Cat FAQ

**Currently we take cats/kittens by appointment only. Please call to schedule an appointment, before bringing cats to the shelter. If we are at capacity your contact information will be added to our waiting list. Please note, we can only accept cats/kittens from Arenac County. The shelter currently offers a low cost spay & neuter program, community cat program, and barn cat program, if you need additional information just call or stop by. **

Lets Help Our Cats

Cats continue to be a natural part of our environment. They began their unique relationship with humans 10,000 to 12,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, and followed Europeans to the Americas. But it wasn't until 60 years ago, with the growing availability of canned pet foods, spay/neuter techniques, and commercial cat litters, that keeping cats indoors was even considered possible-or desirable.

Do you want to help your local shelter save more cats' lives? There's no better way to create sustainable change for cats than by working with shelters to help them save more lives.

Nationally, only about 30% of cats who enter shelters have positive outcomes. In fact, being killed in a shelter is the leading cause of death for healthy cats in the United States. And almost no feral, or community, cats who enter shelters have positive outcomes. Since community cats are un-socialized and un-adoptable, they are almost always killed immediately or after a short holding period.

Some innovative shelters are already making positive changes that are saving cats' lives. They're adopting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs, launching public education campaigns, and increasing their transparency. The widespread prevalence in TNR and other life-saving shelter practices provides a platform for you to bring about change. This is your opportunity to help your local shelter save more lives. This is an opportunity to make your community a safe place for cats.

We've seen it all over the country-colonies of community cats wiped out by a single call from one neighbor to animal control. Most people who call about community cats don't want the cats to die-but they don't understand that the cats have a home outdoors and are just as healthy as pet cats. This is where you come in. You and other compassionate community members need to represent the many people who are happy to have the cats in the community.

Animal shelters can make positive changes-with your help. Your shelter wants and needs support from the community. Many shelters are open to a conversation about making changes to preserve resources and save more animals' lives-especially if community members are open-minded and willing to help them make the transition.

RESOURCES FOR COMMUNITY CATS

Link: Fast Facts - Feral Cats

Link: Fast Facts - Feral Cat Health

Link: Fast Facts - Transforming Shelters Tool Kit

Link: Fast Facts - Feral Cat Shelter and Care

RESOURCES FOR TRAP NEUTER RETURN (TNR)

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the humane approach to addressing community cat populations, works. It saves cats' lives and is effective. TNR improves the lives of cats, addresses community concerns, reduces complaints about cats, and stops the breeding cycle. TNR improves the co-existence between outdoor cats and humans in our shared environment. This is why so many cities are adopting it.

Link: Why Trap Neuter Return Feral Cats? The Case for TNR

In a Trap-Neuter-Return program, community cats are humanely trapped (with box traps), brought to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, eartipped (the universal sign that a community cat has been neutered and vaccinated), and then returned to their outdoor home.

Link: Spay and Neuter Good for Cats, Good for Communities

Link: Feral Cat Health Analysis: Living Healthy Lives Outdoors

Link: Feral Cats and The Public - A Healthy Relationship

BEFORE TNR

For more than a century, the American shelter and animal control system has been relying on catching and killing outdoor cats to control their population. This approach continues to fail, and the number of outdoor cats increases despite the fact that millions of vibrant, healthy outdoor cats are killed each year. Taxpayer money that funds shelters and animal control agencies is wasted on an endless cycle of trapping and killing. Increasingly, the public believes that the money spent on killing could and should be re-allocated to programs that help animals.

With catch and kill policies, vaccinated and neutered cats are removed from an area. But that only creates a vacuum in the environment, where new cats move in to take advantage of available resources. The new cats breed and the cat population grows. Catch and kill policies aren't just cruel and ineffective, they go against what the public really wants: humane approaches to cats.

Link:  The Vaccume Effect: Why Catch and Kill Doesn't Work 

Link:  Public Opinion on Humane Treatment of Stray Cats 

AFTER TNR

TNR balances the needs and concerns of the human communities in which many feral cats live. People don't want cats rounded up and killed. They want to see cat populations stabilized and appreciate when the mating behaviors of cats are brought into check through spaying and neutering. With TNR, adult cats-spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped-are returned to the colony to live out their lives in their outdoor home.