We receive a lot of messages.
Some are inquiries from people who have rescued a kitty and they need guidance as to how to proceed—they assumed responsibility the moment they made the decision to help, and are willing to foster and provide care, they just need advice and a game plan (we love these people, by the way). We do our best to give them an outline of their course of action, and we help them in any way we can.
Then there’s the woman whose recent ‘assist me today’ message had us all seeing red after she described the pregnant cat in her neighborhood giving birth during the holidays, and her subsequent feeding of the Momcat and kittens…. for months… who she then decided to suddenly stop feeding and now the kittens wouldn’t leave her front porch. “They will not leave my porch and I feel so bad because they are starving and meowing and I want them picked up, but I do not want them harmed, just fed and not at my home.”
It appears that we need to explain a few things to some people.
If a kitty wanders onto your property (or your work, your school… wherever) and you begin providing food for that animal, they become dependent upon your care and the food source you are providing. You have, no matter how unwittingly, made them your responsibility.
And that’s okay, as long as you have a game plan and the realization that more must be done than to simply toss out some food and water daily and call for someone else to take care of the situation. Community cats can manage with shelter, monitoring, and the most essential of all care: STERILIZATION.
If it's homes you need, more prep is necessary--keep reading.
You can trap cats yourself—it is easy, and once you’ve been shown how to do it, you are a trapper! Live traps can be rented through MDAS and purchased in many hardware stores, and they can often be borrowed from rescue organizations.
In a pinch, there are great Youtube videos that will walk you through the process of trapping—use the internet for learning! (Top tip: Once the kitty goes into the trap, immediately drape it with an old sheet, towel, etc. and the animal will calm down.)
YOU can do this.
If there are kitties you encounter that are adoptable, then go ahead and get some good clear shots of them and post them on your social media accounts--Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great tools, use them to your advantage!
A series of good photographs that show off a kitty's personality can often be the determining factor to pique interest in someone adopting a rescue kitty. Use natural light and try to get head-on poses for best appeal factor.
Miami Dade Animal Services also has a low cost spay/neuter program where Miami Dade residents can have kitties sterilized for $20, with small additional costs for vaccines, as well as microchipping. For under $50 you can have them altered, vaccinated, and chipped--take advantage, it's a bargain!
A kitten can become sexually mature as early as 4 months of age—you’ll want to have them altered as soon as possible to avoid even more unwanted homeless cats. If you're adopting out the kitties, they should be altered beforehand to break the cycle and avoid ending up in the same situation.
These are all things that YOU can do independently.
Every rescue is working at maximum capacity, and expecting a spot to be magically open for the kitty you brought home is unrealistic. Be proactive, gather the information you need, and make it happen!
If you need guidance we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction, and we’ll be happy to courtesy post little Fluffy when they’re ready for a home.
You can do it, Miami!