Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Removing Community cats by adoption

A lady who fostered for CWS before emailed me to ask about fostering a cat for adoption. She saw a neighbourhood cat in her neighbourhood and thought it might have a good shot at adoption. She didn't want to leave it on the street, so thought it might be a good idea to find it a home, so she asked if she should take it in.

While I can understand the anxiety that every caregiver faces (or even people who see a cute cat whom they walk by every day) that the cat may not be there tomorrow, picking up cats for adoption really isn't the answer. Cats on the street are subject to abuse, accidents, fights and trapping by pest control, but at the same time, if they have caregivers, many cats on the street live a very good life indeed. Having seen some cats in foster/adoptive homes, I would be tempted to say that some of these cats have better lives then their counterparts who are sometimes kept in far from ideal conditions.

Also, removing the cat just means that another cat will move in because of the vacuum effect. It's an endless cycle then of picking up cats and putting them up for adoption.

If there were endless homes for adoption, again, this might be an option. However, the reality is that there are just far more cats than homes for the cats. If you want to adopt the cat yourself, then do take it in, but bear in mind that if you intend to look for an adoptive home, you may not find one and you may end up with the cat permanently. Also, not every adoptive home is a good one.

So what can you do? Start a TNRM programme in your estate. Make sure the cats are properly managed, that you work with the town council and handle complaints. This immediately improves the chances of your cat being safer. Explain to people what you are doing in the estate and get them involved if possible. A community that cares for its cats has safer, healthier and happier cats.


Anonymous CK said...

But what about kittens who might abandoned by someone or wandered off from their mother? They would be too young to fend for themselves. If I were to take them in and nurse them, would it be okay to release them back to the community once they are older?

8/2/06 12:52 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

CK that's slightly different as some cats do need to be picked up if they are injured, abandoned or in danger. However, please make sure that they are abandoned. I wrote an earlier posting about how it's important to make sure that they really are abandoned. The mother may have gone to look for food and may be gone for hours. Without mother's milk, the kittens' chances of survival are much less.

Some cats may not be able to cope if you release them back especially if they have been indoors for a while. Also, new cats may have moved in and taken over the area and drive the kittens out.

8/2/06 1:06 PM  
Anonymous CK said...

I'm actually speaking from personal experience 'cos I picked up 2 kittens from my area last November. They're about a month old during then and I'm pretty sure someone either left them there or they've lost their mother because they were mewing for 2 nights in a row!

Happily they've now found a home - mine, as I've decided to adopt them. Well, or at least I hope they're happy with where they are now as they always look longingly out the kitchen window...

8/2/06 2:16 PM  

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