Are You Feeding Stray Cats?
What compassionate, caring person could resist the urge to put out fresh cat food and water for a homeless cat that relies on you for its daily sustenance? There is nothing wrong with helping this free-roaming cat. While others who view them as a nuisance may ignore the cat’s plight, assisting a stray fills your human need to care for one less fortunate. You are not alone. Thousands work together every day to reduce feline homelessness through trap, spay/neuter, and return (to feral colonies) programs, through sterilizing and find loving homes, or even by adopting the cats themselves.
Unfortunately, caring individuals often perpetuate the problem by feeding but not sterilizing. Left unaltered, free-roaming cats continue to reproduce, creating more homeless kittens and adding to the homeless cat population. Many often end up becoming feral (wild) themselves if not handled from birth, and the problem only escalates.
Regina Cat Rescue receives calls throughout the year for help; even more so in the late fall when people want assistance rescuing homeless cats from the street before winter. Since the Humane Society stops lending out humane traps in mid-September, people are often at a loss as to what to do. If the cat or kitten can be coaxed into a shed, garage, or into your home, the Humane Society will be able to come out and take the animal to the shelter. However, we find there are many people who are reluctant to send a cat to the Humane Society, concerned about its chances for adoption, among so many others. Regina Cat Rescue can help, with information, or if necessary, direct involvement.
What You Can Do
Build a winter shelter and provide food and water in heated bowls throughout the cold weather. Feeding stations and shelters for free-roaming cats are relatively easy and inexpensive to set up. Fresh cat food and water in heated water bowls, along with outdoor heat lamps placed inside shelters are necessary in the cold weather. Once the weather is conducive for trapping, these cats should be captured as soon as possible and sterilized to prevent them from adding to the severe cat over-population problem.
What Regina Cat Rescue Can Do
Offer guidance on building proper shelters and providing proper winter nutrition. We may lend humane traps to responsible citizens if they are unable to purchase or borrow one. We can provide advice on how to find good indoor or farm homes, as the situation warrants, or on how to maintain a small “backyard” colony of your own. In some cases, Regina Cat Rescue may be able to help humanely trap the cat/kitten and assist in foster or permanent placements.
There are certain things you can do in the meantime to provide comfort and care for these poor unfortunates. If you are able to bring a cat/kitten into your home temporarily, or find somebody who will, it will free up Regina Cat Rescue's foster homes for the many other homeless cats living on the streets in desperate need. Regina Cat Rescue's resources are limited, and the need is so great. For that reason, we strongly encourage citizens to facilitate the rescue and placement of needy cats they come across, and to take financial responsibility, even by fundraising among family and friends, to cover the associated sterilization costs. Again, we are more than happy to provide advice every step of the way.