Part of Ireland's TNR Manual
How to Help Community Cats
Adapted for Ireland from Alley Cat Allies.
People who look after community cat colonies are called Caregivers. They provide food and water regularly and sometimes create shelters, depending on the environment and if extreme winters or summers require additional protection for the cats. The caregivers provide something else that is critical - they give the cats a voice by educating neighbours and people who work in or near the colony’s territory. Education and in some cases, mediation, is an essential aspect of Trap Neuter Return (TNR) and colony care.
To provide basic care for feral cats you'll need to:
Feral cats live in all parts of the country, in about every kind of habitat. They find shelter and a food source because they are opportunists. Feeding and providing shelter for feral cats allows them to peacefully co-habitate in an area. While some people welcome them for rodent control, providing nutritious food keeps them from roaming in search of a food source and makes them less susceptible to disease and parasites.
Caring for a feral cat colony has tremendous benefits to caregivers, neighbours and the cats. Though cats have been living outdoors for over 10,000 years on their own, there are steps that you as a caregiver can take to promote their well-being, make them good neighbours and assist the people who live nearby in understanding and co-existing with the cats.
Consider sharing the following tips with other people you know who are caring for feral cats so that they too can be informed and supported. They may not be aware of all the resources that exist. Read our Trap Neuter Return Guide.
Basic care for feral cats involves the following:
1) Conducting ongoing Trap Neuter Return as needed
2) Providing food and water
3) Providing shelter
4) Monitoring members of the colony and provide ongoing health care
5) Helping cats and people co-exist – what you can do
6) Planning for back-up colony care