Cleveland for a No Kill City has formed two working groups to help un-socialized, feral and free-roaming cats. The trap-neuter-return group, calling itself the Cleveland Catnippers, works to keep free-roaming cats from getting taken to the pound. The barn cat relocation group works to get less adoptable cats out of the pound.
Thanks to an anonymous $500 donation, Cleveland Catnippers has been able to order humane traps that helped to launch its work.
Cleveland Catnippers works with caretakers in the community who are feeding outdoor cats. The Catnippers will work with the caretaker to trap the cats, and get the cats spayed/neutered and vaccinated. The cats will be ear-tipped during surgery. Removing a small tip of the point of the left ear is the universal symbol that a cat has been altered and is part of a managed outdoor cat colony. In return, the caretaker agrees to allow the cats to be returned to the property on which the cats were living and to provide food and water for the cats. The caretaker also agrees to let the cats live out their natural lives on the property.
Trap-neuter-return ends the cycle of reproduction, ensuring that fewer cats go into animal control. Most neighbors are in agreement with TNR once they learn that the cats aren't reproducing and do work for their keep. A spayed/neutered cat colony is the most effective form of rodent control. Spaying/neutering also results in decreased cat fights and noise from the cats. A managed colony has fewer illnesses as most cat diseases are spread by mating or fighting over mating.
Catnippers does not relocate cats and can only work with caretakers who allow the cats to be returned to the property.
For more information about Catnippers, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423 464-6074.
If a cat hasn't been socialized to humans by a few months of age, it is unlikely the cat can be tamed and made available for adoption.
Many such cats are brought into Cleveland Animal Control and never make it to the adoption floor, but are housed in a backroom until they are killed. These cats are the most likely animals to be killed at the pound.
Cleveland Catnippers requests that anyone trapping cats contact them before taking the cats to animal control. Cleveland Catnippers will work with property owners on a TNR project.
To help address the number of cats going into the backroom at animal control, Cleveland for a No Kill City has formed a barn cat relocation working group. The barn cat relocation group works with a farmer or landowner who is willing to allow the cats to live in his or her barn or outbuilding in exchange for rodent control. The farmer/landowner is asked to go through a re-location process and agrees to provide the cats with one meal a day in exchange for their services.
The barn cat relocation working group has so far taken 35 "backroom cats" from animal control, spayed/neutered them, vaccinated them and relocated them to barns in the community.
How You Can Help
• Donations are desperately needed to fund spay/neuter for the TNR program and the barn cat relocation program. Dixie Day Spay has been providing these services to the working groups at a discounted rate. To donate to help cover the expense of surgery, Paypal to email@example.com, send checks to Dixie Day Spay at 182 Airport Road NW, Cleveland TN 37312, or call 423 476-7122 to make a donation by credit/debit card over the telephone. Please mark donations as being directed to the "TNR/Barn Cat Program." Another way to help is to "sponsor" one of the backroom cats adoptions through animal control.
• Barns are needed for relocation. If you have a barn, shed, outbuilding or garage that could provide shelter for a group of cats and you are willing to provide food for the cats, email or call Cleveland Catnippers.
• Volunteers are needed. If you can help with either the TNR program or the barn cat program, call, email or attend our weekly meetings. Cleveland Catnippers meets at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays at Mark's Dog House on Keith Street. The Barn Cat Relocation Working Group meets at 6 p.m. on Thursday's at Mark's Dog House.