We get asked a lot of questions, and we welcome them with open paws!
Knowledge is power when it involves feral cats, spay & neuter programs, and charity organizations. We thought it would be a good idea to answer some of the most common questions, and start conversations with some new ones. If you have a question or suggestion, PLEASE leave us a comment or contact us.
Q. What is a feral cat?
Answer: Wikipedia says, and we agree:
…a cat that has been born into wilderness or has not had human interaction for a significant period of time and is self-sufficient.
Feral cats aren’t always “mean” or “crazy” or “full of infection”.
Scared, yes. Defensive, yes. More likely to carry disease than your indoor cat, yes.
Q. Can I pet a feral cat?
Answer: We don’t recommend finding out!
Honestly, we highly advise against it. Some abandoned cats can learn to trust a human over time, but true born-into-the-wild cats will never become tame. If you’ve been feeding a stray/feral cat, you know what we mean by that. If you ever want to see a feral cat in “action”, we recommend doing a ride-along with one of our dedicated trappers!
Q. How are you different from the SPCA?
Answer: SPCA, as you likely know, stands for Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals & Kitty Cat PALS stands for Prevent a Litter Society. While we BOTH work to prevent cruelty, the SPCA deals with owned, tame and abandoned cats. We deal with feral and untraceable abandoned ones. That means no tattoo, no microchip.
We work with the SPCA to help identify, resolve or aid in a cat-related situation. The more cat people the better, we say!
Q. Where are all these cats coming from?
Answer: Unfortunately, in any community there are people who don’t spay and neuter their cats. Those same cats go outside and eventually have (or help make) kittens. Those kittens don’t get spayed or neutered either and the cycle repeats itself.
Even worse, people take those unwanted cats/kittens and dump them in the country to become someone else’s problem. Or, people move away and don’t bother taking their cats.
Q. Why does it cost so much to adopt a kitten when I can get a free one on Craigslist?
Answer: There is no such thing as a free kitten!! Every kitten that come to KCP gets a thorough medical exam, medication if needed, vaccinations when old enough, flea and de-worming treatment, and of course food, litter and love. The only free part of that is the love. Younger kittens may require bottle/syringe feeding of KMR – Kitten Milk Replacement. (It is purchased from one of the pet stores.) This is one of those items that we gratefully accept as a donation! Our adoption fee also includes the cost of spaying/neutering.
Q. How do you trap a feral cat?
We have 3 different kinds of traps – none of which harm the cats if used correctly.
Live trap This is the most commonly used trap. It is set by our trappers, and visually monitored from a distance. Smelly cat food is placed at the far end of the trap There is a pressure plate on the floor that automatically shuts the door once the cat steps on it. The trapper immediately throws a blanket over the trap to calm the cat. They are promptly transferred into a cage or crate.
Drop trap This one is right out of a cartoon! It’s a large metal square that is propped up on a post. It is often used for mother cats and her kittens because they can be trapped all at once. When the cats go in the string gets pulled and hooray – success!
Kitten trap In a similar fashion to the drop trap, this box can catch multiple kitties at once. Made of plexiglass and wood, there is a door propped open by a nail. Food is put at the opposite end, and when the cat(s) goes in, PULL! Transfer happens immediately to reduce stress.
That concludes part one of our FAQ’s. We’d love to hear your questions! Stay tuned for part two.