11 May What is a Community Cat?
This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
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Community Cats, also called feral or outdoor cats, choose to reside in a location for two reasons; one, there is a food source – intended or not – and two, there is shelter. Community Cats are members of the domestic cat species just like pet cats but they are not socialized to humans and are therefore unadoptable. Community Cats lead healthy, natural lives on their own, content in their outdoor home.
A Boca Raton resident, Jane Springston, is an experienced trapper who donates her time and resources to helping Boca Raton’s community cats. She runs a program here in Boca Raton called Community Cats of Boca Raton. The aim of this program is to trap, neuter, and return community cats to their outdoor homes. This effort’s goal is to stabilize the cat population, limiting their environmental impact in a humane manner.
The trap-neuter-return strategy involves marking the cats who’ve been caught and treated. These cats have been “ear-tipped”. This is a surgical alteration showing that a free-living cat has been spayed/neutered. There are no more kittens; the population stabilizes. And the returned neutered cats’ lives are improved. Behaviors and stresses associated with pregnancy and mating, such as yowling or fighting, stop. Not only does Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return make sense, it is also a responsible, humane method of care for outdoor cats. This strategy is in compliance with the PBC Ordinance, Sec. 4-35.
We have a Community Cat who comes around. What should we do?
If the cat does not have their left ear notched, is pregnant or has any small kittens then it’s important to notify Jane. The Palm Beach County Ordinance about Community Cats allows for people to care for cats that are wild and “wander up” but don’t want to become full-fledged pets. But there’s limits to it. For example you can’t just dump food on the ground for them. If you are taking care of a Community Cat or know someone who is, please contact Jane and she’ll help you learn how to do it right so the cat or the caregiver don’t get in trouble.
Join the Community Cats of Boca Raton Facebook Group to follow Jane’s continuing efforts helping out Boca’s furry residents.
If you have any questions about community cats, questions about adopting a cat or how you can help out please use the comment area below. Thanks.