You have probably seen a cat roaming around your community and may have wondered if it was a lost pet or if it was a feral cat out on it’s own. We spoke to Sandra Obi, a partner of ours at the Animal Protection League of New Jersey, who helped us with some tips on how to point out a feral cat and ways you can help them live healthy lives outdoors.
Sandra works on a special program at The Animal Protection League of New Jersey (APLNJ) called Project TNR dedicated to helping feral cats. They work with volunteers to gently trap, get them neutered and vaccinated for rabies, and then return them to their colony of cats. By doing this Project TNR, and programs like it, have helped to bring down the number of homeless cats. Overpopulation is an issue in every city. These kinds of programs also work with volunteers to feed these cat colonies on a regular basis.
Freshpet is proud to say has donated food to Project TNR “We are grateful that Freshpet has recognized that homeless cats also need nutrition and need to be cared for. It’s no fault of their own that they’re ‘forgotten cats,'” says Sandra. Our last donation was distributed to 8 different caregivers that was feeding 225 homeless cats total that have been sterilized.
So if you’re looking to help these animals too, here’s where to start:
How do you know if a cat is feral?
Feral cats are actually domesticated cats that have returned to the wild. If you see a cat frequently, take steps to see if the cat does have a home. Don’t just assume. Does it have a collar? Also the universal sign that a cat has been “TNR-ed” is an ear tip. Before surgery, the vet will cut a part of the left ear off. So look for that when you see a stray in the distance. If there is no collar, and no ear tip, this cat may need your help.
How do I get a cat to befriend me?
Start feeding them, same time every time everyday. They figure that out really quick that you’re a friend.
Best place to start is looking for a program that can help educate you on what to do now, specifically how to capture and where to get them neutered.
Google “Trap Neuter Return” to find a program in your area. Sandra’s favorite resources are:
If you’re in New Jersey like we are, contact Project TNR. Sandra Obi and her partner Michelle Learner will work to support volunteers through the process of assisting these feral cats.