Feral or stray cats are caught using a humane box trap. Once trapped, cats are brought to a veterinary clinic and are surgically spayed or neutered. They are also tested for disease, vaccinated, treated for parasites, and tattooed for later recognition. In an effort to protect the health of the stray and feral cat population, cats who test positive for feline immunodeficiency (FIV) or feline leukemia (FeLV) are humanely euthanized. Veterinary care is provided by private veterinary clinics and by volunteer veterinarians and students at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC).
Costs for veterinary care at the AVC are currently funded by grants from the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre. CAT also receives a grant from the Pegasus Family Foundation, and financial support from Pegasus for a “Five for Fridays” Feral Cat Neuter Clinic at the AVC. CAT pays a discounted rate or approximately $100 per cat at private clinics. IAMS recently awarded $5,000.00 to CAT for activities at the AVC. This will be used to buy test kits for Friday clinics.
There is currently a waiting list of over 400 cats who are waiting to go through CAT’s TNR program.
The Cat Action Team also operates a Colony Care Program, which goes hand-in-hand with our TNR program. CAT is contacted by members of the public who are concerned about stray and feral cats in their area. An initial assessment of the area is done to ensure that it is a safe location for the cats. However, relocation of cats is kept to a minimum as there is usually no alternative area to place the cats. CAT then forms partnerships with those citizens who are willing to act as “caregiver” for a group of feral and stray cats, or a “colony.” A caregiver agrees to provide the cats with food and water daily, and to monitor the health and numbers of the cats in the colony. In exchange, CAT provides caregivers with supplies of cat food, and with a wooden shelter and straw bedding, if necessary. Also, cats in the colony are enrolled in the TNR program as soon as possible. CAT remains in contact with caregivers to provide assistance as necessary.
The Cat Action Team also provides limited emergency veterinary care for stray and feral cats who are injured or ill, and an informal adoption network for kittens and tame adult stray cats.