Would like to know what you think of this

@feralcat (426)
Canada
January 8, 2007 8:22am CST
Okay you all know by now I'm a carzy catman LOL. I have a goal (well more a dream) for the feral cat colony I care for and would like feedback from cat lovers. I live on 7 acres of land. One of my dreams is to rebuild a new shelter for these cats of about an acre to an acre and half big and set it up with sleeping bunks for them and a better heating system and so on (it's a dream considering of course money does not grow on trees). The second thing I would love to do is eventually build a 7 foot high fence around my property with cat stops at the top (these are floppy addons to the fence that when ad if the cat tries to climb over they will push him back down because they are flimsy). I realize that once this is done my property might end up looking more like a prison area but this I don't care about. There are various reasons for this fence but mainly it is to keep them safe from predators, cars and yes humans. By birth feral cats have every right to be the free roaming spirits they are and this discussion I've had with other feral cat colony care givers. I wanted your input into if you think this is taking way from their birthright or in my way of thinking, is giving these cats a much longer life by keeping them safe. With 7 acres to roam do you think this is taking away from their freedom or adding to the possible quality of their lives?
8 people like this
35 responses
@melanie652 (2525)
• United States
8 Jan 07
It all sounds like a good plan, but cats by nature like to wander. I just saw a story this morning on the Today Show about Hemingway's cats that keep getting out and wandering. It's supposed to be a safe haven for the cats, but they find ways to get out and people are complaining. I don't get what the big deal is, but I'm a cat lover too? Even with your fence, I think you would still have trouble keeping some of them in. We live out in the country, so always have cats showing up here. I try to get them all spayed or neutered and keep them current on their rabies shots. Also try to keep them wormed about every 6 months. They regularly have access to food and water. Those few things make a big difference in quality of life for the cats. I would assume you do much the same? Best of luck with your future plans.
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
8 Jan 07
Awesome work melanie. I do the same yep. Twice a day I feed them. I also add Ester-C to their moist food and L-lysine to their water bowls to help ward off illness and infection. I have caes of vaccines in my fridge also and a medicine cabinet full of meds and ER supplies in case they are needed. I realize that with a fence some will still get out but if the majority stay in then it will make a big difference. I too live in the country and am known as a feral cat rescuer so I'm sure some cats that appeared have been dumped here. Many people who drive this road also see these cats has target which can be quite disheartening in kowing that some people fail to realize these cats come from someone at some point.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Jan 07
I understand on the C, but what is the L-lysine for?
2 people like this
@Julia1970 (410)
• United States
8 Jan 07
I think that you are trying to protect them. I would suggest looking at the website for monolithic domes. They are inexpensive and may be what you are looking for as far as the shelter goes. www.monolithicdome.com If you are worried about their freedom, just leave a big petdoor so you are not heating the outdoors and they don't feel like they are walking into a trap. I am jealous. You are doing what I wish I could! Blessings to youa nd yours.
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
9 Jan 07
Thank you but only doing what I was chosen to do :) Wasn't a choice to be honest, it just became a part of me.
@TerryZ (22083)
• United States
8 Jan 07
I think you are a very warm hearted individual. I like your idea for the feralcats. Yes with 7 acres to roam it is not taking away their freedom. Yes I agree you are adding many more years to their lives by giving them some shelter and feeding their bellies. I wish you all the best in your project. Im glad to know there people like you still around.
2 people like this
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
8 Jan 07
Thank you Terry this is only a fraction of my dreams and goals towards feral cats. I used to think that it was only something that I did feeding them and caring for them but it has become such a huge part of my life and I want so much to make a difference for these cats and ot only mine but all feral cats and strays to be better understood that at times the cause literally breaks my heart. I've been called a martyr and I consider myself one but I don't think it's a bad thing at all to stand up and fight with your life in a just cause.
2 people like this
@Tanika (632)
• Australia
8 Jan 07
Hello Feralcat, I am not an expert on feral cats although i have tamed a few in the past. Both of these ideas certainly sound good to me. It's not like you would be containing them in a small space that is totally unnatural for them. Then you would be taking away there freedom. 7 acres is a large amount of space and certainly they would be able to roam around a bit and not have to have contact with you if they didnt want. After reading your newsletter tonight (and shedding a few tears) I can understand why you would want to keep them safe from predators and humans with all the time and effort you put into providing them with a better life, and of course the emotional investment that this requires. As I mentioned, I am not an expert in this field but i think you are just trying to do what is best for them. Tanika.
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
8 Jan 07
Thank you Tanika. I gave alot of thinking to the newsletter before starting to publish them. I didn't know if I wanted to write them from a personal point of view or strictly a more professional and "dry" form but after much consideration I thought that showing the intimate side of dealing and caring for feral cats and truly showing what it's like was the way to go. I'm sorry you shed tears reading them. I guess my purpose with the newsletters is to let people into the lives of these cats even from imply reading about them and gettin a better understanding of the life they have. I also figured that 7 acres was not confining them to a "prison" type life. They would still have their freedom but with protection.
2 people like this
@Geminigirl (1909)
• United States
8 Jan 07
I think this is a great idea. I would love to do something like this myself in the future, and have thought of it often. That fencing sounds good, and if it would truly prevent them from getting out,why not? 7 acres is a very large amount of space and I think these cats would be very lucky. This one shelter that I work with has a new cat room, that is actually not very big at all, but has lots of glass, sunlight, and cat condos, beds, etc. They have about 30 cats in there at once, and even in that limited space, the cats seem quite content. So in comparison, 7 acres, with shelter from the weather is a big WOW! I think it is a super idea and you should go for it, when the funds allow!
2 people like this
@magikrose (5423)
• United States
8 Jan 07
Being a cat lover myself I love your idea. I dont think you would be taking anything away from them. Honestly you would be giving them a safe loving home to live inthat they still have the freedom to just be typical cats. I believe your heart is in the right place and given the time and effort you can make this safe haven happen.
2 people like this
@dawn5679 (266)
• United States
8 Jan 07
I think it's a great idea!! but how would you get these cats? I meam they are wild and most of the time you can't even get within 10 feet of them. But i think that it would help with thier quality of life as long as you can catch them..
2 people like this
@umair2hot (1220)
• India
8 Jan 07
t all sounds like a good plan, but cats by nature like to wander. I just saw a story this morning on the Today Show about Hemingway's cats that keep getting out and wandering. It's supposed to be a safe haven for the cats, but they find ways to get out and people are complaining. I don't get what the big deal is, but I'm a cat lover too? Even with your fence, I think you would still have trouble keeping some of them in. We live out in the country, so always have cats showing up here. I try to get them all spayed or neutered and keep them current on their rabies shots. Also try to keep them wormed about every 6 months. They regularly have access to food and water. Those few things make a big difference in quality of life for the cats. I would assume you do much the same? Best of luck with your future plans.///\\\
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jan 07
You have reported for abuse!
2 people like this
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
9 Jan 07
Thank you folks. I wasn't on since last night cause of connection problems. Thanks for reporting this person
@thekiwi (588)
• United States
9 Jan 07
I think thats a great idea!! I like it and it sounds wonderful! Plus you could start your own little adoption thing going on, so like not only are you taking them in, and caring for them, but tame them and find them a good home? *shrugs* just an idea to run past you :)
1 person likes this
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
9 Jan 07
Thanks. I already have my own adoption program. Last year I socialized and found good homes for 15 feral cats. My shelter is also listed on Petfinders. I have a few right now I am in the rehabilitation stage with and so far all is good. They are in the cat room I built in the basement for the ferals to come and go to keep warm. :)
@birthlady (5613)
• United States
9 Jan 07
I think you'd be adding to the quality of their lives, and its very kind of you to help ferel cats. :-)
1 person likes this
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
9 Jan 07
Thank you. I think it would add to their quality of life also. I've debated long and hard on this knowing the free spirits these cats are but with 7 acres of land, trees and places to roam I beleive they would be fine with this.
@Catkin (480)
• United States
8 Jan 07
Hmm...your idea is great and I think most cats would find it suitable. For the ones determined to somehow get over the fence (I don't know how possible this is, as I've never heard of cat stops until now), it might be good to provide a way to climb back in, should they come back from a foray and want back into the fenced area. As long as the cats get along with each other well enough or can at least get far enough away from those they don't get along with, I think it sounds like a good plan and an excellent way to keep many of them a lot safer. I read both your newsletters after receiving than and was touched. I think, when I am able, that I will try to make donations, though I doubt I will be able to send large amounts. Still...lots of little bits add up.
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
9 Jan 07
Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the newsletters. You mention you will try to make a donation the one thing I have always told people is do not shorten yourself. Money is tight these days and knwoing people care and are interested in reading my newsletters is good for me :)
@Signal20 (2281)
• United States
8 Jan 07
I'm an animal and cat lover. I think it kinda sounds like a good idea to a point. Playing devil's advocate here, I understand the want/need to save them from predators, people, cars, etc. But, if they're born free, then that should just be another part of thier life shouldn't it? Like other wild/free animals. We don't cage in deer to protect them from hunters. I think it's different because they're cats, and considered pets, even though they're wild. I think if you build a barn type area for them, and feed them there, they'll live there without the restrictions of a fence. One thing if you haven't already, you need to find out what the "requirements" are for your area. Sounds rural and all, but I know here in the states, the county and city governments in most areas will do anything to make a buck. Putting up a huge fence? Need a permit, that'll cost ya 200. Oh, gonna have more then 3 cats/dogs? Gonna have to get a kennel license, that'll cost ya 500. a year. And, you can count on animal control stopping by periodically to make sure they all have their shots. Like I said, that's how it is here, best to check ahead of time! Good luck with your plans hope they work out!!!
1 person likes this
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
9 Jan 07
You kow I had not thought about those issues. So far many people know what I do. Seems like my name is known in Winnipeg and even the SPCA. They know how many cats I care for and they fully support what I do which I think is a bonus in realizing what I want to do to help these cats. With over 100 thousand ferals and strays in Winnipeg alone, they stand behind anyone who tries to help curb the over-population problem and care for many who would otherwie have to be euthanized if taken to shelters.
1 person likes this
@suscan (1955)
• United States
8 Jan 07
No I don't think you are aking away their freedom. Seven acres is a lot of room to roam. You are offering them protection frorom the predators out there,and lovingly caring for them
• India
9 Jan 07
ya u r rite.. u have to care of it.... so u r rite...
• United States
9 Jan 07
That's a cool idea. As long as you have the funds to do it, I say go for it - it looks like a good way to save cats that might otherwise not stand as much of a chance in the wild, and nothing about your plan seems to stand out as something that would take away too many needed freedoms, or be considered "animal abuse" or anything like that. What is the situation with your neighbors, though? Just make sure your neighbors won't start b**ching to the homeowner's association or something about it - and if you don't live in close proximity to your neighbors, then even better!
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
9 Jan 07
My closest neighbor is about half a mile to 3/4 of a mile away from me. There is a huge field in between them and my place which is a good thing. I also think that they would not object at all to these cats not wandering around their property like they do. The biggest reason here for them wandering is the farmer up the road puts out saucers of milk for cats and this is a problem.
@forjosie (1547)
• Indonesia
9 Jan 07
This is my dream in my childhood. So funny to remember that...LOL! In my childhood, I dreamed that I can make a shelter for cats. But its a pitty, that I not rich enough to build that shelter...:D:D:D
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
9 Jan 07
Don't give up on that dream you never know one day it can happen. This is my dream also and I am not gving up on it :)
• United States
9 Jan 07
I think seven acres is plenty enough room to give the cats a lot of roaming area. I love the idea of a fence and the cat stops (never heard of these before). You will be definitely creating a better quality of life for these cats. The fence will significantly cut down on the dangers of larger predator type animals, cars, and the uncaring human. A while back I watched a television show about a place where wild horses now run free so they don't have to face the dangers that we see in society today. Basically you will be giving the cats a "safe haven" or santuary. Feral cats of course have a roaming nature but I see your goal as still letting them be able to roam in a secure and protected environment. I like your commitment to this dream and whole-heartedly support it. Every animal deserves a place to call home. As far as the money issue-have you considered looking into some type of a grant to get this project started?
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
9 Jan 07
Thanks emerald. I have looked into extra funding but the government did cut backs on funding non-profit organizations and the SPCA pretty much got dibs on the funds for shelters (as they always do here). There is one organization though that discovered what I do last year and they decided to help me with funding for my vet bills this year. :)
@shywolf (4520)
• United States
9 Jan 07
Wow! 7 acres is quite a nice patch of land for them to roam on. I do not feel that you are in any way doing these cats a disservice by fending them into a seven acre lot! That is quite a large amount of room for them to roam, and the fence will help to keep them safe from many dangers! Kudos to you for doing this! ^_^
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
9 Jan 07
Thank you. I do knoe someone who gets sterilized feral cats transported to him from an organization that he cars for after they are trapped. Thisp erson mentioned that he keeps them in enclosed areas (pen like) which I argued because a pen is not a big area considering there cats are wild and this is one reason why I debated the idea of enclosure so hard but 7 acres is plenty and they are not restricted to smaller areas.
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
9 Jan 07
I think this is a wonderful idea. Here in the States, we have spay/neuter release programs where they catch the feral cats, vaccinate and alter them, then release them back into their home areas. You would be doing basically the same thing, only releasing them into a safe area where they could live out their days in comfort. If you do go forward with this idea, please be sure to find a way to declare yourself a non-profit organization capable of accepting monetary and tangible donations. I'm sure many people would want to donate in order to help further your dream. There are a lot of cat lovers out there :)
@irishr (8)
• United States
9 Jan 07
Yu would be helping them for sure. A feral cat has a life span of only three years on an average. What you should do is look into forming a non profit organization to get tax breaks and even qualify for some funding. Also you have to take into consideration spay and neutering them all or else you will have a major population explosion on your hands. And they have to be tested for feline leukemia and euthanised if they are positive. It would take a large outlay of money. Why not ask your vet his opinion and contact non profit groups in your area. they would be glad to give you advice on how to go about becoming your own organization.
@avs189 (1030)
• India
9 Jan 07
Hey buddy atleast ur thinking of their freedom , no guy in the world cares abt his family members or relatives or other people , atleast ur caring for animals ,keep good work going ...........and for that matter 7 acres doesnt matter .....ur feelings matter!!!!!!!