|Feral Cat – Willow
Willow was spotted intermittently frequenting the area of a managed colony. She became pregnant as soon as she was mature, at around 6 months of age. For guardian-less cats, everyday life on the streets is about survival. They must seek food and shelter continuously, and live under constant threat from predators, poisons, cars and parasites. Raising litter after litter of kittens makes this life even tougher. Some individuals and officials view these cats as a nuisance or even a danger and seek to have them trapped and killed. Other, well meaning, individuals provide food. Unfortunately, feeding alone fails to curb population growth or meet the animals’ need for shelter and, on occasion, veterinary care.
There is another alternative. It’s called Trap, Neuter, Return (“TNR”) and it has been very successful in reducing negative mating behaviors and stabilizing cat colony populations. TNR cats who live in a managed colony are spayed/neutered, vaccinated against rabies, provided with shelter and, when necessary, veterinary care. Fortunately, it was a LIDA member who found and trapped Willow and her companions. Within two days of being caught she delivered five kittens. Shortly thereafter, she was spayed and vaccinated and has since joined the managed colony. Willow’s kittens were put up for adoption and placed in loving homes.
Ideally, every cat should live a safe and happy indoor life. When that is not possible, the alternative of a managed colony is the next best choice. Given reasonable shelter, a reliable food source and humane neutering, cats in managed colonies will establish a peaceful, cohesive family. The people who care for them will derive great satisfaction from watching them grow, play and thrive.
LIDA continues to work to ensure that TNR becomes the standard operating procedure. We advocate on behalf of managed cat colonies and their caretakers defending against colony evictions and caretaker prosecutions.
Read more about other rescues LIDA has been involved with: