It is very common for conflicts to stem from issues between neighbors or people living in the same area as a feral cat colony. Luckily, these differences are the easiest to prevent and resolve, when dealt with quickly and in a calm and helpful manner.
You may find yourself facing potential conflicts with neighbors or other local stakeholders. Remember to remain calm and constructive in all of your dealings. You will give neighbors confidence that you know what you are doing and care about their interests. Communicate with your neighbors in a friendly and educational way. You may need to work with them to find resolution to issues or concerns. You may be facing threats to the cats in your colony that requires a more aggressive response or even campaigning. Try to resolve problems immediately and don’t wait until problems only get worse.
As you perform Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return or colony care (or even if you simply care about the welfare of your neighborhood cats) educating your neighbors and community members about the cats will begin a dialogue with them. Neighbors will know who “speaks for the cats” if a problem arises—and won’t call animal control. You will build goodwill toward your work and your cause.
Feral Cat FOCUS sits on committees with animal welfare groups and municipalities and is in good standing with community leaders. We are available to help you work with the community. However, it is still a good idea for you to “get educated” in order to help the cats and avoid problems in your own neighborhood.
Visit Alley Cat Allies Community Resource Center to help you:
- Educate Your Neighbors (information and resources for how to talk to your neighbors about feral cats, Trap-Neuter-Return, and what you do on behalf of cats)
- Preventative Measures and Easy Fixes (guides and tricks to preemptively avoid any potential conflicts or easily allay neighbor concerns)
- Troubleshoot with Community Members (tools and examples for resolving issues and bringing about a peaceful outcome for both the people and cats)
- Campaign on Behalf of Cats (tips on organizing to effect change at the community level)