Weighing in at 19 pounds, “Chuck” appeared far from malnourished when he showed up on Judi Y.’s Oregon City property, so she contacted her neighbors trying to find his home. Unable to find one, she let him settle in at what used to be her barn, but what she now affectionately calls her her “cat house,” which is complete with bales of hay and heat lamps.
Having brought three other cats from her colony to FCCO this past fall, Judi knew what to do. She was happy to feed Chuck but he needed to be neutered and vaccinated. After being released back at the cat house following his visit FCCO, Chuck took off — but after a few days he returned to stay (and ate happily).
When Chuck first showed up, colony leader “Stash” and the others looked at him with concern, but Judi says they don’t fight and now will not be able to grow their colony through reproduction.
Donations to the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon support our spay/neuter services so that they can always be available to caregivers wanting to help the cats who just show up looking for food and a home. Thank you!
We are proud to report that the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon is now spaying/neutering more than 7,000 feral and stray cats a year, and helped 220 with contributions from Global Giving donors in 2013!
In September of 2013 we celebrated five years in our current location headquarters. Our mobile hospital still travels to Salem, Corvallis and Coquille, Oregon, but the majority of cats are spayed/neutered at our clinic in Portland. The addition of our free-standing clinic has allowed for a 52% increase in the number of feral and stray cats helped over the past five years, and yet we still direct 89 cents of every dollar raised to our program services!
This photo is of our 66,000th cat spayed/neutered by our program since its founding in 1995. This buff guy showed up in his caregiver Barb's backyard along with his mom and sister. Barb started feeding the cat family and knew she needed to act fast to prevent another litter. FCCO receives all funding from donors like you. We know there are a lot of causes you can donate to, and we are deeply grateful when you reach out to feral cats. Your support means a great deal to FCCO and the cats and caregivers we help. Thank you!
"Couver" was neutered at an FCCO clinic last October, 2012. His caregiver, Brande, was very grateful for our services. Brande said, "Couver came to our home over a year ago cold, hungry and very scared. In time he started to trust us and let us touch him. We brought him to an FCCO clinic and released him. He decided to reside out on our patio in a chair. We built him a cozy cat house for the winter. That lasted 4 months before he decided to come inside.""Couver now sleeps with me every night in a warm king sized bed," Brande continued. "He is a very well behaved kitty and is a great companion to for our other cat. We couldn't ask for a better cat. We thank you for your services and your special care. Thank you."
Whether it be a colony of ten feral cats or an individual stray cat in need of compassion, FCCO's services make it possible for caregivers to truly help the cats.
Kitten Season: it happens every summer! Whether pet cats or feral cats, if they are not spayed or neutered and have outdoor access, the result is kittens. The only problem with kittens is when there are too many to find homes for, or in the case of feral kittens, they remain untamed and contribute to community cat overpopulation.
At FCCO clinics we are now seeing kittens from the spring mating cycle, and I know that will continue into autumn. At the veterinary clinic I work at I have also already seen the tragic result of kitten life on the street – a good samaritan brought in the body of a young kitten found on the side of the road.
Shelters in the Portland metro area have learned to prepare for Kitten Season. There is scarce space in the shelters for all of them, and it is well known that shelters are not the best places for these very young kittens. Because their immune systems are not well developed, they are more likely to contract illnesses. If kittens can stay in foster homes until they are at least two pounds and ready to be spayed/neutered, they will have the best chance of remaining healthy enough to be adopted.
When it comes to kittens born to feral cats, unless they are trapped and socialized they will be feral themselves. Feral kittens should be taken from the mother at four to six weeks of age. Older kittens can also be captured and tamed, but the process gets slower and less successful the longer the kittens stay in the wild. Most importantly, spay/neuter the kittens and mother. A cat can get pregnant while nursing her kittens, but also can be spayed safely while still nursing.
If you find young kittens, want to know what to do with older kittens, need information about lactating cats, or want to know more about feral kittens, including an age timeline, check out the kitten information on our website at feralcats.com/kitteninfo.pdf.
The kitten socialization process can be accomplished with patience and dedication and the reward is certainly worthwhile, saving them from a life on the street as well as producing affectionate, loving companions. We hope for a time when there will be no more kittens born homeless on our streets or growing old in shelters when there aren’t enough homes to adopt them. Thank you for all you do to help!
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