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  • Writer's pictureKathy Gabrielescu

The 3 Breeds of Cat Feeders... One is Dangerous!

After nearly 30 years of involvement in animal welfare I have trapped in every kind of place and talked to every type of person you could imagine. My biggest discovery to share?

There are 3 types of cats feeders. Let's start with the two "non-venomous" varieties.

 

1. The feeders we never hear from.

Noir's feeder Maria is not on Facebook but found our instructions online and fixed every cat outside her house. She generously donates towards vouchers for people less fortunate.


They started feeding, went online, fixed their cats and we never heard a word on social media or via email. They are awesome, graduated to "caretaker status," and are one of the groups we need to protect.

 

2. The feeders who need help... but work tirelessly to become caretakers.

Star Feral Fixer Alicia never rests! With traps and vouchers, she's unstoppable.


These feeders need education or perhaps financial assistance... but once empowered, watch out! They will work tirelessly to become caretakers and always do the right thing for the cats they love. This is who we want to help! You can read about some of them here in our "Under the Drop Trap" Series.

  • Nobody knows it all on day one.

  • Not everyone is financially able to TNR every cat in their neighborhood.

This is especially true as towns have fallen asleep at the wheel, allowing the third and dangerous type of feeder to emerge.
 

Keep reading and get to know Feeder Number Three...

3. Free-roaming, trespassing, uncommitted feeders.

These feeders feed cats.... sometimes on their property, but sometimes while trespassing near or on yours!

  • They feel no responsibility for fixing the cats.

  • They feel they do enough by putting cat food out.

  • Some are simply not willing to be inconvenienced by having to TNR. They want it done for them or not at all.

This breed of feeder creates multiple problems for anyone else feeding cats and in the process, endangers the lives of cats.

By feeding but not fixing the cats they feed, this type of feeder causes the numbers of cats to grow out of control. These feeders grow sick colonies in filthy living conditions. Regardless of the area, this is not something that is ever well- tolerated.

It creates a perception that all cat feeders are entitled, problem-causing lunatics and directs angry attention toward innocent animals from people in the area who have had enough.

When groups push for towns to just "allow" TNR or "provide a TNR program," it does NOT address this group. The huge, sickly colony that everyone knew about didn't get TNRd even after the program was introduced because the person who grew it refused to take responsibility. Thanks to the behaviors of Feeder Number 3, all of the efforts made to introduce TNR as a solution to outdoor cat populations can quickly be declared a failure by opposition, with the possibility of frustrated administrations introducing feeding bans.


How do we address this type of feeder who puts cats, TNR programs, and caretakers in danger? Enforcement.

It's that simple.

We want well meaning care takers to have the right to TNR, provide adequate food, water and shelter and keep the cats vetted and the area clean.

As much as we want the first two breeds of caretakers, we need to demand that the third group of free-roaming hobby feeders not be allowed to sabotage the work of caretakers and jeopardize the lives of cats.

Part of protecting feral cats and controlling the population humanely has to be working with the system to prevent what is a horrible, insidious form of animal cruelty: In many cases, feeding without TNR is far crueler than removing the cats and euthanizing. Too many are born to live difficult lives and die slow painful deaths at the hands of "well meaning" people who refuse to be responsible.

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