Feral cats are not easy to care for. (Contributed)

Pets: Shy cats need homes

Twilight cats are very hard to place.

In the past few months, Katie’s Place has received an unusually high number of calls about cat colonies.

All of the cats need to be trapped, neutered and released.

Many of them are feral – literally wild animals.

The number of feral cat colonies in our city is shocking, and of course there are many we don’t yet know about. They are the result of irresponsible pet owners who either allow their pets to breed indiscriminately, or who abandon their unfixed animals.

Two homeless, unfixed cats can form a colony in no time, and the first generation of kittens can turn feral unless they are caught and socialized within the first couple of months.

Too many people look the other way when they see a homeless cat. It’s not their problem, they don’t have time, they can’t be bothered.

Soon that homeless cat meets another abandoned, unfixed feline and the rest is history.

This is when people usually call for help, and at that point a situation that could have been easily managed has become a huge undertaking.

Special teams of volunteers trap these cats. Traps need to be set and checked regularly to ensure the animals don’t spend too much time in them. Then the cats need to be vetted, housed temporarily while they recover from their surgeries, then placed at a permanent location.

Feral cats are not easy to care for. They are afraid, they are aggressive, they lash out, and they do everything in their power to escape. Sometimes they are so frantic to get away from us, they hurt themselves, and sometimes they hurt us.

Almost every colony has twilight cats, those between being a wild animal and a house pet. They are shy and wary of people. They don’t trust us, but they are also interested in us. Some of them turn into lap cats, and some remain in limbo for their entire lives. They are too tame to release back into the colony after being fixed, and they are not tame enough to fit into most homes.

Twilight cats are very hard to place. They are usually young and cute, but most people want a companion that will interact with them. These delicate felines are too skittish and afraid to fit into the average household. They need quiet, peaceful homes with cat savvy people who know how to deal with twilight cats.

Unfortunately, most of the cats at Katie’s Place need quiet, peaceful homes for various reasons, and there are only so many quiet, peaceful homes out there.

If you see a cat that seems to be homeless, please take the time to alert a rescue. One homeless cat is much easier to handle then 20 wild animals.

Magdalena Romanow is a volunteer at Katie’s Place, an animal shelter in Maple Ridge.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Farmers market returns to downtown Maple Ridge

Next Saturday, July 18 people can shop at the newly reconfigured market in Memorial Peace Park

Ridge Meadows RCMP catch three more impaired drivers overnight

Local Mounties served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

Cocooning pays dividends for local environmental group

A butterfly adoption program helps keep the Alouette River Management Society in Maple Ridge afloat

Maple Ridge redirects $225,000 from RCMP to community safety needs

A new manager and two community safety officers join a team patrolling the city’s downtown streets

Mayors welcome rideshare expansion into Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Most Read