Stray Cats

Dear Liz – We live in an area with a population of stray cats.  We’ve been feeding them while trying to place them but no shelter wants them.  What do we do?

Signed, Strays in Seymour

Dear Seymour:  First, let me thank you for trying to help!  The stray cat population has exploded in CT, unfortunately.  I do have suggestions, though, that might help in the long run.

It is up to each, individual, town in the state to mandate whether or not their municipal animal shelters will accept stray cats.  Find out if your town does take them in.  If not, you might want to get a group going to try and change that!

Cats will always be dumped as they’re the “throw away” pets (along with flushing fish down the toilet), but if we mandate that each town has to take care of their cat population, it might elevate the status of cats (and goldfish!).

In the mean time, see if your neighborhood will get a fund together to spay / neuter the cat population there.  There are low cost spay & neuter clinics around that can help.  There are also groups who help with trapping these cats (if they’re feral) and getting them vaccinated as well.  If it’s just you and a stray cat that’s shown up on your doorstep, you can still use the advice listed here.

Look on www.Petfinder.com – Plug in that you’re looking for cats in CT.  Then call every shelter you can to see if they can take in at least one.  If they say they’re full (and most likely they are) get on a waiting list for intakes or call them every few days.  This will be a lot of work, but if it helps just one cat, it’s worth it!

Set up cat houses in the areas where the cats stay.  This will at least protect them from inclement weather.  Cat houses can be just dog houses (the plastic, Igloo type work great) that are set up, a bit off the ground.  You can find used ones in any local paper or on the internet.  Again, even if it’s just one cat that’s found its way to your house, setting up some kind of shelter for it would be great.

Report any sick looking cats!  Remember that Rabies is very prevalent in the state and cat populations are affected often.  If you see a stray cat acting in a strange manner, be sure to keep away from it and all the others as well.  Call your animal control officer right away.

Work with your animal control officer or cat rescue if they’re open to it.  They can have great resources to try and help.

If it sounds like I don’t have an immediate solution for you, you’re right.  I don’t.  The cat population has been ignored and allowed to boom in every state.  Unfortunately, there is not a quick fix in sight and each town has to decide how they want to handle this issue.

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