If you happen to know of a feral cat colony or feral cats
who are in need of your assistance- there are many options and ways for you
to help! First and foremost, controlling the colony is essential. This means,
trapping, neutering, and returning these feral cats to their colony.
www.alleycat.org has a wonderful resource guide on the ABCs'
of Trap/Neuter/Return, another resource guide for Humane
Trapping of Feral Cats, and information regarding how to Socialize
Feral Kittens. Please see these links for more information and read
our information below.
Additionally, please view the following Alley Cat Allies video: How
to Trap an Entire Cat Colony for an informational video on feral cat
After you've reviewed the guidelines from AlleyCat.org, you will need to
rent a trap, find where you can neuter the feral cats and what to do afterwards.
Where to rent trap
The Silicon Valley area offers many locations to buy and rent traps to help
catch feral cats. Palo Alto Animal Services offers trap rentals and information
on trap/neuter/return procedures. Peninsula Cat Works loans out traps and
takes in cats to distribute to foster homes. San Mateo Pet Supply also rents traps.
A great resource for traps, information and altering are local humane societies,
such as the ones in Palo Alto (Palo Alto Humane Society, rents out traps)
and San Mateo (Peninsula Humane Society, rents traps and offers a voucher
for free a altering/immunization package). Traps can generally be bought for
around $70, and rented for a deposit fee ($65-$100) and small daily rate ($1.50).
Traps also come in different sizes, so be sure to procure a trap big enough
for the cat(s) it is intended for.
Where to set up traps
Feral cats usually live in small colonies in the abandoned spots of communities,
living near a food source and some form of shelter. It is recommended that
the traps be set up near these colonies, but far enough away so that the cats
do not become aware of your presence and scared off, or wary of the trap.
The best time to set the traps is soon before cats’ natural feeding
time, around dusk. This ensures interest in the bait you will put in the trap:
small spoonfuls of pungent smelling, cat-friendly food, such as canned fish.
These traps should not be set out in the rain or extreme heat if you do not
plan on providing protection for the cat while it is ensnared in the trap.
Feralcat.com provides excellent, thorough instructions on how to humanely
and effectively prepare for and set cat traps, as well as giving tips on holding
and releasing cats.
Where to get help and take cats for spay/neuter:
There are many resources for rescue help, including low cost spay neuter of outdoor and other rescue cats. See our Resources page.
Click here to see a video of TNR done locally in East Palo Alto. Many cats at this site were fixed and were shy and returned, but the cats shown in the video were happily adopted into homes after they were rescued from this site.