Cats that form colonies live in the streets of all cities. They help control insects and prevent rat pests, but in an urban environment, they don’t get all the food or protection they need. If you want to take care of cats in a colony, we give you a few tips:
The importance of caring for cats in a colony
Contrary to what many people believe so that the colonies of cats disappear from the streets, animals cannot be moved or made disappear. It has been shown that the only effective way is to reduce the number of stray cats throughout the city: if all the cats in the same area disappear overnight, animals from another colony will come to take their place.
Although we know that the presence of these clusters is beneficial for humans because they eliminate rats and insects like cockroaches, street life is not easy for cats. However, it is possible to find a balance in which we can take care of the cats of a colony while controlling their health and their overpopulation.
One of the basic acts of caring for cats in a colony is to ensure that they are fed. However, it is not worth any meal, either for your digestive system or for street cleaning.
Cats are carnivorous animals, and all fresh food provided to them should be raw and consist only of meat. If that food is also deposited in the street, the most hygienic thing is that it is composed of feed nothing more.
Leaving traces of homemade food in a colony is harmful to everyone: for cats, because cereals, fried foods, and vegetables feel bad for them; and for humans, because it attracts insects, releases odors and dirties the ground. A street colony should be fed only with feed.
To take care of the hygiene of the place, you should periodically clean the pots in which you deposit the feed. If you use disposable containers when you find an empty one the right thing is to take it away and throw it in a bin. Cats do not like to live in waste and garbage should not be left lying on the streets.
Remember that cats should also always have fresh water available, especially in hot cities or during the summer. Renew water every day, as there are insects, such as mosquitoes, that nest in stagnant water and can become pests.
Leave food and water in little visible places, but accessible to cats. If you put the dishes on busy or very visible streets, you run the risk of someone poisoning the dishes and increasing the chances of someone hitting them and spilling on the floor. Hide the dishes in places that only cats can reach.
Keep in mind that caring for cats in a colony is much more than feeding them. It is also necessary that you take care of the health of the animals in your charge: contact a veterinarian, since from time to time you will need his help.
The ailments that affect stray cats are very varied, but above all, you will face colds, skin problems, wounds caused by fights and eye infections. You should medicate, within your means, cats that have problems, since their well-being also depends on their health.
The only effective measure to lower the number of stray cats is to sterilize them and avoid new births. In many cities, CES projects are being launched – capture, sterilization, and release – promoted by institutions or by animal protectors.
Although this step has not yet been taken in your area, nothing prevents you from doing it on your own. If you want to take care of cats in a colony, sterilize them. You can do it at the pace you want and you can even ask for donations or help from other people, but as long as they are not all sterilized, there will still be new births and cats.
Take a census of the cats that belong to the colony, those that are sterilized and the new cats, probably abandoned, that appear. It is essential to meet the animals you care for.
It is very difficult to give adult cats to the colonies for adoption: many do not want to be adopted. However, you can try to take adult cats that are more docile and new litters out of the street when they start eating alone.
You can get in touch with a protector to help you find adopters and screen people who will give these animals a good life. The protector can make your job much easier since they have experience and their ads to find families will go further than those you do on your own.
Caring for cats in a colony is a dedicated job, but very satisfying. Set an example with your actions and teach your relatives that people who care about stray animals are compassionate and hardworking. Only in this way, among all, can the quality of life of the colonies be improved.