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From feral to barn cat: Raymore Animal Control's program is working

Post Date:02/21/2018 10:20 AM

Last fall, we told you about Raymore Animal Control’s Feral Cat Program. With a spike in the number of feral cat colonies popping up in the City last year, action needed to be taken to reduce the number oftinkerbell-sidebar feral cats in Raymore without resorting to euthanasia. Click here for the full story.

A different TNR program

Trap-neuter-return programs are popular in other cities, but Raymore Animal Control has a trap-neuter-relocate program where feral cats are sterilized and vaccinated before being relocated to rural areas as barn cats.

"This has proven to be extremely successful and is simply the most progressive action to curb the feral cat population in our City," Animal Control Officer Jamie Hasenyager said. "Although trap-neuter-return programs have been very successful in other cities to reduce feral cat populations over time, Raymore does not currently have an ordinance allowing the return of an unowned, loose cat to the place it was taken from."

So far, we have had the resources to take these ferals and relocate them to rural areas to live their lives as barn cats, controlling rodent populations in outbuildings. In 2017, we successfully removed more than 70 feral cats from the dangers of living in the streets and sewers and gave each of them a new lease on life as a barn cat.

It’s not as easy as just dropping the cat off at the barn- or greenhouse, shop, warehouse, etc. There are some important steps that need to be followed in order for the feral cat to accept the barn as its home.

There is a two- to three-week transition period for the cat to acclimate to its new home. For the safety of the cats so they don’t run away and become open to dangers such as predators and vehicle traffic, the cat will need to be contained with a litter box during this time and its caretaker will need to be prepared for things to be messy.

A caretaker needs to provide adequate shelter year-round from varying weather conditions and predators, as well as provide water and food on a daily basis. Cats cannot live on mousing alone, but you can bet they’ll do an amazing job of keeping your outbuilding rodent-free once they know they have a safe place to call home.

If you would like to adopt a barn cat, fill out an online application here.

Don’t have an outbuilding but want to help the cause?

  1. Most importantly, spay and neuter your cats!

  2. Keep an ID tag on your cat at all times. YES, EVEN IF THEY NEVER GO OUTSIDE. If they accidentally slip out the door into unfamiliar territory, chances are slim they’ll be found and returned to you without proper identification.

  3. Make sure you’re ready to commit for the life of the cat when you adopt/take in a cat. Kittens are not kittens forever. Remember that you are their whole life and the commitment can be anywhere from a few years up to 20!

  4. Sponsor a feral cat. It takes time and money to trap, vaccinate, sterilize and find homes for these cats. Just $30 will pay for the rabies vaccination and sterilization of a barn cat. Make a secure donation on our website here.

Contact the Raymore Animal Shelter at 816-331-0530 or raymoreanimalcontrol@raymore.com with any questions.

Follow the Raymore Animal Shelter on Facebook for information on barn cats available for adoption and lost and found pet information.