"Making a difference on Virginia's Northern Neck, one cat at a time"
CARING FOR COMMUNITY CAT COLONIES
When community colonies are well-maintained, they will eventually dissipate over time. Those who manage these community cat colonies are of great service to the Northern Neck.
• Never care for a colony of cats on property you do not own or do not have permission to be on. The cats will depend on you and you might be forced to stop caring for them. Verbal permission with name of person & date given will suffice. Written is better.
• Keep a record for each cat. By keeping track of colony cats, their health, and new cats that have joined the colony, allows you to monitor colony progress and provides GRI with valuable cat data for record keeping. Things to include: description, name, gender, age, date when spayed/neutered, and vaccinations. If new cats have joined the colony, plan to TNR as soon as possible.
• Create a feeding site. Provide daily food and fresh water. Feed and monitor the colony on a daily basis at approximately the same time, if possible . Place the food and water in a secluded place protected from weather elements. A food shelter can easily be made using a plastic tub. The cats will look forward to the food arriving and it will make it easier to check on the health of the colony. Always throughly clean the food and water bowls. Do not do put food on the ground or feed at night.
• Always keep the feeding area clean and neat. This will prevent neighbors or business owners getting angry and it will help keep many of the night creatures out of the feeding area.
• Build or buy a shelter. Shelter from the elements. Cats typically build a protective coat for winter, but the effectiveness of their fur as insulation is greatly reduced if it becomes wet or frozen and can often times result in hypothermia. Cats can get frostbite on their ears, nose and paws. They can die from exposure. A shelter doesn’t need to be expensive or elaborate. There are many types of shelters you can build or buy pre-made.
• If you go on a trip or move, arrange for a new caregiver to handle colony duties. Remember! The cats depend on you and all their caretakers and it is better for them to stay where they are currently living.