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.
Information table at Hosford’s garden centre
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…
Information table at Hanley’s garden centre
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.
Marika and Eva holding the stall in Pet Stop
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.
Colette and Karen speaking for the cats in Hosford’s garden centre
Finally, thanks to all the customers who stopped by for a chat and gave a few euros to help the cause.
Brian waiting to show how to operate the cat trap in Hanley’s garden centre
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.