Stray and Community Cats
In almost 40 years of being in the “cat business”, SICSA has come to realize that the majority of calls we receive for cat intakes are not suited for our rehoming program. Instead, they are what we call Community Cats: cats which are not quite feral, but have been living the majority of their lives as strays. They most likely have one or more people in the community who have provided them with a food source and a location of some kind for shelter (under a porch or shed, for example).
What we found is, when they come into the SICSA program, they aren’t as happy as you would think they might be. While yes, there are certainly dangers in the community which can affect the quality and length of their life (no routine veterinary care, potential for food sources to end and/or shelter to cease), the cats are used to this way of life. They prefer the ability to roam freely and have come to enjoy both indoor and outdoor living. And despite our open, free roaming cat rooms, SICSA becomes more of a prison than a potential for them. As such, they become depressed, don’t “show” as well, and take months – even years – to find a forever home. Their quality of life during that time greatly diminishes. And since SICSA does not euthanize for space, these cats live here unhappily, not being adopted, and taking up space for cats which are more likely at risk. Also, if they are lucky to find their new, forever home, the family quickly finds they will do just about anything to get outside again.
Because of this, SICSA uses a hierarchy of needs model for bringing cats into SICSA to rehome. Cats less likely to survive if turned out into the community are given priority over cats which, to date, have survived in less than stellar environments. Those most at need include kittens aged 10 months and younger, adult cats which have been declawed, and adult cats which have only lived their lives to date completely indoors.
If you are interested in spaying or neutering an outdoor cat, click below.
For more information about Trap-Neuter-Return, click below.