The Feral Cat
Only Fractious, truly feral cats brought in traps will be eligible for a feral cat package. Cats that do not fit the “feral” guidelines provided by Ally Cat Allies, will not qualify for this package.
Feral Cat Package Cost: $50.00 per cat
The Outdoor Cat Package includes:
Outdoor Cat Package Cost: $60.00 per cat
If you are feeding outdoor strays, feral, or unowned cats in Hamilton County, Indiana, you are required by the county Feral Cat Ordinance to:
‘Feral’ means ‘gone wild’. A feral cat is a cat that displays some degree of a wild state. Some feral cats may have originated as domestic cats who once lived indoors with humans, and have since become lost or abandoned. In this situation, the cat learns to live outside in an environment that does not involve common human contact.
Although the feral cat does not appreciate any human cuddling, they do depend on people as a food source. In transient areas, such as college campuses, apartment complexes, or outside a local restaurant, feral cats commonly find food via a compassionate caretaker or a dumpster filled with leftovers. Few feral cats survive on hunting alone.
A caretaker is a person who provides food, water and shelter for a colony of unowned, free-roaming cats.
A colony is any number of unowned, free-roaming cats that frequent an area seeking food or shelter.
Ongoing colony management, combined with TNR, will promote harmony between colony caretakers, neighbors, and property owners and allow for the colony to diminish naturally over time. It is critical that the following eight guidelines be followed to ensure that the colony is being properly managed. Failure to follow these guidelines puts the cats at risk, increasing the chance for intervention from animal control authorities to eliminate the nuisance.
All the cats in the colony, even those that visit sporadically, will be sterilized, ear-tipped for identification, vaccinated, and returned to their familiar habitat. Make certain that any new cats observed in your colony are promptly sterilized.
Why? When cats are not sterilized, they will display offensive mating behaviors that can quickly become a nuisance to their neighbors.
What To Do:
Cats must be provided with adequate food and water on a daily basis year-round.
Why? When cats do not have adequate food and water, they will seek it in unwelcome areas such as a neighbor’s trash or dumpster in order to avoid starvation and dehydration.
What To Do:
Cats must be provided with adequate shelter on your property.
Why? When cats do not have warm and dry shelter, they may seek it in areas where they are not welcome, such as under a neighbor’s deck, shed, or in a car motor.
What To Do:
Resources: IndyFeral operates a shelter program. Shelters are available at no charge to low-income caretakers who qualify.
Designs for temporary shelters are available on IndyFeral website.
If you are interested in ordering a shelter, order by phone at (317) 596-2300 or online at the link above.
Maintain your records (notes, surgery, treatment and vaccination) for all colony cats.
Why? Hamilton County residents are required to maintain rabies records at all times upon request from Animal Care and Control.
What To Do:
Maintaining good vet records allows you to show actual evidence that the feral cats are healthy and fully vaccinated.
Records can be used as a tool to educate neighbors that are fearful that the feral cats will pass a disease to them or their pets.
Treatment records are provided to all caretakers. If you have lost your records, contact Low Cost Spay Neuter Clinic at (317) 706-0537.
Make efforts to place tame colony cats with adoption groups. Often times, you will find friendly pet cats that have been abandoned or lost by their owner. These cats have joined a colony in an effort to survive.
Why? Fewer cats in the colony will reduce the incidence of nuisance complaints. Cats that have lived indoors most of their lives often have a harder time successfully adjusting to living outdoors. They are also more likely to fall victim to violence because they do not fear humans.
We encourage all caretakers to make use of the resources at adoption organizations in an attempt to place tame cats and kittens.
Facts to consider when deciding to find a home for a stray cat:
Unowned, free-roaming cats come from diverse backgrounds. Because of this, it is nearly impossible to predict if a stray or feral cat can be successfully socialized to the degree that would make them suitable for adoption. Not only is it labor intensive, the outcomes are uncertain. Even a social cat may have been abandoned because it exhibited problems, and one that is poorly socialized will often lead to the cat being abandoned again or relinquished to a shelter. For this reason, if a cat is doing well in its current colony, we believe it is best to leave the cat there. IndyFeral hopes one day that there will be homes for all cats, but the current reality is that healthy, adoptable cats are euthanized daily due to a lack of homes.
Feral Cats: Truly feral cats are not candidates for adoption. They do not seek human companionship or interaction. It takes months to socialize a feral cat, and while they may bond to the person socializing, but may regress to a feral state when introduced to new people. TNR is the most humane option for feral cats.
Semi-Feral: Semi-feral cats may be more receptive to socialization. However, if the cat has been on the street for many years it may be as difficult to socialize as a total feral. These cats are also difficult to place. Quite often, bringing new people into its environment isoverwhelming and can cause the cat to regress. If this happens, the cat is not a good candidate for adoption.
Domestic: These cats are the easiest to place in a home. They seek human interaction and touch. They do not regress when introduced to different people or environments.
If you are moving or can no longer adequately care for your colony, contact Low Cost Spay Neuter Clinic at (317) 706-0537 as soon as possible so that alternate caretakers can be identified.
Why? It is inhumane to abandon a colony of cats that has grown dependent on you.
Left alone, the cats will starve to death or run the risk of becoming a nuisance as their basic survival needs are not being met and they may be impounded by animal control authorities.
To identify a new caretaker, canvas your neighborhood. Work with your neighborhood association or check the IndyFeral electronic distribution list (email@example.com).
Use humane techniques to discourage or exclude cats from areas where they are not welcome.
Why? If you fail to address your neighbors’ complaints about excluding cats from specific areas where they are not welcome, you increase the risk of intervention from animal control authorities.
All property owners have the right to not have cats on their property. Often times, they simply do not understand why the cats are present, or object to particular cat behavior. Sometimes, they fear the cats may carry disease. It is best to try and determine the specific reason for their objection, educate them, and try to mitigate the complaint using the techniques outlined here. Please do not trespass, argue with the neighbor, or inflame the situation.
Most problems fall into two categories:
Addressing Elimination Issues:
TIP: To remove urine stains and odors, clean areas where urine has been sprayed with white vinegar or Nature’s Miracle (available in most pet stores). It will eliminate most urine stains and odors.
Excluding Cats from Specific Areas: