Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pam's TNR Blog - January 2014

It's kitten season! Yes, cats are already pregnant and soon kittens will be everywhere. Indeed, kittens are really cute - but darn it, there are just too many of them. Where to begin? I am trying to prioritize my trapping but everyday there are more calls from desperate caregivers, many who did nothing before they saw mama cat "getting bigger". This photo taken in 2010 illustrates without words what I mean. It is January 24th and I have already 
Cute but too many of us!
TNR'd 152 cats in 2014. I am off to a good start. Have a job for seven cats this coming Sunday night and a 15 cat job on Monday night to round off the month. The latter may turn in to 20+ cats. Often caregivers underestimate the number of cats they are feeding. A 24 cat job I did earlier in the month turned in to 45 cats. 

We had a lot of free clinics in January and all stacked on top of each other. There were two free mobiles and the AHS clinic. The AHS clinic was the day after the second 
Mobile resulting in 201 cats being fixed over a two day period. Mobiles are a lot of work requiring Suzie and I to be there all day. We had 25 cats too many (oops!) and ended up at the N. Phoenix Spay Neuter Clinic with those 25 cats. Dr. Kit did 98 cats at the mobile the previous week making it 299 cats fixed for free. The following photo is of the mobile. Thank you Dr. Kit and staff for the wonderful work you do to help caregivers and cats in need. The Arizona 
Dr. Kit's Mobile

Humane Society has been free monthly clinics for 100 cats for several years now. This is always a big worry for me as I fear either too many or not enough cats. I usually lay awake all night worrying... however, we usually come in with too many so at least all 100 spaces are filled. There were 91 cats fixed there on 9 January...The following photo shows the cats I saw when I arrived at the business about 5:00 PM. 

This cats are ALL fixed now!
This place was trapping nirvana! I worked with the owner and a friend to catch 36 cats in less than an hour and a half. My friend went for more traps and we ended up with 39 cats but there were still more to trap...Three more were trapped for the AHS clinic the following day and three more the next week. Some small kittens went to rescue but all got fixed first. 

Today is 25 January and I drop-trapped the last cat at a place I trapped on 14/15 January. What a great feeling. Perseverance and patience are what is required to finish these big colonies. That makes 29 cats fixed thee in 2014. Twelve were fixed there previously but new ones surfaced or were born because not ALL the cats were fixed. Also, I found the neighbor was also feeding and had been fixing some of the cats but not all - bad idea! So I finished fixing her colony too.

Most of these cats were fixed thanks to the Priscilla Fund (PF) - a fund set up with the Foundation for Homeless Cats (FFHC). The PF helps cats and caregivers in need who are unable to afford to fix the cats they are feeding. For more information visit the: 

If you are feeding free-roaming cats and need information on colony management, the FFHC and Phoenix Feral Friends (PFF) are good sources. The most important thing is to get those cats spayed and neutered before the colony gets as big as the ones I am charged with fixing. It costs a lot more to fix and to feed these large colonies...and many more kittens are born that will not survive.

Stay tuned for my next blog on "Cat Sense", a new book by John Bradshaw I am currently reading. His research supports many of my ideas about cat behavior and reproduction...

f you live in the Phoenix metropolitan area and need help with free-roaming cat spay and neuter call the Spay Neuter Hotline @: 602-265-SPAY


  1. OMG my head is just reeling from all of this. What a wonderful person u are, and all of your wonderful groups in America. Can u please come to Australia and teach our politicians and councils to be more like u guys and like Spartanburg Animal Services. 39 cats in 1.5 hours, my girlfriend and I thought we were clever by trapping 3 adults and the 5 kittens belonging to one of the adults in 2 hours. I am so sick and tired of sneaking around and feeding my colony of homeless cats under the darkness of night, as it is actually illegal to "feed the stray cats" as they so call it over here. Well done for everything u guys do to protect these special babies. Angie.

    1. Thanks for your kind words...We have come a long way in the Phoenix area since 1999 when the first major TNR effort was started here. It has been a long haul! Finally the open-intake shelters are seeing that fixing cats is less expensive than taking them in and euthanizing them. Our local Humane Society has even given us a grant to fix free-roaming cats in the areas where most of the turned-in cats and kittens come from. If one approaches this fro a financial perspective it can work. I'd be happy to come down and talk to anyone about our success. Thank you for reading my blog. I love sharing these stories...working on February's adventures right now.