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Island cats

Posts: 95
Trusted Member
Topic starter

I just attended the homeowners ass'n meeting for Bluebeard's Beach Club timeshare owners and we were told of a "Cat Cafe" at the resort to help in the control of the stray cat population there. It seems they've set up a feeding station to humanely trap the strays. They will spay/neuter about 12 or so and leave them on the premises to be residential pets, so to speak. No one could answer the question about what would be done with the others that are caught. Perhaps I don't really want an answer to this question, but I'm asking anyhow.

Apparently this enitre set-up, a pilot program in the USVIs, was provided by the Humane Society. I know that several of you are actively involved with the Humane Society and might be able provide some more information about this program.

Does this mean I should no longer be buying Purina Cat Chow while down there to feed these critters each night? I know that a lot of us do feed them.


Posted : October 25, 2006 1:33 am
Posts: 532
Honorable Member

we did that on stx with a feral cat population in C'sted - all were tested for feline leukaemia (sic) etc - those that tested positive were humanely euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.
Those that returned will live out their days until the colony is no more BUT there will not be a mess of kittens every year! An excellent program.

Posted : October 25, 2006 2:29 am
Posts: 983
Prominent Member

I added a call out to STT Res, as she is active in the Humane Society.
I don't know what their successful adoption rate is for cats, so I will not speculate regarding what will happen to the kitties that are "trapped".
But if they intend to test for FLCV that can only be good.

Posted : October 25, 2006 1:12 pm
Posts: 95
Trusted Member
Topic starter

Thanks, Onika!

I'm pleased that they are addressing the situation of feral cats, and I also know the difficulty in finding homes for them. It's no easier finding homes for strays in New York, either. (Unless they live in my neighborhood and find the big "SUCKER" sign that must certainly be painted on my house.) I know the problem is widespread on St. Thomas and helping curb the spread of disease throughout the cat population can only be a good thing.


Posted : October 25, 2006 8:10 pm
Posts: 859
Prominent Member

Although I'm not familiar with the particular program going into effect at Bluebeard's Beach Club, of course I absolutely commend any such spay/neuter/release program. I've done exactly the same thing, privately, right here in my own 'hood over the years and the results have been dramatic.

Nine years ago the 'hood was inundated with cats and kittens and kittens having kittens, sickness being passed on from generation to generation (and those generations are very fast-moving!) etc. Now, although I've spayed/neutered dozens over the years I basically have five fat and sleek outside cats who've been with me for a few years. Still "outsiders" pop up (Gerie, you're not the only one with that outside invisible sign saying, "SUCKER LIVES HERE!") and thus the cycle continues but is broken as quickly as possible. Thank goodness for my generous patrons who contribute to the cost of feeding, spaying and neutering and local vets who give me a break.

I'm not the only individual on the island who does this - there are many more such as I.

One thing I DO have a problem with is regular visitors who stay in condos and come down every year hoping to see "their" kittie again and feed them. I would rather see them spend their time and money contributing to trapping those animals and getting them tested, spayed, neutered and released back into their home environment. Anybody trapping ferals and then releasing them fixed should definitely ensure that the veterinarian "notches" the ear of particularly any female. It's not difficult to determine the sex of an altered male but impossible to determine outwardly that a female has been spayed. Gerie, you might want to bring this up where the Bluebeard's program is concerned if it hasn't already been thought about.

And, yes, the majority of trapped felines will be euthanized when taken to the shelter. It's a fact of life (and death) which many find abhorrent and most don't want to think about. There are many people nor just here but all over the mainland who think they're doing an animal a favour by feeding and sheltering it but as long as that animal remains unspayed and un-neutered they are only being kept healthy to further reproduce to the max.

EVERY animal which leaves the STT shelter now MUST be spayed or neutered before the animal is given up to the new owners and when that resolution was finally adopted it came not too soon.

The standard age for spay/neuter was six months for decades, so kittens and puppies used to be given to adopters who would have to sign a form promising to have their animals fixed when that time came. Many didn't do it and the shelter personnel had to utilize precious employee and volunteer time checking up on those people whose spay/neuter forms never showed back up at the shelter (from the veterinarians) after the designated time had passed. But also for decades the American Humane Association had been following early spay/neuter programs on animals as young as six weeks of age and had concluded through diligent research that such animals suffered no developmental or medical problems resulting from it.

I know some who say, "But we ALWAYS find homes for the babies!" Sure, but are the new owners going to have their new "pets" spayed and neutered? Of course not. And so the cycle continues on.

OK, my rant for the day has been over-extended by several paragraphs but that's what you get when you raise a subject so close to my heart. Cheers!

Posted : October 25, 2006 10:34 pm
Posts: 2
New Member

Another perspective. We were being overrun with ferral cats, living sort of near one of the dumpsters, where some neighbors go and put out food for the cats (and rats). When they began spending time on the neighbor's roof, that was the final straw. We've been using a trap from our shelter, in our yard, and so far have caught about 25-in 4 months--only one of whom had a notched ear, and got let loose. We have no wish to eradicate all the cats, (who needs rats?) and are still looking for the mama who had the kittens at our house (who we protected and fed till they were old enough to be taken away and adopted out by the shelter) and have a certificate sitting at our house to get her fixed the day we catch her, if she's still alive, as she was a sweet cat, but it was so out of control. We used to feel bad about leaving them at the shelter, but no more. We give them a small donation each time, but even so, it's gotten expensive for us both, but we felt we had to do something. Imagine if only half were female, and each had a litter of 5!

Posted : October 26, 2006 10:10 am
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