The first contact comes from a multi-faceted approach ranging from telephone calls, emails, website, Facebook or direct contact from vets.
Oral contact with the carer:
- We telephone the carer to establish what physical condition the colony is in.
- Establish if any cat or kitten needs emergency care and arrange it immediately.
- Estimate how many cats and kittens are there.
- Estimate how old are the kittens
- Establish how often and what time the cats are being fed and if there are other feeders .
- If the colony is in good health we post or email you an assessment form
Arranging the colony assessment:
- The carer fills the assessment form on site or has sent it back to us.
- We arrive on site at feeding time to visually assess the colony.
- We discuss the financial cost of the neutering with the carer.
- We explain the trapping procedure.
- We arrange a trapping date with the carer.
Arranging the neutering and veterinary care:
- The CCN welfare officer makes contact with the nearest partner vet to the colony to arrange a time and date for the neutering.
- The physical health of the colony is discussed with the vet or the veterinary nurse.
- Extra treatment will be discussed when the vet has assessed the cats in surgery.
- Depending on the number of cats to be trapped the Community Cats Network welfare officer decides what traps and cages to bring.
- The CCN welfare officer arrives 30 minutes before feeding time to set up the traps.
- The cats are trapped humanely and transferred into feral cat handling cages.
- The carer signs the Community Cats Network consent form.
- Depending on the time when trapped and availability of vets, the cats are either taken straight to the vets or held overnight to be taken to the vets the following morning.
- If the cats are held overnight they are transferred into humane comfortable cages with food water and litter for the cats’ comfort and welfare.
Hospitalisation cage in the opened position to show the bedding & feeding area.
Veterinary treatment and neutering:
- The CCN welfare officer transfers the cats back into the transport cages and bring them to the allocated vets.
- The transport cages have information on each cage pertaining to that specific cat. The veterinary nurse or vet will complete the forms once the surgery has been completed.
- In the veterinary surgery the feral cats are transferred into a cat restrainer cage to make it safer for the veterinary practice to sedate the cat and cause less stress on the cat.
- Once the sedative has taken effect the cat is taken out of the cage and given a full health check. The cat’s mouth, ears, teeth, eyes, legs, pads and body are checked for any anomalies or abnormalities.
- If any abnormalities are found the CCN welfare officer is contacted immediately by the vet to discuss further actions.
- If everything is normal the surgery continues
- Female cats will be spayed on the left flank – this is always the left hand side of the body. It provides faster access to the organs being removed. The female will have her uterus and ovaries removed to fully ensure that procreation can never take place. Spaying also removes the possibilities of life threatening uterine infections. Additionally, it also greatly reduces the risk of developing potentially fatal mammary tumors later in life.
- Male cats will be castrated. Both testicles will be removed. This will remove their ability and want to mate with females of the species. Neutered male cats become less likely to fight after neutering and are less likely to become involved in fights, resulting in bite injuries and the risk of contracting viral infections. Sexual contact in cats can also lead to transmission of deadly viruses.
- Both female and male cats are left ear-tipped. This is a universal method indicating the neutered status of a cat.
- All cats in our care receive a flea and a worm treatment.
- The CCN welfare officer collects the cats from the vets after surgery.
- The cats are put back into the hospitalisation cages with clean bedding, water and food.
- The males are kept for a minimum of 16 hours after surgery and females 24 hours.
- The cats are checked post-op on an average of every 2 to 3 hours to make sure the bedding is clean and they are recovering well.
- The carer is contacted to make arrangement to return the cats.
Returning the cats:
- The cats are transferred back into the transport cages and returned to the carer.
- The carer receives a quantity of food, CCN’s feral cat aftercare handbook and a photographic and health journal of their cats.
Sterilisation of the equipment:
- After the return of the cats the CCN welfare office has to clean and sterilise all the equipment: traps, transport cages, hospitalisation cages and holding area used for the specific colony to avoid contaminating the next colony or transferring infection.
Feral cats colony information:
- The CCN welfare officer inputs all the information that they have gathered about the colony into our computerised database.
- Photos and descriptions are then uploaded to our Facebook page.
- CCN welfare officers are always available for contact with the carer at any stage.