Seeing Outoor Cats? What You Can Do
Under Ohio law, there is no one
agency responsible for handling free-roaming cats. As a result,
cats are often left to roam the streets and breed.
These cats multiple quickly and can exhibit bad behaviors associated with mating like yowling, fighting and spraying. Some
of these cats are owned and some are not. But when they
breed, they make more unwanted cats.
The cat problem is threefold:
Owned cats are allowed to roam outside and mate.
Domesticated cats have been abandoned or lost and reproduce; their litters grow up on the streets as feral/wild cats who are not socialized to humans and do their best to keep their distance from people.
Feral/wild cats live together in colonies and breed. A feral cat is a cat that was born on the streets and grew-up with little or no human contact. Feral cats are usually silent; they will not approach humans and are usually only seen from dusk to dawn.
These outside cats can lead
to complaint calls to police, city officials and non-profit
animal welfare groups. More often than not, the no-kill
shelters are full and don't have room to take in friendly cats. Feral cats and kittens are euthanized when taken to a shelter because they are not considered adoptable and shelters are not equipped to house wild animals. This means there is nowhere to turn for a humane solution that doesn't end the cats' lives; this leads to more frustrations and complaint calls. What's the most effective and humane answer? Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)!
What is Trap-Neuter-Return(TNR)?
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a proven and humane solution to the free-roaming cat population. Cats are humanely trapped, spayed/neutered and returned to the area where they were found. Many have volunteer caregivers who provide food, water and shelter and who monitor the colony for newcomers or injured cats.
Cats are territorial animals and form strong bonds with the location they inhabit so they will be returned to where they were found after they recover from their spay/neuter surgery. Relocating free-roaming cats - and convincing them to stay in their new territory - is a difficult, time consuming and challenging undertaking. Trapping and killing does not solve the problem because of the "vacuum effect" - new cats will move in and take over the food source and resources - and trapping and killing is costly to taxpayers.
What If I Find a Kitten(s)?
How Can You Get Free-Roaming Cats Fixed?
Humane Ohio will spay/neuter free-roaming cats for anyone in Ohio or Michigan for $25 each. (Additional financial assistance may be available for large colonies; please call to discuss further before you bring cats in.) The service is FREE if you live in the 43605, 43609 or 43615 zip codes. Free-Roaming Cat Guidelines .
If you live outside of this area, please click here to find a spay/neuter program near you.
Click image for larger view.
Caring for Free-Roaming Cats in Their Outdoor Habitat
The key things you'll need to provide for your free-roaming cat colony are simple: food, fresh water, and a clean, sturdy shelter. An excellent tip sheet on long-term care is available from Alley Cat Allies.
Humane Ohio sells winter cat shelters for $35. Call us to reserve yours!
Seeking Barn Homes for Outdoor Cats
If you have a barn, horse stable, warehouse or greenhouse and are willing to accept feral cats who are spayed/neutered and vaccinated, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign-up as a Trap-Neuter-Return volunteer and do TNR at your own convenience or as part of the Cattitude Team. Click here for more information.
Call us to borrow an easy to use humane trap and schedule a spay/neuter appointment if you are feeding a free-roaming cat(s).
Keep your owned cats indoors and bring them in to be fixed so they don't contribute to cat overpopulation.
Purchase a winter shelter at Humane Ohio or make your own.
Donate cat food to the Humane Ohio Pet Food Bank.
Join the Toledo Feral Friends Yahoo Group and/or the Humane Ohio Cattitude Team Facebook Group to communicate and network with others who are doing TNR. (If you request to join the Facebook group, it's possible our response and the approval may go into your "other" folder on Facebook; click on your messages and then switch from "inbox" to "other.")
Make a donation to the Dr. Kelly Rada "Spay It Forward" Memorial Fund to help cover spay/neuter and minor medical expenses for free-roaming cats.
Humane Ohio Fact Sheets
Free-Roaming (Friendly & Feral) Cats
Helping Neighbors and Free-Roaming Cats Co-Exist
Safe Relocation of Feral Cats
Tips for Deterring Cats from Yards
One Happy Colony
One Good Samaritan has overseen the fixing and immunizations of 10 free-roaming cats (eight pictured here) in his neighborhood that has controlled the cat population without having to euthanize.
Click image for a larger view.