In December, I visited a couple colonies with my friend, Trish, who is also a volunteer with the Annex Cat Rescue. I thought it would be interesting to attend today's Trap-Neuter-Return: How to Manage a Feral Cat Colony workshop by Community Cats Toronto at the Annette Street Library.
Feral cats are trapped, neutered (along with a check-up and vaccinations) and then released back into their colony with a nipped left ear to signify they have been neutered. Because they are used to living outside and fending for themselves, they are rarely taken in as pets. Neutering feral cats lessens noise, odor and abundance of kittens ... so less problems in neighbourhoods. One study showed that feral cats that are not neutered have a lifespan of about two years because of disease, scarcity of food and the stress of reproducing.
|Attendees received a substantial manual|
There were four volunteers from Community Cats Toronto presenting ... Penny, Bo, Carrie and Christina. The workshop was a combination of lecture, demonstrations and videos.
|Bo demonstrated how to use the different traps ...|
during the break we had to set them too
|Carrie talked about keeping the cat calm in the trap|
|Covering the trap calms the cat down|
|Christina talked about what to use for leaving food and water out |
and how to provide shelter
|There are workshops to learn how to make your own shelter|
|Here's another trap to catch a feral cat ... pull the string the cat is inside|
|Then cover the trap to calm the cat down|
|Lift the door of the transporting trap to lure the cat into it|
Everyone was provided with a certificate proving attendance at the workshop, which makes us eligible for access to the Toronto Animal Services (TAS) and Toronto Humane Society (THS) free spay/neuter clinics for ferals, equipment loans, expert advice and more.
It was an interesting workshop and I learned a lot. I don't know if I have any colonies in my area but it gave me the information and confidence to help out if I'm ever needed.