Got ferals? The EMC SPCA can “fix” that

EMC SPCA volunteer Karen Bauer feeding local feral cats.
EMC SPCA volunteer Karen Bauer feeding local feral cats. Submitted Photo

A few feral cats can soon turn into a lot of feral cats. It might be getting overwhelming for you, and you don’t know what to do. Call the Eastern Madera County SPCA. We’ll help.

The EMC SPCA arranges and pays for the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) of feral cat colonies in our area. But before you contact us to begin, it’s important to know a bit about TNR. We want you to fully understand why this internationally-recognized and scientifically-based program is vital and successful.

The “return” portion of TNR is important, because feral cats are trapped, neutered (or spayed) and returned to their homes and colonies. Feral cats only know this one place as home, and if there’s an attempt to relocate them they will try to return to their communities.

Scientific studies show that Trap-Neuter-Return improves the lives of feral cats, improves their relationships with the people who live near them, and decreases the size of colonies over time.

Trap-Neuter-Return quickly stabilizes feral cat populations by instantly ending reproduction.

Mating behaviors cease, like roaming, yowling, spraying, and fighting. Cats’ physical health improves. Feral cats can now live healthy lives.

Other than the fact that cats will try to return to their colonies if removed, there’s another interesting scientific reason relocating feral cats doesn’t work: it’s called the vacuum effect.

Very simply, this means that whenever cats are removed, new cats move in, or the surviving cats left behind breed to capacity.

So now that you understand a bit about TNR, you might be ready to help your local feral cats – and your community and neighborhood – by partnering with the EMC SPCA on a TNR program.

Here are the simple steps:

Call the EMC SPCA feral phone number at 559-683-1266, press option #1 and leave a message for our TNR coordinator. She will call you back with all the details.

You will be given a personalized TNR number that will identify you at one of our approved local veterinarian hospitals.

You may then go to that vet to check out one or two humane traps. You will be given instructions on how to humanely trap your feral cats.

You will then bring the cat to the vet, where he or she will be spayed or neutered, at no cost to you.

The next day you will pick up the cat (which has been placed back into the humane trap), bring him back to the same place you trapped him, and release him.

At the vet, and under anesthesia, your feral cat will have one ear “tipped.” That way you will know he has been neutered. If you have a large colony you then also know not to trap that one again.

Although the EMC SPCA provides humane traps free of charge and pays for the spay and neuter procedures, we also recognize that participating in TNR requires a significant short-term commitment from you. What we can tell you is that it’s worth it! You will know you are doing the best possible thing for your feral cats and your community, and making the lives of these cats so much better than before.