Congratulations on becoming a colony caregiver! By becoming part of the TNR process, you’re not only helping the cats in your care, but also your friends & neighbors throughout our village.
Here is a quick checklist to help you get started:
Maintain a regular, timed feeding schedule – Do not leave any food out for more than 30 minutes unless the animals are contained in a shelter overnight. If your cats are kept in a closed environment such as a garage, food can be left with them until morning – just like you would in your home. Leaving food outside for longer periods attracts wildlife, which can cause problems for you, your neighbors, the cats, and the wildlife itself.
Provide Shelters – Many caregivers use a garage or shed to shelter these animals. Some caregivers keep the shelter door slightly open 24/7, have a cat door, or close the felines inside these shelters at night. Others have great success by providing outdoor shelters – either commercially available or of the do-it-yourself variety. If needed, we can help with this.
There is no one “right way” to provide shelter, but you must do it. Animals will begin to recognize their shelters as a place of safety and are less likely to cause neighbor problems. There are tips available on our website and Facebook page to help keep your cats cozy during the winter and comfortable during the summer.
Remember Litter Boxes – No one wants a cat “digging” in their yard. It is your responsibility to provide litter boxes or a reasonable alternative placed in a discreet location on your property or in a shelter, like a garage. Keep the litter boxes clean. Trust us, community cats love litter boxes!
Maintain Records – Make sure you monitor the ongoing health of each cat in your colony. Keep all vet records. If another cat should show up and has not been sterilized and vaccinated, call us.
In Your Absence – Provide a replacement caretaker during your absence.
Be a Good Neighbor – This is one of the most important aspects of colony management. Not everyone is an animal lover, but most people can be tolerant. It is up to you to make all reasonable efforts to ensure these cats do not cause neighborhood issues. Therefore, keep your yard and shelters clean and inviting, that way your yard and shelters are the place where the cats want to be!
Fairport Harbor Community Cats