About Cowichan Cat Rescue
- How We Rescue Cats
- Feral Cats and Kittens
- Cats with Special Needs
- Euthanasia Policy
- Cat FoodBank
- How You Can Donate
Why we rescue homeless cats
Homeless cats living in the wild have short and difficult lives. Over 50% of the kittens die in the first few months, and the adults have an average life expectancy of about 3 years.
Homeless cats suffer from disease, injuries, predators and accidents. Females have litter after litter of kittens and this uncontrolled breeding leads to illness and early death.
Meanwhile the males are fighting for their territory and fighting for the females and as a result they suffer from diseases and infections spread by cat bites and scratches and they, too, die young. Despite the short life expectancies, the numbers of cats in the colonies continues to increase until there is not enough food available and then more cats are lost to starvation.
It has been proven time and time again that a TNR (trap, neuter and return) program not only greatly improves life for the treated cats but also effectively reduces the population of cats in the wild. With the removal of all the breeding behaviours, cats can live without fighting and without the stresses of trying to bear and raise numerous kittens.
Health improves remarkably. With the removal of the kittens and the spaying or neutering of the adults, colony sizes remain stable and then start to reduce, through natural causes. Cats that have been treated through a TNR program have a life expectancy almost equal to that of household pet cats!
How we rescue cats
Cowichan Cat Rescue has wonderful working relationships with the vet clinics in the Valley. We benefit from reduced prices for the services we require and from very positive attitudes toward our work. We have a collection of live traps, which we either use ourselves or lend out to people who are working with us to solve a cat problem on their property or in their neighbourhood.
Cats are trapped, taken to the vet with whom an appointment has been arranged, treated and returned to the point of origin. Help, advice, and a bit of education are always available to anyone who wants to know how to deal with a feral or wild cat problem!
With the help and support of this community we are able to spay or neuter hundreds of cats every year. In 2011 we have had additional funding from PetSmart Charities and from Pepsi Canada, which have added over a hundred cats to our usual totals. We are hoping to do many more in the future!
Feral Cats and Kittens
Kittens under the age of 6 to 7 weeks of age — as young as a few hours old sometimes — when they are found in the wild are placed in foster homes to be raised and socialized. At about 8 weeks of age the kittens are spayed or neutered and vaccinated and adopted out as pets to their ‘forever’ homes. The adoption fee for our kittens just covers our costs associated with raising and ‘fixing’ those kittens.
Cats with Special Needs
Occasionally there are adult cats and older kittens which cannot be returned to their colony or socialized for adoption. We try to place these cats and kittens in farm, barn and warehouse settings, where they can earn their keep through efficient rodent control.
Our Euthanasia Policy
We would like to make our position on this subject very clear. We are opposed to the killing of feral and stray cats by any means. On those rare occasions when euthanasia is necessitated by an illness or injury which can not be effectively treated, then we only employ pre-sedation followed by intravenous barbiturate administered by a veterinarian. We believe this is the most humane option available.
We believe that the best way to deal with feral and stray cats is through the application of a trap, neuter, and return program combined with a readily available low-cost spay and neuter program for low income people, and public education.”