Mews & Views

Mews & Views -- A blog for cat lovers everywhere with a focus on the low-income pet cats of northern and central New Mexico.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Expanding our spay/neuter umbrella to include managed feral cat colonies.

For the last five years our free spay/neuter assistance has focused exclusively on lower-income individual and family pet cats.  And this is with good reason.  Pet cats in this demographic rarely come from shelters that fix the cats before placing them – the adoption fees are prohibitive.  So instead they get their cats the “old-fashioned” way – finding strays on the street or taking kittens from litters of other low-income homes with unfixed cats.  

And – just as they can’t afford an adoption fee, they can’t afford to fix the cats even at a low-cost spay/neuter clinic.  So they wait to save the money – or if they have a mix of cats – fix only the females (or males) and before they know it their cats get pregnant or start spraying and they can no longer tolerate living with them.  When this happens the cat(s) are abandoned outdoors (where they join feral cat colonies and continue reproducing) or are given to animal control shelters (where they are often put down for lack of immediate homes).    Empowering low-income caregivers to fix their cats quickly (by providing free and local spay/neuter) prevents these tragedies from happening – and makes a significant dent in the number of kittens born each year. 

Yet what about the cats that are already abandoned and living in outdoor colonies – shouldn't they be fixed too?  Yes.  And now we've established a separate ManagedTNR (trap-neuter-return) Program to address the special needs of fixing these outdoor cats.    Unlike our low-income voucher program that works directly with pet cat guardians, the TNR program seeks other non-profit groups working in our 10-county area* that can coordinate the live-trapping and transporting of feral cats to vet clinics for surgery.  The program is simple to use and we’ve posted all of the information including registration forms to our web site: 

For a practical guide on feral cat care, read our handbook:  Managing a Feral Cat Colony.    It gives you everything you need to know to care for outdoor cats.

*New Mexico counties of Bernalillo, Catron, Colfax, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Socorro, Taos, Torrance, and Valencia.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Finding A Lost Cat Is Easier Than You Think

A few years ago we published a paper on Finding Your Lost Cat and a couple times a year we get great feedback on how effective the tips are – from people who lost their cats and used the information to find them.  We wanted to share some feedback we got from a man in California today:
I want to thank you for publishing this wonderful page which exactly predicted the behavior of our lost cat and led us right to her.

Not only is she an indoor cat, this is not even her home as she is just staying with us while our son and his wife are on vacation. By the time we realized that she had sneaked out, several hours had elapsed and we thought she could be a considerable distance away — perhaps trying to find her way home as the stories claim.

Only around dusk did I find your page and read that she was most likely much closer than we thought. We searched the garden again with a flashlight, this time looking under plants rather than expecting to see her “exploring”. After a while we got close enough to her hiding place to hear her plaintive replies to our calling her name, just as you had predicted.

Before we read this page we thought that she was probably miles away and we would never see her again.

So many people think that when cats get outdoors they run away as fast as they can – or get hit by cars or attacked by dogs or taken by well-meaning people who see the cat outdoors and assumed she’s been abandoned.    

In reality cats are home-bodies.  They get out by mistake or design and don’t go anywhere at all – they hide under the first bush they find and stay there while they figure out how to get home.  If you follow the Lost Cat Tips you stand a much better chance of getting your cat back and that will make your cat as happy as can be.  Because once she gets outside she realizes the green grass she saw from the living room window was really only Astro Turf!