Caring for Your Feral Cat Colony
Any citizen of Lake County who is caring for a feral cat colony can access Spay and Stay’s spay/neuter services. If you are feeding feral cats and would like to use our services, submit a caretaker application to become a registered caretaker.
Feral Cat Colony Management
All the cats in the colony, even those that visit sporadically, should be sterilized, eartipped for visual identification, microchipped, vaccinated for rabies and distemper, and returned to their familiar habitat. Contact Spay and Stay as soon as you notice any new cats in your colony so they can be promptly sterilized.
Ensure that any cats that are injured or ill receive prompt veterinary treatment. Contact Spay and Stay if you need help finding a veterinarian who can help you. However, if there is a medical emergency, do not wait for Spay and Stay. It is not humane to allow any animal to suffer a slow, painful death.
Keep good records of all cats in your colony and the dates they were sterilized.
Make every effort to socialize newly-weaned kittens so they can be placed with an adoption group. Download Taming Feral Kittens.
Make every effort to remove tame adult cats so they can be placed in a permanent indoor home either through your efforts of through the efforts of a local adoption group. Download How to Find Homes for Homeless Pets.
Provide adequate food and water for the cats on a daily basis, year-round, using techniques to minimize nuisance.
Provide adequate shelter for the cats in your colony so they can withstand the extreme cold and high winds we often face in our area. See Winter Shelters for instructions on how to build several types of cozy winter shelters.
Eliminate nuisance problems by working with your neighbors and offer humane techniques to discourage or eliminate cats from areas where they are not welcome. Download How to Live with Cats in Your Neighborhood.
If you are moving or can no longer adequately care for your colony, you have two options:
- Find a successor caretaker (a neighbor or friend who is willing to take over caring for your colony at its current location) or
- Contact Spay and Stay for instructions for moving your colony with you.
Also, Alley Cat Allies offers a great article on relocating cats called Safe Relocation of Feral Cats. Remember, relocation should used as a last option only.
Be sure to notify Spay and Stay about which option you have chosen so our records are up to date.