How to get into a pickle when feeding feral cats

This is Denver and we have an 86-year-old lady, Earnestine Jackson, whose daughter had sympathy on three feral cats in her mother’s backyard so she feed and watered them. That’s all she did. That was nice of her and understandable but the situation required more.

Feral cats in backyard waiting to be fed
Feral cats in backyard waiting to be fed. Photo:
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Unfortunately she did not think about TNR which would have stopped them reproducing. This is important because gradually the numbers increased to the point where there are 20 and Earnestine is not a cat lover and wants rid of them but there is no one to help her.

It is one of those unfortunate situations made by humans. It is a combination of human failure.

Earnestine told her daughter to stop feeding the cats. They kept multiplying. They called for help to remove the cats.

“The rescue won’t come and get them, and the city won’t come and get them, but how do they expect you to catch them?” Jackson said.

This is the pickle. Tammy Vigil, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Health and Environment said that animal control and the Denver Animal Shelter don’t trap and remove feral cats and if they did they’d be euthanised. She said there are no laws in Denver prohibiting feral cats from roaming, which is normal.

They said that Earnestine can trap them herself and take them to the shelter but she can’t do it and if she did they’d be killed anyway and she does not want them killed.

The Denver authorities do work with an animal charity to trap the cats but they don’t operate where Earnestine and her daughter live. They’ll provide traps but the resident has to do the trapping and transport the cat to the shelter. This is beyond Earnestine’s abilities.

The latest development is that the city are trying to find a volunteer to help Earnestine trap the cats and have them spayed and neutered (a bit of TNR). Some can be rehomed, it is felt.

This is a feral cat problem of human creation. I am sure something similar is played out across America. The root cause is someone, somewhere allowing her/his cats to breed and letting them run wild and become semi-feral.

I don’t see anyone tackling the root cause of the problem. In which case it won’t go away. It has not gone away because every day we read about it.

Source: The Denver Channel.

3 thoughts on “How to get into a pickle when feeding feral cats”

  1. I read about it all the time; feeding them doesn’t make them multiply, and refraining from feeding doesn’t make them stop.

      • That’s what I meant when I said there are no good answers. Do you let ONE cat die a miserable death or be euthanized or do you feed it and hope you can get them fixed? Can you watch an animal slowly starve to death and not have any help but someone who will just kill them ? Actually a lot of feral colonies are the direct result of that fear. The only help a feeder is offered is trap and kill. Thus a reluctance to do anything.


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