Officials seek caretakers for feral cat colonies in Salt Lake County

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SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake County Animal Services and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary are looking for caretakers and locations to keep free roaming feral cats.

The wild cats have fewer options when it comes to finding a caretaker, as they are not a typical house cat.

Sandy Nelson is the marketing and communications coordinator with Salt Lake County Animal Services, and she said the feral cats can be a boon to the neighborhoods they reside in.

“They will help keep the rodent population under control,” she said. “The second benefit is all of the community cats that have been ear tipped, you know that they are spay and neutered. That way you’re not creating an even bigger colony, because there will be no new kittens that are added to that colony.”

The groups are looking to establish more colonies of the feral cats. Nelson said the cats don’t need homes, just caretakers.

“Feral cats are not meant to be in a home; they’re feral,” Nelson said. “So they need to go back out into the community, which is a great thing for neighborhoods.”

Nelson said they are also working to relocate some of their existing colonies of feral cats.

“Sometimes what happens is we have an existing colony in the neighborhood, and the caretaker of those cats, the individual who feeds those cats, that individual either moves or passes away and no one is there to take care of those cats,” Nelson said.

Nelson said the cat colonies allow the feral cats to live happy lives.

“This is how they live, this is how they’ve grown up,” Nelson said.

Officials said they are looking for caretakers in both residential and farm/ranch settings. They are looking for people who can provide a safe spot for free-roaming cats to live out their lives. Those interested can email cisbert@slco.org and/or ashleyw@bestfriends.org for more information.

14 comments

  • Jennifer Stucki

    There is always room for more research, I suppose. I cant wait to read the next bitter installment of why other “man made” pets/animals like dogs etc. are going to ruin all of humanity. :)

  • Derrat

    Woodsman001- I want to repeat what others have told you time and time again. “Please seek professional help.”

  • Jennifer young

    I live in an area with horses, chickens, couple goats and feral cats, I rarely see mice in my house and have never had an issue with these cats they don’t even bother my free range chickens, i do not have any diseases nor do my animals.

  • Bardee Mills

    Where do you live? Do you realize it is illegal not only to shoot the cats but to bury them in your yard. Ok professor, I don’t know where you get your info but when we moved on this farm we were over run with mice and we even saw a few rats. Now it is rare that we even see any signs of mice and no rats for a couple of years. If you live in our area be assured that I will turn you in and I believe cruelty to animals is a felony!

    • catlickerwoodsman

      So you’re basically just a guy who spends way to much time on the internet finding ways to hate on cats…and your only real argument is to copy and paste the same information: the bacteria carried in cats’ waste, and cats are evil. You, sir, need some freaking Valium.

      • Bardee Mills

        Ok, you win you have done your job cleaning up “your land” now leave the rest of us cat LOVERS to do our job. That is to trap our cats on our land and get them fixed and return them to their homes. Now that your job is done please get some psychiatric help.

      • Jennifer Stucki

        Just curious, do all your findings refer only to outdoor cats? It seems like all your facts and figures are related to outdoor cats only, as an exclusively indoor cat will not be killing any innocent critters (maybe a spider) and will not be exposed to any toxoplasmosis (as I understand it, that is a parasite that is often picked up from outdoor living) or rabies or other diseases. Is it indeed possible that there are some cat lovers that can “responsibly” own cats without causing pain and hardship to others?

  • Derrat

    Nice….. Are you a bit too used to people telling you that you’re mental? Simply cut and paste your rants. Why bother considering that you may actually be wrong when you can bore others to death with your irrational ideas? Yes. You too can be a nincompoop with a simple cut and paste.
    This message is brought to you by the makers of ‘Word Salad’. Word Salad – it’s not just for Sarah Palin.

  • Jennifer Stucki

    Just curious, do all your findings refer only to outdoor cats? It seems like all your facts and figures are related to outdoor cats only, as an exclusively indoor cat will not be killing any innocent critters (maybe a spider) and will not be exposed to any toxoplasmosis (as I understand it, that is a parasite that is often picked up from outdoor living) or rabies or other diseases. Is it indeed possible that there are some cat lovers that can “responsibly” own cats without causing pain and hardship to others?

  • Alyssa

    What are my options if I’m not O.K. with a feral colony. (Caretaker across the street) Sure they get their food from the caretaker, but they spent their time in my yard. I have just bought this home, and have four elementary aged kids and a baby. I plan to garden, and we outdoor- rabbits and chickens. I’m concerned about toxoplasmosis, rabies, other diseases, and my animals being badgered (which is currently happening).
    My yard is their personal litter box.– I’m the most worried about a cat hurting one of my kids who might innocently wish to pet it.
    I’m all for someone caretaking for a feral colony, if the colony only affects the caretaker–
    Does anyone know what “legal” options I have for inner city Salt Lake?

    • jhenry

      Your concerns are definitely warranted! Ive also had the same problems with wild cats in my yard & have witnessed the decimation of wildlife around my home & the whole general area of the neighborhood i live in as well after one lousy neighbor allowed their cat to run and get pregnant then the population of wild cats soon skyrocketed soon afterward bcuz they didnt want to be responsible pet owners as most animal owners are not nowadays. There were wild cats everywhere until i started trapping them then giving them to animal control. Im currently still working on the problem. When sprig arrives i will be trapping every day until no more cats come into my yard. U can get these traps to borrow from ur local animal control or u can buy them at IFA as i did then animal control will come and pick up the cat when u call them to notify that u caught a wild cat. It doesnt have to be wild. u can trap anyones cat who is coming onto ur property or causing a nuisance. I was trying to respond to the post by one of the Jennifers that posted on this article the day it was posted but for some reason the website would not let me post it. She stated that she has no problem with cats in her yard going after her animals or chickens. She may only have neighbors cats around which can also be just as bad as feral or wild cats but trust me, if anyone gets a population of the wild ones around then most everything that happens or noticed is most notably negative impacts. How can one cat that uses ur yard as a liter box be good, let alone many? The more there are in the area only will attract far more wild cats. Thats a given! Im going to post my other reply to one of the Jennifers comments as well since i saved the text. if u need to ask any further questions or need any help from me then leave a reply and ill respond then we could possibly get into contact with each other. I also think the organization thats getting this bad idea going could be making their selves liable for a number of lawsuits. U could always consult with an attorney. I really feel like their breaking the law and infringing on peoples right to live in peace

      • lyssafrederick

        Thanks for the tips. I’m considering the Audubon suggestion and trapping, but these cats have been TNRed. Will I get grief If I trap them in my yard? ( If so I’ll just head over to the pharmacy.)
        Any ideas?

        (I have homeschooled my kids in the past, but no offence taken.)

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