Reporter Louise Roseingrave wrote a feature on the Cape Clear project, which appeared on the Irish Examiner on the 19th of February. It came in timely as we were just back from another trapping trip on the island.
For those of you who may have missed it, you can read the article online here.
To read our posts on the Cape Clear Project, please follow this link.
Please, consider supporting this project by donating here. Every little helps and we, and the cats, would be much grateful for whatever small amount you could give to have the Cape Clear cats neutered.
In June 2012, we received two Eezicatch traps from Snip International. Six months later and hundreds of cats trapped later, we issue this official report to thank Snip International, an organisation helping animal welfare organisations around the world.
To support Snip International’s work, follow this link.
“Community Cats Network is a charitable organisation promoting the welfare of stray/feral cats and the benefits of TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return). It was formed in April 2012 by a group of cat lovers dedicated to improving the conditions of life of feral cats.
Community Cats Network works with local communities in improving the welfare of all cats. We seek an ethically based solution to the problems of over population, neglect, deprivation, and cruelty.”
Our primary activity is TNR as we believe that it is the only humane solution to control the cat population. Our primary consideration is the welfare of feral and stray cats. We believe that unless there is an obvious danger to the welfare of the cat, ferals should remain in their environment.
Community Cats Network endeavours to work closely with communities in promoting the importance of neutering for feral cats and their role in the community, as well as in the organisation of TNR projects. We thus offer support and advice on the various aspects of living with community cats. We also provide our services in all stages of the organisation and the carrying out of TNR projects.
We believe that everyone should take responsibility for stray and feral cats/kittens. As we are not a rescue, we cannot take them in; however, we offer support to the public and help them to solve their problem.
Ireland has a serious over population problem with feral cats, with estimates of over 1million feral cats. These cats have no protection under Irish law so it is up to charitable organisations like Community Cats Network to find solutions to this problem.
In June 2012, SNIP International supplied us with two Eezicatch cat traps. These traps have made a significant difference to our cat trapping capabilities. The Eezicatch traps are light weight and easy to carry. They are fitted with a mechanically-operated foot plate that closes the trap down once the cat has entered it and stepped on the plate. The Eezicatch is fitted with a clear Perspex plate at the rear to give the cat the impression that it has an escape route once it has entered the trap. The Eezicatch trap can also be used manually by using a water bottle and string, this is vital when you need to cat one specific cat from a colony (see photo below).
Community Cats Network works closely with a number of Veterinary practices in Cork City and County. Our contact details are also available to the public via advertising through the medium of social media. We cover a wide range of areas from domestic back gardens, farms through to commercial premises. Having neutered feral cats in situ on any premises is the most cost effective and environmentally effective way of rodent control. We have had such a demand for our voluntary services that we have custom built a pre and post operative feral cat holding area.
From Community’s Cats Networks creation in April 2012 we have trapped neutered and returned over 400 cats in Cork city and county area.
We thank SNIP International for helping us to make a difference in the lives of our community cats.”
To mark the beginning of National Feral Cat Awareness Week, Community Cats Network held information tables over the last two days. We wanted to meet the public and explain the importance of caring and neutering feral and stray cats. Cats do not have the best profile in Ireland and it was thus a difficult task to get our message heard. We were received by a mix of reactions ranging from “I hate cats and I don’t want to have anything to do with them” to curiosity to real interest to total approval.
We had brought traps with us and they certainly attracted attention. A few people asked about them and we were glad to show them how they work. Some people engaged in longer conversations and left with the information leaflets designed by Mayo Cat Rescue and Feral Cats Ireland, who are at the origin of this great initiative. Although not everyone stopped, it was still exposure as many people looked and read the posters. We have realised that quite often people do not know how to deal with feral cats simply because they are not aware that there is a humane way to trap them, but the few 100s of customers passing our stalls today and yesterday will at least know that there is a solution out there…
We would like to extend a huge thank you to Trish and her staff at Pet Stop, Jim and his staff at Hanley’s and John and his staff at Hosford’s for having us there and being so helpful.
Also, thank you to all the volunteers who gave a bit of their time during those two days to help us raise awareness: Marika, Eva, Cormac, Brian, Sara, Pauline, Karen and Colette.
Finally, thanks to all the customers who stopped by for a chat and gave a few euros to help the cause.
This initiative is supported by near to 20 vet practices in Cork; they will be offering a discounted rate to the public for the neutering of stray and feral cats (you can check the list of participating vets here). This discount only applies to genuine stray and feral cats and all cats will be ear-tipped (this is a universal method to recognise stray and feral cats that have already been neutered, thus preventing them from being trapped again). And if you do not manage to catch the cat, don’t hesitate to contact your local TNR group, they will be more than happy to help you.
Next week, we will keep spreading the word by distributing leaflets and placing posters in shops, especially farmer’s co-ops. You too can help us to raise awareness by printing the poster below and bringing it to your local shop or work place.
National Feral Cat Awareness Week, an initiative from Feral Cats Ireland, is taking place from the 11th to the 18th of August. The theme this year is “caring for a feral colony”. The purpose of this event is to raise awareness for the plight of feral cats in Ireland, and, of course, to encourage the neutering of feral cats.
Every year, many kittens are born in terrible conditions. Most of them die at a young age; the ones that survive start reproducing very early in life (a female cat can become active at 16 weeks old). It is a myth that all these kittens can be rehomed as too many are born for the number of homes available. Too often, people do not realise at what rapid pace cats can reproduce. They begin feeding one or two cats and quickly end up with a whole colony. To prevent the situation to get out of control, there is only one solution: neuter. Neutering may cost money, but it certainly costs less to neuter one or two cats than to feed an entire colony. It is also the only humane solution to the problem of over-population. Putting the cats to sleep is not only inhumane, but it also does not solve the problem. It was shown that the culling of a colony creates a vacuum effect: the cats are soon replaced by other cats. It is thus more effective to keep a colony under control by having all the cats neutered. Moreover, neutering also prevents the suffering of many kittens and the spread of disease. Cats become healthier and the risk of spreading infectious diseases such as FIV (feline AIDS) and FeLV (feline Leukemia) are much lower since these diseases are transmitted through deep bite, which occurs during mating and fighting.
In order to support this campaign, a number of vets in county Cork have agreed to offer a discounted rate to the public for the neutering of feral cats (see list below). Local groups are available to help you to humanely trap the cat if you cannot catch it yourself. Please contact us or Cork Cat Action Trust, Mallow Animal Rescue, RAWR (Bantry) and Animal Rescue Cobh for more information.
Community Cats Network will be holding a few information tables to mark the beginning of Feral Cat Awareness Week. You can come to visit us at the following stores if you would like more information:
We are very grateful to Snip International, who gave us a grant for equipment for two traps and a transfer cage. Thank you so much!
Snip International is a UK-based charity that provides advice and offers a certain number of equipment grant to TNR groups across the world. Please, visit their website for more information or to make a donation.
The week is intended to raise awareness about the plight of stray and feral cats in Ireland and to encourage the neutering of colonies, no matter how big or small they are. Remember that it is a lot more manageable and affordable to neuter the few ferals that come to your garden than to wait until they have had litters and until the situation is out of control.
For the occasion, Community Cats Network will endeavour to obtain discounted rates available to the public from as many vets as possible in county Cork. We will also organise some informational events and of course be there to help you to trap cats. Do not hesitate to contact us to email@example.com.