The independent trappers and keepers who run the Kitten and cat adoption fair work to tackle California’s dire cat overpopulation problem.
San Mateo County’s cat rescuers capture stray cats; Castration, microchip, deworming and vaccination. These trappers and foster parents stick to their motto “trap, castration and return” to take care of stray cats. With the rescues, they hold weekly adoption fairs at the San Mateo Pet Club.
The trappers follow the “trap, neuter, return” procedure to get one Vacuum effect. If rescuers remove too many cats, the area’s rodent population will increase, meaning more strays will move into that area to prey on them.
“If you remove all of the cats, more cats will come. But if you bring the neutered cats back there, they’ll protect the area from new cats, ”said volunteer and trapper Kay Jackson. *
After play fights during the fair, two kittens cuddle with each other in their polyglass cage.
The rescuers willingly take in the strays they find and bring them back when they are healthy. All social stray cats are kept by volunteers, while feral cats must be returned to their original location.
“A cat is feral if it is utterly afraid of people and has never been touched by them,” said Jackson.
Feral cats are still being spayed or neutered before they are returned to prevent stray cat population growth.
Cats with wild mothers are more likely to be antisocial. Kittens will copy their mother’s habits. So, if the mother is afraid of people, then her kitten will have wild tendencies. However, kittens can get used to this by learning healthy social habits from other friendly cats.
“We have a kitten named Chucky who is not very people-friendly, but I will be grooming with three other young kittens. You will teach him to be a social cat, ”said Renate Sullivan *, another cat rescuer.
Urvi Kulkarni and Aimee Teyssier
During the holidays, especially Christmas and Hanukkah, more and more people are interested in adoption. Some adopt cats as gifts, others do it because they feel charitable. This increased interest leads to higher adoption and sponsorship rates during the holidays. Another period when adoption rates rose was during quarantine.
“During COVID, people were working at home and wanted a quarantine buddy, so they adopted and cared for more cats,” said foster parent and trapper Su Smith. *
Due to the increased adoption rates during the holidays and the pandemic, rescuers have stepped up the adoption and care process. They needed to verify that each parent’s intentions were for the benefit of the cat.
Before adoption or foster care, families undergo a careful screening process to ensure their home is safe to house cats. Screening includes conducting home visits and adoption agreements.
The adoption app includes questions about declawing, keeping your cat indoors, moving, and safe furniture. On home visits now being conducted through Zoom due to the pandemic, screeners are looking for loose door bars, windows, and poisonous plants.
“Sometimes we have foster parents who are too attached to the kittens and don’t want to give them back. Some people are failed foster parents, but that’s fine. We can lose the foster families, but at least we get two or three kittens adopted by them, ”Jackson said.
Thanks to their screening process, the volunteers had no problem with mistreating the cats. San Mateo County’s cat rescuers request that any issues that would result in their keepers being unable to care for the cats be reported immediately.
“Despite the procedures in place, the adoption and foster care process is still a leap of faith for us,” said Smith.
* These names have been changed to maintain source anonymity in accordance with Carlmont Media’s Anonymous Procurement Policy.