Feral Cat FOCUS Does Not Support Winter TNVR
(Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return) in Western New York
Western New York can experience winter temperatures in the teens and we often have severe winters. During our winter months people cannot safely trap and keep feral and free-roaming cats warm enough to heal properly from spay/neuter surgery. Post-surgery cats need a temperature controlled area (no less than 60 degrees) where they can stay NOT IN TRAPS for at least 10 days after surgery. Garages are not warm enough unless heated, and cats should never be placed on cold cement floors.
Then of course, it is holding the cats in a warm area before surgery and the transporting of cats that have just undergone surgery and are under major stress. These cats are already struggling to stay alive, and now we have put yet one more obstacle in their way. Feral Cat FOCUS feels that spaying or neutering WNY cats in the winter is cruel.
Think of it this way: Let’s put you through surgery, then put you out in the freezing cold, and have you forge through a foot or more of snow, with a shaved tummy. Then we will have you seek out your food source in a snow storm. Get the picture?
We know that Alley Cat Allies supports winter TNVR but their winters in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. areas are not WNY winters with freezing or below temps and several feet of snow.
What Feral Cat FOCUS hopes to encourage for WNY is:
1) Feed feral/free-roaming cats a lot in the winter, allowing for fat to build up in their bodies (WINTER WEATHER TIPS)
2) Build or purchase shelters (WINTER SHELTER TIPS). Feral Cat FOCUS made close to 90 shelters this year and distributed them all over WNY.
In the spring we kick into high gear and start spaying/neutering feral/free-roaming cats. Yes, some litters might get away from us, but what do we do? Sacrifice the health of the female to save any kittens that might be born and hopefully survive the winter?
Feral Cat FOCUS believes that fall is the best time to do major trapping for TNVR. The biggest reproduction time is over, moms with kittens are at a lower rate, less pregnant cats to spay. The spring and summer litters can be altered before mating in spring.
Let’s all have a good safe winter, and help our free-roaming cats do the same.