Hide the Cats!

Posted on January 3, 2015

Learn how to avoid conflicts with neighbors and town officials about your outside cats.

Most conflicts are initiated by neighbor complaints to the police.

Be pro-active!

Make your cats as invisible as possible by acting now and follow these simple guidelines.


TNR Every Cat

Once breeding stops, most nuisance behaviors disappear and your neighbors will have little to complain about. After spaying and neutering:

Cats stay closer to your yard and feeding stations. They are less visible.
No more kittens running all over your neighbors yards and drawing attention.
No more yowling and fighting between males and during breeding.
No more urine marking, and the smell dissipates.

If you have not already completed a Request for Assistance, do so now so that you will be on the waiting list when workshops and TNR efforts start in spring.


Make Your Shelters for the Cats Invisible

porchPlacement: Don’t put the shelters on your front porch or under the bushes in front of your home. Put them somewhere where the neighbors can’t see them or the cats that use them. Place shelters in the back of your property, in a garage or a shed in the back of your property, under your back deck, or on the side of your house.

shelterDisguise: Shelters should have a color that blends into the background or they should look like outdoor storage boxes. Spray paint can be used as camouflage or settle the shelters in bushes or garden foliage.

Keep Warm: For those of us who are concerned about electrical pads or lightbulbs outside in the rain and snow, there are Snuggle Safe gel disks. These can be heated in a microwave and will retain their warmth up to twelve hours.Plants

Use straw for insulation, not blankets or rugs which will inevitably become damp and then freeze. Cloth also will harbor pests such as fleas and make your cats miserable and unhealthy.

Other suggestions for inconspicuous shelters can be found on Alley Cat Allies and Urban Cat League.


Plates and Bowls

It’s pretty simple:

  • One large food dish. Cats can share a plate and take turns eating.
  • One water bowl. Hints to keep water from freezing from Neighborhood Cats.
  • Bowls should be dark in color and heavy enough to stay in place.
  • Never use paper or light weight plastic plates. They blow around in the wind and make your feeding station and the neighbor’s yards look like garbage dumps. See other ideas at Indy Feral.
If you don't want to attract attention from your neighbors, then don't let your feeding station look like a garbage dump.

If you don’t want to attract attention from your neighbors, then don’t let your feeding station look like a garbage dump.

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Feeding Guidelines:

  • Feed your colony once a day.
  • Leave food down on a clean plate for two or three hours only. Cats will learn the new schedule. Alley Cat Allies’ tips.
  • Never feed at night or at dark. Food left down at night will attract the nocturnal animals, skunks, possums, and raccoons.
  • Remember that canned food has water in it which is good for keeping cats hydrated, but it can also freeze quickly in low temperatures.
  • If you are feeding dry food, buy some kitten dry food which is rich in protein and fat, and mix the kitten food with your regular food in the winter.

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