How to Help Homeless Cats and Kittens
Meow can we Help!?
I am a lover of cats from way back, and kittens, forget it.....If I could, I would bring them all home! Must I say, "see images below?" I don't really know what it is about animals and their ability to capture the heart of even the most stoic of humankind. Recent news reports frequently on the heartwarming health and emotional benefits that adopting a pet can have. Especially touching is the impact on our senior population, and how love-starved shelter cats and dogs fill that a void for so many, drastically improving their quality of life. I even saw a piece last night on how various prisons have incorporated programs for pre-screened inmates that allow them to adopt and care for a stray cat. While some may find it controversial, I am all for it. While the majority of convicts did not get the love and nurturing they needed growing up, a cat will love you unconditionally, and asks very little in return. Not surprisingly, the behavior of inmates participating in such a program has drastically improved, not wanting to risk being separated from their feline friend, most are on their best behavior.
Several months ago I moved from the Bay Area in California to a town near Modesto, California, and one insignificant day I heard a faint meow. I'd know that sound anywhere! I know my meows, and this was a baby crying! Sure enough, I found four baby kittens, luckily, with their Mother. Not so lucky, they appeared to be homeless -- filthy, hungry and living under a pile of wood. They were not as I would expect a feral cat to be, Mama was very friendly, although I am sure the food in my hand was a great ice-breaker, a truly feral cat would not be so approachable, especially with kittens to protect.Two of the kitten's eyes were "weepy" and badly infected and Mama had some kind of respiratory problem, struggling to breathe and even eat.
I knew I had to do more than just feed them, the maddening part is that this sweet cat was once someones pet, discarded perhaps because of the economy or pure neglect, it is hard to say but as time went on, I found an entire cat throw-away underground, existing on garbage, birds & mice. Some remain untouchable feral cats that sneak over and eat my garage gang's leftover crumbs but most of these cats were initially someones pet that they no longer wanted, for whatever reason and there are just not adequate resources available to deal with this problem. I called the local Animal Shelter, only to find that they already had so many kittens and cats that they were not even taking anymore. How humane is it to leave any animal without food or shelter? The "Humane" Society in Modesto said that they would take the cats but stressed that they had an overabundance of cats so most likely some or all would be put down, which is sadly the only humane option left for the sick and feral ones.
I have tried to do the best I know how, with a makeshift kitty crash pad in my garage, selling on EBay to finance their Friskies, and even crushing up Lysine amino acid tablets that I bought at Walgreens. I then crush and mix into their food, to help treat the respiratory problems or the feline herpes virus. I finally found a local chapter of an organization called AlleyCat Rescue. They supply you with a cage to trap and bring the cat in and for $20 each, they will spay or neuter the cat for prompt return to their environment. Although I found the trapping difficult, at least I feel like this is making progress and I have committed to take in one kitty per month. Reducing the population of these cats is a step in the right direction without a doubt. What they really need however is medication prescribed by a veterinarian and a forever home, complete with a family to love.
But how did it get to this point, and what can we do to make the lives of these innocent creatures a little bit better? In a perfect world, all animals would be the loved and cherished family members that we brought into our homes, discovering that the love and laughter they bring to our lives far outweighs an occasional trip to the vet or a fur covered couch. The key is awareness and education, and I must say that many communities are doing a wonderful job with this, so there is hope, we just need more resources in more areas.
I have set up a Blog called The Kat's Tale. To help continue rescue efforts, like helping with spay & neuter costs, food, medicine, supplies or to cyber sponsor a homeless cats just click on the page daily and tell a friend to do the same. Your visits alone will generate adsense revenue, in addition to shopping for your own pet at The Kat's Tale Store! One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to the cats. Donations of food and supplies are also welcome and appreciated!
As I look to communities that have effective and humane solutions for the treatment and long term placement of their homeless animals, including outreach efforts and education, I know that it is possible to implement this anywhere. Unfortunately, it is much harder than it should be, and it does take funding and lots of hard work in an economy where many people don't have enough to eat. Undoubtedly an uphill battle, by working together and spreading the word, I have faith that the situation will improve, confirming that pets are indeed valued family members who will love you unconditionally and ask very little in return.
A Few of The Kat's Tale's Residents
Ways That You Can Help
- Visit The Kat's Tale Facebook Page!
- Go to the Animal Rescue Site and simply click to give food and care, send an e-card, sign a petition or shop at their store
- We need more low cost spay and neuter clinics so that all families have access to vital services that will reduce the chance of unwanted kitties wandering the streets
- Want to help a homeless cat-adopt one! PetFinder and Adopt-a-Pet are great places to start
- Volunteer or make a donation to benefit your favorite cat cause
- Tell a friend! Many people don't understand how important it is to reduce the number of unwanted cats! Like many things that are unpleasant, no one wants to think about a day in the life of a homeless cat. These cats do not live very long and they are usually sick, scared and hungry
Alley Cat Rescue
My favorite cat resources
- The Foundation For Homeless Cats
The first step is to contact this great nonprofit organization. They lend humane traps, schedule clinic appointments for sterilization surgery and offer instruction and assistance.
- Homeless Cat Network
Humanely reducing the homeless cat population
- CA Animal | Animal in CA - YP.com
18365 listings of Veterinarians in CA on YP.com. Find reviews, directions & phone numbers for the best animal in CA.