Do you feed stray cats on your property?
If you are feeding outdoor cats, did you know that you can help them even more?
You can help improve their life!
Homeless outdoor cats need to be neutered.
Neutered cats make better neighbors – less howling, fighting, and no more litters of kittens!
We will also make sure they get shots and are healthy.
We need your help to humanely decrease the stray cat population in Hightstown by preventing cats from having more kittens.
We’ve neutered 400 homeless cats so far; if the cat has a tipped ear, it means it is neutered.
Also, bring in the food after the cat has eaten; otherwise, you will attract raccoons and other animals.
Do you have unwanted feline visitors on your property?
Suggested Methods for Discouraging Cats from Your Property
If the cat does not live in your yard, but is a frequent visitor, the following list provides suggestions for deterring the animal. Please keep in mind that cats in your yard could possibly be someone’s pet.
Remove Food: Feral cats will stay in any area where food is plentiful. Avoid feeding your own pets outdoors and cover trash scraps securely to keep from giving unwelcome cats an easy meal.
Close Shelter: All wild animals need a place to sleep and to raise their young. Board up holes in old sheds or garages, under decks or porches, and in woodpiles or window wells to avoid providing this shelter to feral cats. If you don’t provide hiding places, cats will move on. Remember to check your garage and utility sheds for cats regularly. Feral cats can easily slip into a structure unnoticed as you go in or out.
Make Life Uncomfortable: Cats are well known for their love of relaxation, and making a yard uncomfortable can discourage feral visitors. Fill flower beds and areas where cats lounge with sharp pebbles, eggshell shards or a layer of chicken wire so the ground will be uncomfortable.
Remove Temptations: Unaltered males will be attracted to any female cats in heat. Pet owners who spay their female cats are less likely to attract feral males.
Use Repellants: Cats have very keen senses of small and taste, and commercial repellants are available to discourage unwanted cats. Natural repellents to sprinkle on flowerbeds or gardens include citrus-based sprays, moth balls, ammonia soaked rags, ground mustard, cayenne pepper. These need to be reapplied after every rainfall, dew and/or watering. Never use poisons. They are inhumane and illegal.
Scare the Cats: Old-fashioned scare tactics can discourage cats from visiting a yard regularly. Ultrasonic sirens, motion-activated sprinklers and motion-activated lights can all be useful. If cats are jumping on a fence in one area, a sensitive bell or can of beans or marbles that will fall when the cats jump can be effective to scare them.
There are certain techniques that should never be used against feral cats, however:
- Inhumane Traps or traps left unattended! (see trapping protocols below)
- Aggressive Dogs
These techniques are difficult to control, and using them against feral cats can violate local laws. Furthermore, because these methods are unpredictable, using them can have negative consequences against unintentional targets such as neighbors’ outdoor pets.
A few words about Kittens
Breeding season for cats can start as early as February and run through December depending on the weather. It is requested that residents do not disturb any kittens that are located on their property. It is quite common for the mother cat to leave the kittens for several hours, therefore appearing to abandoned the kittens. At such a young age, it is imperative that the kittens stay with their mom in order to receive the antibodies and nutrition that they can only receive from their mothers milk. If it is evident that the mother has been killed, and the kittens are in fact orphans or abandoned, please contact the Hightstown AWC for advice on how to care for the kittens.
Help is Available
Help the AWC control the number of feral/roaming cats in Hightstown. If you have cats living in or visiting your yard Another option you have as a is to email the Hightstown Animal Welfare Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our non-profit volunteer organization works to humanely control the growth of the feral cat population in Hightstown. We offer services to trap the cats and have them spayed or neutered, vaccinated and then returned. Over time you will see the number of feral cats decline as they are no longer able to reproduce.
Important Facts about Trapping!
Humane Trapping Protocols from NJ SPCA:
New Jersey statutes prohibit the trapping and abandonment of cats and dogs.
Humane trapping protocols (as outlined by NJ SPCA) include:
- Frequent (once an hour) checking of set traps
- Traps must not be left unattended or overnight
- Traps must not be set during extreme heat or cold or during inclement weather such as rain or snow
- Trapped animals must be provided with water and shelter
- Trapped animals may not be transported in the trunk of a car
- Traps may not be set on private property without the owner’s permission
- Traps may not be set on public property, such as an apartment complex or parking lot, without the consent of the property manager
This is the AWC’s letter to caregivers of stray cats that we have assisted with neutering.
Dear Feline Caregiver:
On behalf of the Hightstown Animal Welfare Committee, thank you for helping to improve the life of a homeless animal, helping to reduce the number of homeless animals in our communities through responsible spay/neuter efforts, and reducing the potential nuisance effects of unneutered felines (spraying, fighting, etc.).
The cat(s)/kitten(s) will be returned to the area in which they were trapped and we understand you will continue to feed and care for these strays.
In order to assist in the care of these animals the AWC is providing a few recommendations below:
- Never leave food out for long periods of time as this will invite unwanted wildlife to your yard (raccoons, opossum, etc.). We recommend feeding in the morning and removing uneaten food promptly. Do not leave food out overnight! Keep the feeding area and dishes clean.
- Feed away from the presence of people (toward the back rather than the front of the property).
- Feed only dry or wet cat food, not table scraps as there are many foods that harm cats (e.g., onions, garlic can cause anemia; poultry bones are brittle and can get lodged in the intestines).
- The cat(s)/kitten(s) have been vaccinated with distemper and rabies vaccines. The rabies vaccine is good for 1 year. Free rabies immunizations are offered annually by Hightstown Borough in the late fall. Most free rabies clinics throughout the state offer free vaccination regardless of residency status. Local free rabies clinics are advertised on the Borough website: http://www.hightstownborough.com/
- Caretakers are strongly encouraged to maintain up-to-date rabies vaccinations for all cats to help reduce the risk of disease exposures to pets, caretakers and community members.
- Always use care when interacting with the cat/kitten. The AWC discourages touching or petting free-roaming cats and reminds you – If you are scratched or bitten immediately wash the area thoroughly with warm water and soap and consult with your physician. If you are bitten or scratched, State laws require that you report the incident to the Health Department at 609-936-8400
- If the cat is injured or looks ill please contact the AWC or your local veterinarian.
If you have questions or concerns please contact the AWC at: email@example.com or call the current contact numbers listed on the Hightstown borough homepage under “committees”, “AWC”.