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SICSA Community Cats Update

If you attended our All-Members Meeting in February, you learned about the ARC no longer having a Community Cat Contract, and SICSA working with the City of Kettering to help with Community Cats.

In over 45 years of being in the “cat business”, SICSA has come to realize that a large majority of calls we receive for cat intakes are not suited for our adoption program. Many of them are what we call Community Cats. Community Cats do not have an “owner”. They may be feral or friendly, and could have several people who care for them in some way (food, water and even shelter during inclement weather). Community Cats are often not adoption candidates because they would not prefer to live 100% indoors. They prefer the freedom they have in the neighborhoods in which they have been living. They have established a network, have a defined territory, and access to the basic necessities to survive.

Because requests for cat intakes outnumber the available homes, SICSA uses a hierarchy of needs model for bringing cats into SICSA. Cats less likely to survive on their own are given priority. Those most at need include kittens aged 6 months and younger, and adult cats which have only lived their lives to date completely indoors. Which means, no matter how friendly the adult community cat, intake into our program is rare. What it also means, however, is that often these Community Cats are not spayed and neutered. As a result, they multiply quickly and can become a nuisance to you and your neighbors.

There is a solution to controlling and even reducing the community cat population and decreasing associated neighborhoods safely and humanely. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a world-wide practice which has proven results in communities which apply the practice actively and liberally. TNR is a process where Community Cats are trapped humanely by concerned neighbors, neutered through a veterinary clinic, and then returned back to their neighborhood/territory. Many TNR programs also vaccinate the cats for rabies and microchip them to the neighborhood and/or community caregiver. In this way, the cats can be easily tracked and managed.

SICSA is holding two Community Cat Seminars to help the Community better understand what they can do. The first seminar was on May 21st, and the next one is on June 3rd. If you would like to attend this informative session, please register online here: https://www.sicsa.org/community-cat-seminar/

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