Community Cats

They need a place to go


The term “feral” cat is often misused.  Feral refers to a previously domesticated animal that has reverted back to a wild state.  We certainly do have feral cats around – totally untouchable cats that act just like wild animals.  But often that term is used to refer to a stray or abandoned animal that is living outdoors on his own, often with the help of people who put out food.  In today’s vocabulary these are called “community cats,” and rightfully so because that is what they are.

We often get these cats either when they becomes sick or injured, and the story goes like this:  a neighbor moved out some time ago (fill in the number of years) and all the neighbors have been feeding him but no one claims ownership; especially if there is a cost, like a vet bill, involved.  Instead it falls on the government agency that provides animal protection to bear that expense.  Given that the animal, after all that time on his own, is most likely not an adoption candidate, that usually means euthanasia.

When it’s just a situation where there’s a fertile female creating havoc by producing too many offspring, or an intact male that’s being macho and aggressive to other cats, we can help by offering free spays and neuters – on the condition that the cat is allowed to go back and be cared for by the person seeking help and his neighbors.  A semi-wild cat does not have a lot of options in a traditional shelter environment.  We need to be able to safely handle the cats here in order to clean their cages, feed, medicate and show off the cat to adopters.  Since there is no “feral” land for these cats to be relocated, often the only option for them to leave the shelter alive is to be returned to where they were originally caught.  The assumption is that they were living quite nicely there before and could again, with the help of neighborhood feeders.

Once in a while it just won’t work to return a cat to where she was caught and then we look for a possible outdoor relocation sites.  It’s not easy to try and relocate a cat that is going to be strictly outdoors.  She needs to be caged on the site for at least a month to acclimate to the sounds and smells and to get accustomed to the schedule of daily feedings.  They say that it takes a cat about a month to claim a new territory as their own.  If you just plop a new cat on a 3-acre parcel of land, even if it is a perfect location for a wild cat to live (barn, mice, gophers, acreage, etc.) they will be gone as soon as the door of the cage opens up.  They have no reason to stay!  But once that hurdle of the first month or so is past, this can be a great solution for many felines that just can’t make it in the regular adoption program.

Do you have space on your property for an outdoor feline?  Sometimes we have friendly cats that need an outdoor placement either because of litterbox issues or because they resist confinement but they are social and can be petted.  We also get some of those “community cats” that have been a neighborhood cat but now needs a new “community.”  A true feral cat would be a great at catching mice or gophers and would do fine living in a barn setting.  Given the number of creeks that run through Rohnert Park, and the mice and rats that come with them, a few outside cats could be a good thing!

We are working with Forgotten Felines to try and give these community cats and ferals a second chance.  We will have them spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and ear-tipped for free, as long as they have a place to go to.  Forgotten Felines will help with the logistics of relocation – loaning you a cage and giving guidance and support needed for a smooth transition.  There is always a list of cats waiting for relocation so talk to everyone you know who has some land and see if they wouldn’t like to offer a home to cat in need. 

Upcoming Events: 

Meet the Bunny, 2nd Saturday of each month (next one is July 14), 1-5:30 at the shelter.  Meet our adorable adoptable rabbits, have your care questions answered by our knowledgeable volunteers, bring your bunny for a free nail trim, and shop our Bunny Boutique for fresh hay, fun toys and fabulous deals on supplies.

Kidz ‘n Critters Summer Camp – Six more sessions this summer, so enroll your little animal lover today!  One-week sessions of fun and learning – all about pets.  Details available at rpanimalshelter.org or by stopping by the shelter.


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SooQue July 12, 2012 at 11:32 PM
DoItRight I have met people that dislike cats, but you seem to take it to the extreme.
Nick Walden July 13, 2012 at 12:51 AM
DoItRight, While we at the Patch appreciate you having an opinion on the subject, could you please take the time to re-read our Terms of Use before making additional posts. We do not allow masked profanity or personal attacks and because of that posts containing those issues were deleted. Thank you
DoItRight July 13, 2012 at 11:14 AM
No. What you delete is anything that proves you 100% WRONG. Enjoy your immense bliss of self-inflicted ignorance by poking your own eyes out. As you consistently do all during your sorry, pathetic, and ignorant lives. It's the only way you can tolerate your existence.
Nick Walden July 13, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Actually no, I deleted your posts specifically because of language and personal attacks which goes against our Terms of Use which are very clearly spelled out. Had you taken the time to write them without doing that I would not have deleted them. You are more than welcome to post here DoItRight as long as you follow the terms.
DoItRight July 14, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Well, isn't it nice to know, that by deleting that valuable and FACTUAL information that you are condemning every last one of your cats to be shot to death or trapped and drowned the moment they are spotted anywhere but where you have dumped them. Which will be often because stray and feral cats NEVER stay where they have been dumped in rural areas. Is your bliss of self-inflicted ignorance still remaining blissful? I hope so. It will result in hundreds if not thousands of more cats being shot to death or re-trapped and drowned; or poisoned, another common method to control the overpopulation of cats in rural communities. Sleep well!


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