socialized to humans to be candidates for adoption.
Community cats are the end result of owned pets who were not spayed or neutered, and then escaped or were allowed to roam.
Community cats tend to gather together where they form “colonies”.
The growth in the number and size of these colonies is due to unrestrained reproduction, which produces litters of kittens for whom homes cannot be found, and who can’t be accommodated in already overcrowded animal shelters.
Access to spay/neuter services
Community Cats can be spayed/neutered through the GTHS Animal Hospital for no cost to the volunteer or rescue group as part of the Community Cats Fund. Services are free as long as resources last. Donations to the hospital are gratefully accepted. To donate to this very important program, contact (705) 445-5204 ext. 223, visit our donations page, or drop by the GTHS Animal Centre at 549 Tenth Line, Collingwood. To apply to receive access to spay/neuter surgeries for community cats, CLICK HERE.
Community Cats Food bank
To support volunteers and rescue groups that work diligently with community cats, the GTHS operates a food bank from their shelter on 549 Tenth Line. As supplies last, this food bank is available for rescue groups to use. Donations of dry cat food are gratefully accepted.
GTHS has a collection of humane live (both trigger and drop) traps available for loan.
Community cat awareness/education
GTHS provides presentations to community groups to educate them about Community Cats as well as the GTHS as an organization.
To learn more about our Community Cats Program, contact our Outreach Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (705) 445-5204 ext. 214
How you can get involved
Connect to rescue groups as a volunteer
There are volunteer groups in the area that work to manage Community Cats, these include Creemore Cats and Meaford Homeless Animal Rescue.
Volunteers can help trap cats and transport them to vet appointments. Volunteers may also become “caregivers” and feed and monitor the health of colony cats once they are returned to their original location.
Frequent monitoring is an invaluable component of successful TNR programs because caregivers can easily identify new cats who join the colony, so that they, too, can be sterilized, vaccinated and ear-tipped. Another component of a well-managed TNR program is the collection of critical data that can be used when seeking grant funding to expand current TNR programs.
Through the implementation of TNR, volunteers know they are making a difference in the lives of the animals, and the community is benefiting from their charitable efforts.
What is TNR
Trap-neuter-return is a humane method of controlling cat populations. Trap-neuter-return (TNR) is a management technique in which homeless, free-roaming (community) cats are humanely trapped, evaluated and sterilized by a licensed veterinarian, vaccinated against rabies, and then returned to their original habitat.
TNR improves the lives of feral cats, improves their relationships with the people who live near them, and decreases the size of colonies over time.
Cats are humanely trapped and taken to a veterinarian to be neutered and vaccinated. After recovery, the cats are returned to their home—their colony—outdoors. Kittens and cats who are friendly and socialized to people may be adopted into homes.
What is the primary benefit of TNR?
In the long term, TNR lowers the numbers of cats in the community more effectively than trap-and-kill.
Friendly cats or young kittens are pulled from the colonies and brought to the shelter to be adopted into their forever homes. Stopping the breeding and removing some cats for adoption is more effective than the traditional trap-and-kill method in lowering the numbers of cats in a community long-term.
These programs create safer communities and promote public health by reducing the number of unvaccinated cats.
TNR programs improve the lives of free-roaming cats. When males are neutered, they are no longer compelled to maintain a large territory or fight over mates, and females are no longer forced to endure the physical and mental demands of giving birth and fending for their young.
Sterilizing community cats reduces or even eliminates the behaviors that can lead to nuisance complaints.