Last week, Alley Cat Rescue received a call from an owner of a local construction company. Both she and her staff had been caring for a colony of cats, but they’d begun to worry about the cats reproducing. What began as just a few cats slowly moving onto the construction site had now become a whole established colony.
The employees had fallen in love with the cats and built them multiple shelters. One of the cat houses even has multiple levels and might be nicer than some DC apartments! These workers spend their lunch breaks with the colony, and the cats love to get a bit of shared food.
With kitten season fast approaching, the owner knew she had to act. There were multiple females in the colony who were at risk of having kittens. The owner loved the cats but had never done Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) before, so we decided to head over to the site and do a little teaching so that she and her employees would be trained and empowered to sterilize any new cats that entered the colony.
When we arrived at the site, the cats immediately appeared. Although they stayed at a distance, they were used to people being present and didn’t run away from us, even as we set the traps. The construction company’s office cat, Sam, happily followed us around and watched us set up. Sam too would be coming with us to get sterilized, but all we had to do was pick him up and put in him a carrier!
Two minutes after we set the first trap, we had already trapped a cat. The owner did a great job at preparing for the rescue and had stopped feeding the cats 12 hours before we arrived. These kitties were hungry and definitely wanted some of the wet food in the traps.
An hour later, we had caught all but two cats. These last two cats were masterful at avoiding being trapped. The orange male even ducked his head into the trap and quickly grabbed some wet food before scurrying off! We decided to add more food into the traps, this time a very fragrant salmon wet food and wait out of sight for an hour. Sometimes the commotion of having people around can put the cats on edge, making them less likely to go into the trap.
At the end of the day, we finally had all the cats trapped and they were off to our spay/neuter clinic! When we later returned the cats to the construction yard they were happy to be home. Sam, the working cat, was so happy to be back that he leapt from our arms before stopping in his tracks and coming back for more belly rubs.
The owner and construction workers are excited to have their colony back! They’re relieved to know there won’t be any new kittens born outside in their colony and are now actively monitoring the colony for any new members in need of TNR.
Alley Cat Rescue is leading in the way in promoting humane and compassionate care for ALL cats.