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Q:  Cats showed up in my yard and I am feeding them.  I cannot afford to have them spayed and neutered, but I do not want them to produce kittens.  What should I do?

A: Thank you for being compassionate and caring for these animals.  It is essential that they be sterilized and vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent kittens and possible suffering.  Two or three cats can result in a colony of 30 cats within a few years.  Sterilization will save you money on cat food; spayed and neutered cats require approximately one-third less calories.  Additionally, sterilized animals will be less likely to roam, fight, or spray.  There are resources can help you .  Learn about simple and fun fundraising ideas to sterilize neighborhood cats. Contact us for additional information.

Q:  Cats are living under my house.  What can I do to get them out and make sure none are left under there when I close up the hole?

A: Follow the advice at the following Cornell University website:

Q:  I have never trapped a cat before.  How do I go about humanely capturing it?

A: If you reside within Carteret County, NC, we can lend you a humane trap, show you how to use it, and provide a written humane trapping protocol.  If you still feel uncomfortable, invite a friend or family member over to assist you in capturing the cat(s).  If you live within the ETJ limits of Beaufort, we can offer you technical assistance with trapping. Contact us for help.

Q:  A cat showed up in my yard.  I do not want the cat, but I don't want it to be euthanized at the shelter.  I was thinking about relocating it to a place where there are other cats or maybe even release it into the woods.  What can I do to avoid taking this route?

A: First and foremost, NEVER RELOCATE A CAT BY RELEASING IT INTO ANOTHER AREA. Read about why you should avoid relocating feral cats .  Relocating a cat properly is a delicate process that involves at least 3 weeks of confinement with daily food, water, and litter maintenance. This should only be done in extreme circumstances.  If you reside within Carteret County, our organization will lend you a trap so that the animal can be humanely captured and taken to a veterinarian for sterilization and vaccinations.  The most humane option is to release the animal where it was trapped, avoiding relocation.  If the cat is causing undesirable behaviors use this information to improve the situation.

Q:  I am being bothered by feral cats that are fighting, yowling, and spraying in my neighborhood.   I do not want to call Animal Control, because I do not want the cats to be put to sleep.  What should I do?

A: Almost 100% of free-roaming cats that enter our local shelter, never leave (ie they are not adoptable, thus euthanized). Trap-neuter-return programs can help reduce intake of free-roaming cats at shelters.  Additionally, sterilizing cats will eliminate most undesirable behaviors by significantly reducing hormone levels that contribute to the behaviors.  There are also products and techniques that deter cats from using gardens as toilet areas, etc.

Q:  When Animal Control traps a cat, what happens to it?

A: When Animal Control traps a free-roaming cat, it is transported to the local humane shelter where it is held for at least 72 hours to give the caretaker a chance to reclaim it.  After that period, almost 100% of the cats are euthanized because they are not tame and not adoptable.  Studies have shown that trap-neuter-return - an alternative to trap and euthanize - is a humane and effective way of managing free-roaming cats.  If you reside within Carteret County, we can lend you traps, show you how to use them and give you guidance on how to best manage free-roaming cats.  If you live in Beaufort, NC, we can likely provide technical and financial help for sterilizing free-roaming cats. Contact us for further information .