Resources for Community Cats

Resources for cats

The Recovery Centre

When cats are spay/neutered as part of the trap-spay/neuter-release process, they need a safe place to recovery for a few days after the surgery and before they are re-released to their colony. For many who live in apartments or have physical limitations such that they can’t hold the cats after the surgery, this makes participating in trap-spay/neuter-release difficult.

With the City of Toronto’s progressive approach to managing the feral cat population, Toronto Animal Services and Councillor Glenn de Baeremaeker, worked hard to support the coalition in establishing the recovery centre.

Donations have been raised to cover the rent, insurance and daily upkeep of the centre. And a team of dedicated volunteers is committed to caring for the cats and working to improve the space and the services offered through the centre.

With the establishment of this recovery centre, caretakers can now make arrangements for cats to come into the centre after they are trapped. They are then transported to and from the clinic on the day of surgery, and are cared for by volunteers while they recover at the centre until they can be returned to the colony.

Clinic Options

Affordable, accessible, high-volume spay/neuter services make the difference in getting stray and feral cat numbers under control. These free services are only available to those who have taken our Trap-Neuter-Return workshop

Toronto Spay-Neuter Clinics

Toronto Animal Services – East (McCowan & 401) and North (Sheppard & Keele) locations.

Toronto Animal Services Spay-Neuter Clinics for Toronto’s feral cats. Only open to residents of Toronto. You must register your colony with them in order to use them. Their colony registration is separate from ours. You can find the form on their website.

Toronto Street Cats

  • Toronto Street Cats Free Feral Cat Spay-Neuter Clinic. This clinic operates out of Toronto Humane Society a few evenings or weekends per month and is for feral cats only.

Toronto Humane Society

  • Toronto Humane Society High-Volume Spay-Neuter Clinic for cats and dogs. Up to four cats in traps (2 per caretaker) are accepted on a walk-in basis in the morning when clinics are open. It is first come, first served. Please check with the clinic in advance incase their rules have changed.

GTA Spay-Neuter Clinics

Online resources

Email group

Join our Yahoo group and take part in discussions on GTA feral cat matters. This forum is meant for those who have completed the TNR workshop and wish to stay in contact with other caretakers in the community. 

Cat Health

Keeping a pet cat healthy and happy is just part of being a responsible owner. Outdoor cats have the same needs, although it is often much more challenging to care for homeless felines.

  • Alley Cat Allies’ Feral Cat Health pages offer research and protocol treatment information for feral cats on selected health topics.
  • The Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the University of California, Davis is “a resource for all those involved with homeless animal care.” Check out their Shelter Health Portal.
  • The Winn Feline Foundation provides “cat health information from experts, including the results of grants for feline health research.”

Other groups

There are many groups in the GTA working on behalf of cats in need. Their members feed, shelter, spay/neuter, socialize, rehabilitate and re-home thousands of cats each year. Visit these sites and find out how you can be part of this vital and rewarding work.

Cat Rescue Organizations in the GTA that support TNR

Scientific Studies on Feral Cats

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) . Introducing the AVMA collection of scientific journal articles on feral cats. Includes links to the full articles!

Feeding

Check these sites to learn about the nutritional needs of domestic cats and how to provide for them outdoors in a safe and sanitary way.

Please be aware that cat food tins do not make good feeding or baiting dishes. Cats can easily cut their faces or tongues on tins. If you find tins or tin lids discarded outside, please remove them from the cats’ environment as a safety measure.

Here is advice from Alley Cat Allies on providing food and water.

Neighborhood Cats

Pacific Animal Foundation This North Vancouver organization has significantly reduced the number of feral cats on the Vancouver north shore. These are their exemplary feeding stations.

Relocation

Although the best solution is usually to care for a colony at its original location, there are times when cats simply cannot stay where they are. Successful relocation to a new permanent outdoor home requires careful selection of the new site and caretakers, and safe confinement for a period of 3-4 weeks in the new location.

Relocation of Feral Cats/Colonies

The Alley Cat Allies guide to a Safe Relocation of Feral Cats.

Shelter

We tend to agree with the folks at the American Cat Project: “… every cat requires and deserves shelter. Cats are not wild animals. They cannot dig dens as most non-climbing wild animals do. They do not shelter in tree holes, as most climbing wild animals do. They will not share ground dens with other species, as many wild animals do. Cats cannot build their own shelter, therefore it must be provided for them. In our opinion, there is absolutely no exception to this.”

Ashot’s All-weather Bin Shelter. This page shows the shelter at all stages of construction.

Neighborhood Cats The Styrofoam Feral Cat Winter Shelter that can get cats through a GTA winter. Clear instructions and easily available materials ensure success with this project.

Spay and Stay offers illustrated instructions for building the Rubbermaid tub shelter model.

Winnipeg Humane Society An ingenious variation on the Styrofoam shelter with step-by-step illustrated instructions for building your own.

Taming/Socialization

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) may be the most humane solution for homeless cats who must live outdoors, but outdoor living is not the ideal situation for all domestic felines. Kittens of about 8-12 weeks can be successfully socialized and prepared for adoption using particular taming techniques. Older stray cats who require re-introduction to life with humans, and, more unusually, older feral kittens and cats may sometimes be tamed by the same process.

  • Feral Cat Coalition of San Diego, CA A short guide to taming and socializing feral kittens.
  • Neighborhood Cats This is the classic set-up for fostering, taming, or housing a recovering feral cat.

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)

The Trap-Neuter-Return process can be accomplished by caring individuals with no prior experience, but proper equipment, planning and preparation are absolutely essential to a humane and effective outcome. These sites offer excellent information and instruction.

  • Alley Cat Allies Find out what makes a TNR project successful: planning, tried-and-true technique, and good community relations. Read How to Conduct Trap-Neuter-Return and Colony Care Guide. And here is the Alley Cat Allies guide to traps and humane animal equipment.
  • FixNation presents a series of short training videos on all aspects of trapping feral cats.
  • The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) Online course: Trap-Neuter-Return: How to Manage a Feral Cat Colony. The HSUS comprehensive guide to caring for feral cats.
  • Neighborhood Cats Information CentreTrapping – The Basics. The Neighborhood Cats guide to some of the best trapping equipment, with suggestions for where to purchase.
  • Download the Neighborhood Cats TNR Handbook . This is the must-have manual for anyone looking after homeless outdoor cats. We include the printed handbook in our workshop materials when you attend our course.

Helping Homeless and Lost Pets

Visit helpinghomlesspets.com. Someone missing a pet can set up a subscription and receive an email when a pet hits the map that meets their search criteria.

Here is a tutorial on how to add a shelter or reduce on the helpinghomelesspets.com website.

Project TNR‘s excellent, concise overview of all the crucial steps in planning and implementing a Trap-Neuter-Return project. Remember! Trapping is the last step in the process.


How can you use it

You can have access to the Recovery Centre once you take our workshop.

Workshops