The Colony Chronicles
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Forgotten Felines of Forsyth loves to hear from our supporters! We have received several letters and items from people who have received assistance with feral cat TNR from FFF. We always enjoy hearing about how our organization makes a positive difference for the cats in our area!
In June, we received a letter, photo, and donation from Sammy, a cat with a family connection to FFF. Sammy's "Aunt" Ellen volunteers to help the cats of FFF. Below is Sammy's photo.
In June, FFF also received a letter and
donation to celebrate Brenda Flanner of Winston-Salem, "and her many feral cat
rescues and a few dogs too", from J. Chadwell of Winston-Salem.
And last but not least, FFF received a copy of
the beautiful cat drawing below by Tonya Canipe, who wrote,
Colony caretakers who provide food and water for their cats year-round may be providing a free meal (or two, or three . . .) for uninvited guests as well. Raccoons, skunks, foxes, opossums, and rats, just to name a few, may visit your feeding stations for an easy meal. A steady supply of free food can set the stage for a population increase among the wild creatures.
There are several options to reduce the chances that your cats have to compete with wild animals.
One suggestion from the bestfriends.org network is to feed in the mornings. Not only will it reduce your "wild animal soup kitchen," it may help keep your cats safer from nocturnal predators.
Another great idea is to build a raccoon-proof feeding station. Most cats are great jumpers, but raccoons, opossums, and skunks are not. An "apron" around the bottom of the station will prevent raccoons from climbing to the station. Photos in this article are courtesy of Katelin Welles, Master Wildlife Rehabilitator/Professional Photographer. Some of the dimensions and ideas for the raccoon-proof feeding stations are also courtesy of her website, http://www.thewildones.net/raccoons.htm.
A suggested size for the station is roughly two feet square, with two covered sides and a top to protect the cats and food from the elements. The station may be mounted on a 4x4" treated post approximately 40" off the ground. Metal mounting brackets for 4x4" posts are available at most home improvement stores, to attach the station to the top of the post.
If your feeding station is on your property, you could mount your post in the ground with concrete. However, if you may need to move the station in the future, David, a blog author for the BestFriends network, suggests using a metal base with a two foot spike welded to a metal bracket that clamps to the bottom of the 4x4" post for setting the post in the ground. David found the black metal post mounting bracket and green spike for the base at the Home Depot. This type of base would allow the station to be moved if needed, while maintaining stability. Metal flashing can be bought in rolls at home improvement stores and attached to bottom of the station to make the apron with nails.
A second platform can be placed nearby (approximately 2 feet away) to assist smaller or less-agile cats to gain access to the station - for example a feral cat house or covered water station.
If you feed a colony on your property, yet another option to deter wildlife from your colony's food, suggested by FFF volunteer Judy, is a motion-activated sprinkler - a product that you can purchase online. Judy shares that the product can be set it up at different levels so it will only target certain size animals -- MPP uses it to scare coyotes and raccoons away from feeding stations they have set up to attract a missing animal so they must be able to aim it high enough to miss a cat. One company that produces this product is Contech Interprises, Inc. Here is a link to their "ScareCrow" deterrent: http://www.contech-inc.com/products/scarecrow/. And here is a YouTube video of the sprinkler in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5D3GKlTkpY&feature=related.
If you have ideas about how to deter wild animals from sharing your colony's food, please let us know!
FFF Wish List
If you have any of the following items and would like to clear out some room in your home or just want to donate the items to a good cause, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call our phoneline (336-602-2887) and leave a message to arrange for the donation.
style" tables 5 or 6 feet
Donations to FFF are tax-deductible.
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