Kitten Street Team Works to Create a Safe Community for Feral Cats
by Danielle Cookish
Dakin’s Kitten Street Team recently celebrated its 1 year anniversary! In that time, it’s trapped and spayed/neutered over 250 feral (wild) cats and kittens.
As important as the Kitten Street Team is to cats and kittens, it’s equally important to the humans who care for feral cats in their community. The program has helped individuals navigate the challenges of caring for cats who live outdoors, making sure their colonies stay safe and healthy, and providing support when someone needs a shoulder to lean on.
Marie cares for a colony of feral cats in her neighborhood. She knows each one individually and loves them all. When she realized that her colony was expanding beyond what she could care for, she reached out to the Kitten Street Team for help.
She was wary at first –afraid our volunteers would show up, judge her for caring for so many outdoor cats and take them away without any regard to the time, love, and attention she had given each one. But after a two hour conversation with our KST volunteers, Marie began to trust that they had her and the cats’ best interest at heart. And that they understood the deep love and commitment she had for each cat and kitten in the colony.
She agreed to let the volunteers take 3 of the male cats to be neutered and then returned to the colony, along with a mom and her and 6 young kittens (to be placed for adoption). She also agreed that the volunteers could come back and take additional kittens who were due to be born soon once they were weaned from their mom. With the help of the Kitten Street Team, her colony became more manageable and she knew the kittens would be well cared for and placed in loving homes.
The work of the Kitten Street Team is vital to the health of feral cats in our community. TNR is a safe and effective way to protect cats from diseases like distemper and rabies, while preventing litters of critically ill, orphaned kittens with no place to go.