Stop 'Rescuing' cats!
I keep getting emails from people that ask for someone to rescue cats. This includes people who say their management is going to remove the cats that they are feeding because there are complaints. One woman wrote in today to say that she is moving, the block is going to be sold en bloc, and the mother cat just gave birth. She wanted to know if they will be 'rescued' and removed from their mother.
The woman who is moving away said she had been feeding the cats but was not taking them with her. If for example, she could continue to come back and feed and more importantly start sterilising, the situation could be managed. I told her their chances of survival now without the mother cat would be very slim. She wrote back to thank me for the advice.
When I write back and say that we would be happy to talk to managements with the residents to allow the cats to stay and help them to start up a programme in their own estates, often though, the people don't write back. For them to 'rescue' the cats means they will be removed and taken somewhere to be adopted. They then no longer have to worry about it.
Rescue however is meant to save the cats' lives - and hopefully not just THESE cats but the cats that will surely move in after. Say the cats are removed. Where do they go? Where are all the adoptive homes? What happens to the new cats that will move in due to the vacuum effect? What are the people who started feeding them in the first place going to do?
If they honestly didn't know about sterilisation and management, we're happy to help out to teach them what to do. We are happy to speak with management with them and set up a programme. To expect someone to bail them out though (by taking away all the cats for them), or to send the cats to be 'rescued' in already over-crowded shelters is just not going to work. Nor is it rescue.