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Community Cats

December, 2014

The Cocke County Cat Project was a success with 205 fixed! So much thanks to our many volunteers! 

Thanks so much to HSUS for sending us 15 more traps for Christmas! You can see more here about feral cats. They also gave us some tips about keeping birds safe around those wily cats. 

Here is the information about protecting birds at feeders. Thanks to The Humane Society of the United States.

Keeping cats inside is the best way to ensure their safety and protect wild animals in the area. But if you're feeding a feral cat colony or your neighbors let their kitties roam—and you also enjoy putting out bird feeders—follow these tips to promote everyone's safety.

· Position feeders at least 12 feet away from grass and shrubs, which can serve as good cat cover. If possible, place the feeders within 15 feet of trees, where birds can hide or flee from avian predators.

· If you can, hang feeders on a wire strung at least 8 feet above the ground, between two trees that are at least 8 feet apart.

· If your feeder is mounted on a pole, install a predator guard (a metal cone with the wide bottom facing down) to keep cats and other animals from climbing up.

· Place circular fences, about 2 feet high and 4 feet in diameter, on the ground directly below feeders to make it difficult for cats and predators to creep up on birds unseen.

· Use high-quality food that birds will be sure to devour, rather than let some of it fall to the ground, where it can attract other types of birds and make them vulnerable. Also install a spill tray to catch seeds.

· Put down sharp-edged gravel beneath feeders—or, under a shallow layer of dirt or mulch, bury small-gauge chicken wire, a plastic carpet runner with the knobby side up, or a deterrent mat such as the Cat Scat brand. Cats don't like walking on these types of irregular surfaces.

· Drive cats away from feeders with CatStop, a motion-activated product that sends out a burst of high-pitched ultrasonic vibrations—inaudible to humans but uncomfortable for cats. Or install a motion-activated sprinkler to soak cats stalking birds at feeders.

· To prevent attracting cats to your yard, store garbage in a container with a lid that locks in place.

· Do not leave food for your cat outdoors, as this can attract additional cats and other predators. If you feed feral cats, make sure they are spayed or neutered, and put food out at a designated time when you are present to monitor for predators. Take the food away when everyone is done eating.

Earlier this year, 168 Community cats (cats that go outside) were fixed by Beat the Heat Alliance in Hawkins County with assistance from PetSmart Charities, Spay Tennessee, and Merrimac Feline Sanctuary (Thank you!). Most of them were trapped, neutered, and returned. 

It was a lot of time consuming work and so rewarding for the cats, caretakers, and volunteers.

We have an opportunity to help community cats in Cocke County. We need your help! We need volunteers to do the following:

1. Trapping in the field and transporting to the building the day before the clinic. Groups of 2 to 3 people for 8 to 10 sessions over a year. May trap for a few days during each session.

2. Cleaning and pulling water the morning of the clinic and drive our van to Young-Williams (if you are over 40 with a good driving record and would be willing to drive the van let me know and we can look into adding you to the van's insurance policy). It would be best to have one person to drive and one to ride along and help load and unload. This will most likely be on Tuesdays (or we'll work around your schedule).

3. Feeding and cleaning the morning after surgery and assessing for ability to release back to colony location. Release back to trapping location and return to building to clean and sanitize traps. 2-3 people needed. This could be every day for the trapping session week.

Watch some videos that explain community cat projects:

Please call Lisa Twark at 423-754-9559 and let her know what you will help with and get your questions answered.

If you can't volunteer, please help with a donation. Our wish list is:

 1. Cat Trapping supplies (food, sheets, tarps, trash bags)

2. Hard Plastic Pet Carriers

3. Newspapers

4. Pee Pads

5. Gas Cards (or monetary donations for gas)

6. Paper Towels and other cleaning supplies

Thanks for helping Beat The Heat reduce the number of homeless dogs and cats by providing prompt spay neuter access, assistance, and education in our northeast Tennessee region.

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