As part of National Feral Cats Awareness Week, two of our main volunteers were interviewed on Cork’s 96fm Opinion Line to discuss feral cats and the importance of neutering. You can listen to the podcast (at 1:46).
From the 8th to the 14th of August, we will be celebrating National Feral Cat Awareness Week, an initiative from Feral Cats Ireland. Throughout the week, some vets across the country will offer discounted rates for the neutering of feral cats. Most importantly, this is a week to raise awareness about the plight of feral cats and about the solution to the issue of cat over-population: TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return).
The small group of volunteers at Community Cats Network will, as always, be busy trapping cats for neutering, but throughout the week, we will attempt to post some information about caring for feral cats and about how YOU can make a difference and help to solve the problem. Raising awareness is key as, at the origin of the problem, is not only a set of old-fashioned attitudes towards cat care, but most importantly a lack of information about how feral cats can be helped and enjoy better lives. It is down to every one of us to spread the word about TNR programmes and about the benefits of neutering and we count on you in this endeavour.
We will be launching the week with two information stalls in Maxi Zoo on the 6th of August, one in the Midleton store, the other in the Douglas store. We hope you can join us for a chat on the day and will be happy to share information about the work we do with you.
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…
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:
- 10th & 11th: Hosford’s Garden Centre (Enniskeane)
- 10th & 11th: Hanley’s Garden Centre (Kinsale Roundabout, Cork)
- 10th & 11th: Pet Stop (Kinsale Roundabout, Cork)
Please, help us to spread the word in Cork by printing the poster below and placing it in shops, work places, etc.
You can also show your support to feral cats by signing the petition asking to have all cats included in the new Animal Welfare bill.
List of participating vets in county Cork (please, call to enquire about the rates available):
- The Cat Hospital (Glanmire): 021 4824601
- Cashman O’Driscoll Veterinary Clinic (Glanmire): 021 4821243
- Sunbeam Veterinary Hospital (Blackpool): 021 4391600
- Animal Care Hospital (Douglas): 021 4893033
- Riverview Veterinary Group (Ballincollig): 021 4874879
- Riverview Veterinary Group (Carrigline): 021 4375628
- Cloyne Veterinary Clinic (Cloyne, Midleton): 021 4651464
- Knockgriffin Veterinary Hospital (Midleton): 021 4613672
- Blue Coast (Youghal): 024 82500
- Cashman O’Driscoll Veterinary Clinic (Cobh)
- Acorn Veterinary Clinic (Mallow and Kildorrery): 022 43862
- Duntahane Veterinary Clinic (Fermoy): 025 32501
- Glasslyn Vets (Bandon): 023 8841404
- Glasslyn Vets (Kinsale): 021 4772277
- Riverview Veterinary Group (Bandon): 023 8841503
- Riverview Veteriry Group (Kinsale): 021 4375628
- Brookpark Veterinary Hospital (Dunmanway): 023 8845777
- Fachtna Collins (Bantry), please refer to RAWR: 086 8443244
- Castlelands Vets (Skibbereen): 028 22211
The dates for the 3rd National Feral Cat Awareness Week have been announced. It will take place a bit earlier this year, from the 11th to the 18th of August.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.