Is there a stray cat outside
your house? Is there a colony living in your apartment complex?
Do you see several cats hanging around the train station? Do you
know of a neighbor who is feeding stray cats but NOT spaying or neutering
them? Below are some tips on how we can help you.
The first thing to note is whether these cats outside are friendly or if they avoid human interaction. If they are friendly, we need to work on getting them vetted, fostered and adopted into a new home! If they are not so friendly, you will need to work with Trenton TNR who specializes in Trap-Neuter-Return.
So - onto the cat or cats.
If the cat is in Trenton, NJ (either outside your home or work place),
you may bring the cat to the shelter. Please call first to see if they
have room (609) 989-3254. Bring
ID with you, and the shelter will accept the animal.
If the cat is friendly:
If the cat is friendly and
is hanging around your house looking for a meal, the cat may belong to someone.
The first thing to do is either snap a picture and hang some posters, or
call neighbors and ask if the cat belongs to anyone. Set up a phone
chain between neighbors - I once replaced a cat within 2 hours using this
method. Have your neighbors call everyone in the area they know and
ask about the cat.
If no one claims the cat,
he/she may have been abandoned when someone moved and is looking for a new
safe home. If the cat is friendly, super! Take the cat indoors and
keep the cat safe. Ah yes - here is where most people balk. "I have other
cats - won't they catch something?" "I have no room" "My husband
will get angry" "I don't have time" - We've heard them all. Well
people, you have been kind-hearted enough to notice the problem, now, please
OWN the problem. Be brave, be responsible and see this thing through!
Most people have more resources
than they think they do. Most people swear they don't have room for the
cat. All that is needed for the friendly cat is a safe haven. Do
you have an extra bathroom in the house? A small room, a cellar?
How about the laundry room? Ask family, friends, business associates
and neighbors if they have a space for the cat - temporarily - even a garage
will do if there are no holes in the walls and he/she has some sort of ventilation.
Trust us - you have more resources than you think you do. ASK
EVERYONE. There is someone out there who can house a cat temporarily
(if you absolutely can't).
We hear from some folks who
don't drive. We understand that not all of us have equal resources,
but honestly - you CAN find someone - a boyfriend, neighbor, business associate
to help you complete these steps. Do it for the cat(s)' sake.
Don't give up and don't just turn the cat into any shelter without first
checking on their policy of euthanasia - many shelters do not house outside
If you have cats of your
own, don't be worried - cats CANNOT pass most diseases through doors. The
first thing you would want to address would be fleas. Don't bother buying
anything from a grocery store - it is a waste of money, especially flea
collars. Go to a vet and get a Frontline or Revolution treatment. Open the capsule and squeeze the liquid out on the skin
between the cat's shoulder blades. Wash your hands after handling the stray.
There! You've completed your first step. Congrats!
Now you need to decide -
do you want to keep the cat? If you do, have your vet give the cat a thorough
exam and you are on your way. Reference our website for low cost
spay/neuter. The program called "Animal Oasis Sanctuary" is
a super resource for New Jerseyans who make a net income of under $40,000
- check it out.
Do you need to give the cat
up for adoption? Then look at the part of this web site labeled "Rescue/Relinguish" and follow the instructions on how to display your cat with us until the cat
f the cat is unfriendly or scared:
Whether you quite like seeing cats running around outside or you can't bear seeing them out there, we all want the same thing in the end - No homeless cats running about on the streets. The only effective way to manage homeless cat populations effectively and humanely is trap-neuter-return and lifetime management. If you'd like to get involved in the solution, then start feeding the cats daily, and make sure they have access to water and decent shelter also, reach out to Trenton TNR to make plans for sterilizing the cats. Do not start feeding any cat unless you have every intention of following through and getting them sterilized!
Trenton TNR can provide you with all of the information and equipment you will need to effectively and humanely get the cats under control. They also, on occasion, have access to grants and may be able to subsidize the costs of doing this at least partially. Do not let a lack of funds stop you from reaching out for help!
Trenton TNR utilizes Forgotten Cats low cost spay neuter clinic, who charges a very small amount to do the sterilization as well as rabies shots and ear tip.
Steps for not friendly homeless cats
Decide to be part of the solution and do something about these cats!
Provide basic shelter, and daily food and water for the cats. Trenton TNR can give you cheap shelter ideas. Please feed the cats at the same time every day, and remove uneaten food after 1 - 2 hours.
Do NOT leave food out after dark, or you will attract other outdoor animals such as raccoons.
Contact Trenton TNR to make appointments to get the cats sterilized. Where possible an officer will come to you to assess the project, but if this is not possible you will need to go to them and be shown how to use the equipment properly.
Once you know how to use the equipment and are ready to trap, make clinic appointments through Trenton TNR. They can provide transport to the clinic and may even be able to provide funding towards this project.
Trap the cats and take them to clinic.
Once the cats are returned you will continue to care for them and monitor them so that if any new cats ever show up, you will be ready to act quickly.
What NOT to do
1/ Do not call animal control for unfriendly cats, unless the cat is acting very aggressively and you suspect rabies.
2/ Maintain a hands off policy at all times with unknown cats
3/ Use only equipment in good condition and traps which can open from both ends
The best way to contact Trenton TNR is by email - TrentonTNR@gmail.com or call the shelter and they will forward your request for a Trenton TNR officer to contact you.