Free-Roaming Community Cats
About STRAY and FERAL CATS
Stray and feral cats that are brought to area public shelters are typically unable to be adopted due to their lack of socialization and most often, their outcome is euthanasia. In fact, less than 2% of cats brought into shelters are ever reclaimed by an owner and the overwhelming majority of these cats are put to death in some shelters. Simply trapping and removing feral cats from an area has proven ineffective towards eliminating cats in an area, as new cats move into the vacated area, or one or two are missed with trapping and continue to reproduce and repopulate. The effective and humane alternative to trapping and euthanizing feral cats is trapping, neutering, vaccinating and returning the cat back to its area, or TNVR. To learn more about feral cats and feral cat management, click here.
With the exception of special circumstances, we are unable to accept healthy, adult stray cats for admission and re-homing through our adoption program at Burlington Animal Services. Instead, we offer the Mighty Mouser's TNVR Program as an alternative for the community. This ensures no cats are needlessly killed due in our shelter. Additionally, we offer free cat deterrent devices and education about how to use them and other techniques to deter unwanted cats from your property to assist residents with keeping cats from areas they are not welcome.
EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS for nuisance cat issues
If you have stray/ feral cats in your neighborhood, our Mighty Mousers program can help!
Yowling/Fighting/Spraying? Spaying and Neutering eliminate these behaviors. Stray cats that are brought into BAS are held 3 days ( per NC law to give an owner time to reclaim, if the cat is a missing pet) then examined, vaccinated and if not reclaimed by an owner will be spayed or neutered and ear-tipped before being adopted as a Mighty Mouser! You may adopt stray cats that you have found and brought into the shelter.
Paw prints on cars/ Using the garden as a litter box? Entering your property unwelcome? Humane Deterrents and spay/neuter eliminate these behaviors. Contact us about free solar deterrents for your yard. Our staff will show you how to use it and share information with you about additional humane techniques to deter unwanted cats from your property. It is highly effective at keeping cats (and other small animals) away from where they should not be. Follow this link for information on other types of deterrents and solutions to almost any nuisance cat issue.
MIGHTY MOUSER/COMMUNITY CAT FAQ'S:
- What do I need to do to care for the cats? Provide them with shelter, food, water and long term veterinary care as needed. Cats will need to be kept current on their Rabies vaccine, in accordance with NC Rabies laws.
- How long should I keep my new barn cat confined? We recommend enclosed confinement for the first couple of weeks to help your cat learn that the particular area is not only its new home but also its source for food, water and shelter. This can be a room in your barn, shed or in a large crate outfitted with a hiding place (a small travel crate works well for this).
- Is it better to adopt one or multiple barn cats? Cats are social animals, and feral cats generally feel more comfortable among other cats. We strongly recommend that you adopt more than one. The $10 adoption fee is the same whether you adopt one or two!
- I already have cats living on my property. What’s the difference? Unsterilized free‑roaming cats are primary contributors to the seasonal increase in cat reproduction that results in the flood of cats and kittens into shelters. Spaying or neutering those cats can help reduce the number entering the overburdened shelter. Adopting spayed/neutered barn cats will not only drastically reduce the number of unwanted litters in our community, but will also eliminate nuisance behaviors such as spraying and their urge to roam or fight with other cats as well as the spread of diseases.
- Will the cats eat birds and other wildlife on my property? Studies show that the overwhelming cause of wildlife depletion is destruction of natural habitat due to man made structures, chemical pollution, pesticides and drought — not feral cats. However, cats are opportunistic feeders. Providing them with a steady food source will reduce the effect they have on traditional prey. The benefit of having a Mighty Mouser on your farm is that not only do they help control small rodents such as mice, moles and other vermin that can contaminate livestock feed, they help deter snakes. Without a food source of mice or moles, snakes are less likely to hang around. Additionally, there are no poisons for children and pets to get into and no need to set nasty traps.
Adopting a MIGHTY MOUSER
The outcome for most feral cats that end up in shelters is grim. Feral cats are particularly at risk due to their unsocial behavior towards people which makes them unsuitable for indoor living as a house pet. However, these kitties thrive in outdoor homes as barn or community cats and fulfill an important job of helping to keep rodents away. Through the Mighty Mousers program at BAS, we offer barn cats for adoption and assist citizens with providing lifesaving outcomes for stray cats and feral cats already present in their neighborhoods. Cats are vaccinated, spayed or neutered and ear-tipped (to indicate they have been sterilized).
The cats are all are accustomed to independent living. Some kitties may eventually become friendly and others may remain feral. After an initial adjustment period in their new homes, most will stay in place.