The “R” Group

A Case of Cat Hoarding

April 23, 2024

VTTR

Location

Nicholasville, KY

Service

Trapping Hoarded Feral Cats

Partner

Focus Veterinary Care

Diagnosis

-

A local landlord contacted VTTR asking for assistance in trapping, neutering/spaying, and rehoming a colony of cats that were occupying one of their rentals. After contacting a local overwhelmed shelter, they were informed that traps would be lent to the landlords and they could bring them into the shelter, but if feral, they would immediately be euthanized.

The renter had vacated, leaving the cats in deplorable conditions with no food or water. The cats were indeed feral and would need to be trapped. They believed there to be at least 10 cats in the house. The cleaning crew had found many deceased adult cats and kittens in the garbage throughout the rooms of the house and under several inches of feces.

VTTR arrived two days into the clean-up. The pictures below were taken after three dumpsters were cleared of garbage and feces from the house. The renter fed the cats, but the cats had bred uncontrollably. They were not socialized and were urinating and defecating throughout the house. Traps were set, and over a period of a week, VTTR caught 14 feral cats.

Once trapped, they were transported to VTTR’s facility and were anesthetized. Once asleep, the cats were examined, bathed if needed, tested for FELV/FIV, dewormed, treated for fleas and mange, spayed/neutered, and vaccinated. Those that showed no signs of being able to be integrated into a home were ear tipped.

Two of the cats, Rose and Ripley, exhibited some signs of willingness to trust. After a three-day hold, they were transferred to one of our valued fosters who began the socialization. Within a month, they were giving and receiving lots of affection and were placed up for adoption. They both got wonderful homes and are thriving as indoor cats.

Another, Rain, was terrified and feral, but showed no signs of aggression. She stayed at VTTR’s facility learning basic interaction and was then placed with one of our fosters who is highly skilled in feral integration. Rain, although shy, is now playing with toys and accepting/giving affection. She will be placed up for adoption in about a month. More information on Rain and her adoption status can be found here (PetFinder).

The other 11 cats were all feral and showed limited signs of being able to be indoor cats. These cats became working cats and were placed in adoptions where they would live outside on mouse patrol. Regina, Ralph, and Roger were adopted by an owner of a landscaping company to protect the seed in their warehouse. This transition must be done carefully, by keeping them in an enclosure for approximately six weeks.  VTTR helps by providing enclosures and advice on how to successfully transition the cats to their new home. Their food, water, and clean litter box is provided by VTTR and daily interaction starts to build trust with them that they are safe. With a cat door in place, and a warm area to rest, the cats are released to start their job.

The other eight became barn cats. Ryan, Reynolds, Raven, and Ritchie went to one barn and the four became a family. Rowan joined Marina (previous case) at a private horse barn. Rupert went to another horse barn. Roxanne showed promise as being able to be rehabilitated, but soon changed her mind. Roxanne joined River, where both are awaiting their forever barn in their large enclosure ready for adoption together as working cats.

These cases are labor intensive and require a group of people working together for the cats’ benefit. The landlord paid for their medical care and helped in every way they could to save these cats. VTTR coordinated the capture and provided their medical care. Our experienced fosters devoted a lot of patience and time for rehabilitation for a promising few. It would have been easier to trap and euthanize, but thankfully several people partnered with VTTR to provide these cats with a bright future.

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Location

Nicholasville, KY

Service

Trapping Hoarded Feral Cats

Partner

Focus Veterinary Care

Diagnosis

-