Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Interesting Article in the LA times Regarding Feral Cats

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    671

    Interesting Article in the LA times Regarding Feral Cats


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    20,294
    Ummm...the link tells me I have to sign in to the LA Times - and I don't have an account!

    It is available through another link?

    Thanks!
    "Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life that you don't need to escape from." -- Seth Godin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Middle Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    2,693
    The link posted is not to the actual article. I'm registered at the LA Times and did a search for "feral cat" articles. I don't know if this is the one that was being referred to, but it was the most recent one that came up.

    LAPD enlists feral cats for rat patrol

    Email Picture
    Bob Chamberlin / LAT
    PROVIDER: Officer Sandra Magdaleno, who feeds and cares for the Southeast station cats, can describe each of her elusive crew: two black cats, two gray and whites, a tabby and a huge gray bruiser who hissed at everyone while in the cages where the cats acclimate.
    The felines have been introduced, to great effect, at several stations with rodent problems. Parker Center may get them too.
    By Carla Hall, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    December 29, 2007
    They are the homeless of the domestic animal world -- colonies of feral cats that roam residential neighborhoods and lurk around office buildings and commercial garages, scavenging for food.

    Unlike other strays that might rub up against a leg hoping for a crumb or a head rub, these felines are so unaccustomed to human contact that they dart away when people approach. Feral cats cannot be turned into house pets. When they end up in municipal shelters, they have little hope of coming out alive.


    On the job
    click to enlarge
    But one animal welfare group has figured out a way to save their lives and put them to work in Los Angeles. The Working Cats program of Voice for the Animals, a Los Angeles-based animal advocacy and rescue group, has placed feral cats in a handful of police stations with rodent problems, just as the group placed cats in the rat-plagued downtown flower district several years ago -- to great effect.

    Six feral cats were recently installed as ratters in the parking lot of the Los Angeles Police Department's Southeast Division, and another group will be housed at the Central Division early in the new year.

    Their reputation as furtive and successful exterminators grew after feral cats were introduced to the parking lot of the Wilshire Division nearly six years ago. Rats had been burrowing into the equipment bags that bicycle officers stored in outside cages; inside the facility, mice were sometimes scurrying across people's desks.

    "Once we got the cats, problem solved," said Cmdr. Kirk Albanese, a captain at the Wilshire station at the time. "I was almost an immediate believer."

    After Albanese moved to the Foothill Division in the northern San Fernando Valley, he introduced feral cats to the building's mice-infested basement in 2004.

    "I think it's a very humane way to deal with a very stubborn problem," said Albanese, now assistant to the director in the office of operations at Parker Center, which has its own rat problem.

    The cats don't generally solve the rodent problem by killing rats and mice -- although the cats are game for doing so if they catch them. Rather, the cats simply leave their scent. Once rodents get a whiff of feline presence, like gangsters under a gang injunction, they move on.

    "It's the smell of the cat and the cat urine," said animal rescuer Jane Garrison, a member of Voice for the Animals' board, who selected the half dozen feral cats for the Southeast station.

    Less grisly than glue traps -- and usually more effective -- the cats go about their "work" naturally: "They prowl, they eat, they sit in the sun," said Melya Kaplan, founder and director of Voice for the Animals, who was responsible for putting cats in the flower markets.

    Sometimes they rest under police cars or on top of the warm car hoods. When the cats are new to an area -- as they are at Southeast -- they spend much of their time hiding from view.

    "They've got to play it safe and see if they're OK," said Southeast Officer Sandra Magdaleno, who feeds and cares for the cats.

    Magdaleno, who has been rescuing animals for 25 years, can describe each of her elusive crew: two black cats, two gray and whites, a tabby and a huge gray bruiser who hissed at everyone during his days in the holding cages that the cats are confined to while they acclimate. When his cage was opened, the big bad boy timidly looked out.

    "He jumped out of the cage and looked around, then he heard a car and jumped back in," said Magdaleno.

    "You're like the cat whisperer," Officer Mark Miraglia deadpanned.

    Garrison worked with two shelters to select the most feral cats possible. (If a cat suddenly gets friendly, the animal is pulled from the pool and, with any luck, is adopted.) The cats were then spayed or neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and ear-tipped (under anesthesia while the cats are being altered, vets notch an ear tip, the widely recognized sign that a cat is altered).

    Then the cats were moved to the Southeast Division, put in large wire holding cages and housed in a shed for a month for the process of re-colonizing.

    "You can't just take feral cats and put them in one location and expect them to stay," Kaplan said. "A feral cat will kill himself trying to get back to his old location."

    According to Garrison, it takes about 30 days for a feral cat to be comfortable enough to consider a new location home turf.

    Garrison said the Working Cats program can be used anywhere. "We are willing to put cats in any safe area -- businesses, hotels, industrial parks, even residences -- and we will do that for free."

    Soon the ferals may get a chance to work their magic on the legions of rats that make their home behind Parker Center. "They're coming out of everywhere," said Officer April Harding, who works in media relations. "One time I stood in the parking lot and just watched in horror, like it was a movie."

    Thom Brennan, commanding officer of facilities management for the LAPD, said he was still figuring out the logistics of placing cats at Parker Center. "Nobody was more skeptical about it than I was," he said. "It sounds like too easy a fix. But everywhere it's been done, it's worked. . . . I think I'm convinced it's a viable program that will help us."

    At Southeast, the cats were released from their cages in late November. They hide themselves in the station's expansive parking lot, which is dotted with storage sheds, trees and bushes, not to mention dozens of cars under which to slink.

    Magdaleno has a knack for spotting the felines. On a recent crisp afternoon, she spied one sunning itself against a wall behind a police cruiser. But like a celebrity in a reclusive mood, the feline dashed away as soon as a photographer trained a long lens on it. The officer pointed toward another row of cars; within minutes, a sleek black cat with yellow eyes trotted across the parking lot glancing in the direction of its watchers without breaking stride.

    Magdaleno keeps the feeding station well-stocked with wet and dry food. Initially the cat installers brought provisions. Now it falls to the officer to buy food, which costs her more than $100 a month.

    "That is a glitch right now," Kaplan said. "I'm working with the LAPD to put that in their budget."

    But Magdaleno is so devoted to the cats that during a recent vacation, she drove back to the station from her home in Temecula -- where she lives with three dogs, two cats, three cockatiels and one husband -- to check on the ferals.

    She gets some teasing from colleagues, who, nonetheless, have a penchant for rescuing animals in the area.

    "I'm more of a dog guy," said Miraglia, "but I try not to hit the cats when I drive out. Does that count?"

    Albanese said there has never been a shortage of people willing to care for the cats at any station where he has worked.

    "If I were a wild cat, that would be a great job," he said. "Your meals are there, your housing is there, you're at a police station so you're safe."

    For more information on "working" feral cats, go to http://vftafoundation.org/workingcats.htm.
    carla.hall@latimes.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Westchester Cty, NY
    Posts
    8,450
    There's a video linkup to this on cnn.com this morning. As long as the ferals are reasonably streetwise, they should make out OK. It's not like they have to live on the rats and mice, but appear to be well fed. (The video shows the troughs of dry food and a plate of wet under an overhang for them to graze on.)
    I've been finally defrosted by cassiesmom!
    "Spay or neuter your pols!" Sneaky Pie, in Sneaky Pie for President

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    671
    Thanks Moesha for posting the article. You have to register to have and account, bit it does not cost.......I hit enter before my brain told my hands to not do so and didn't get back to make a comment. Since I do feral colony care and I know other do, I thought this was interesting and something to think about.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    39,456
    That To Me Is A Purrfect Solution ,a Lot Better Than Leaving Tubs Of Poison Out That Might Be Washed During A Rainstorm Into The Sewers .
    Having These Cats Eliminate Mice Is A Good Idea.
    I Know Having The Found Cats Has Eliminated The Mice, Except For The Odd Mouse Who Visits And Falls Prey To My Hunters.
    THE RAINBOW BRIDGE FOUND HOTEL ANGELS HAVE A NEW FRIEND IN CORINNA.


    ALMOND ROCCA BATON AND ELLIE ANGELS ARE GUARDIANS TO ETERNAL KITTENS ROCC-EL AND T TEEN ANGEL, ALMOND ROCA , VLAD , PAWLEE , SPRITE. LITTLE HEX, OSIRIS AND ANNIE ANGELS.
    EBONY BEAU TUBSTER AND PEACHES BW SPIKE & SMOKEY


    NOW PRECIOUS AND SAM ARE TOGETHER WITH ETERNAL KITTENS SAMMY ,PRESLEY, SYLVESTER AND SCRATCHY JR , MIGHTY MARINA, COSMIC CARMEN, SAMSON ,UNDER KITTY AND SUNKIST AUTUMN & PUMPKIN.
    MIA AND ORANGE BLOSSOM ANGELS HAVE ADOPTED TUXIE , TROOPER , SONGBIRD AND LITTLE BITTY KITTIES MIA-MI BLOSSOMER, TUXEDO AND DASH AS THIER ETERNAL KITTENS.
    PRINCESS JOSEPH AND MICHAEL ARE CELEBRATING 19 YEARS AS LUCKY FOUND CATS

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    20,294
    I just sent this off to Calgary's Meow (Make Each One Wanted) Foundation, as well as the Calgary Humane, Cochrane Humane, and a city bylaw officer who works with the city shelter.

    Ya never know!

    Thanks.
    "Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life that you don't need to escape from." -- Seth Godin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    671
    A great idea. I have sent to our local humane society as well as our two TNR programs. My feral fur babies are spoiled by me but I am always worried about them against the elements. Knowing my babies would be safer would mean the world to me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Ploss's Halfway House for Homeless Cats
    Posts
    18,325
    Thanks for posting the entire article. At first I was concerned that they force the ferals to rely on their "catch". But then I saw that Officer Sandra feeds and cares for them so I was a little relieved. I used to live next door to an idiot dentist that had two strictly outdoor cats, that were there to be mousers. His stupidity really pissed me off. So I just fed the cats when he left at the end of the day. When I moved out, Sherrie, the paralegal in the law office downstairs took over.

    One thing I have to comment on...

    Feral cats cannot be turned into house pets
    Feral cats CAN be turned into house pets, depending how old the kitten is, if it's done correctly. I have a formerly feral baby names Alicat. The rescue organization worked with her and she was having none of it. She was a sweet thing in her crate. But the minute she was let out, she went and hid under the bed. It took almost 3 months before she started coming out of her shell. She actually didn't meow. I got the shcock of my life when I heard her meow and bump her head in my hand for a scritch. So, never say never.

    Unfortunately most ferals aren't as lucky to have someone look after them. Some people consider them a nuisance. They forget that ferals became feral at the hands of humans.

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    671
    I agree that with time and patience some feral cats can be turned into house cats. I have one, Persie, and she is as sweet and as loving as she can be with me and my family and often offers me her tummy to be scratched. We are cognitive of her body language though and know when she has had enough. I have three colonies I care for. One is fixed and I am working on the others. My second colony had a lot of strays because I can pet several of them and their offspring have watched me pet mom, and now several of them are allowing me to pet them. Of course I am the lady with the good food. I am the only that can pet them. They will not allow the two people who are my backup if something comes up to do so. I do have some that will only sit and watch me and I know in my heart I probably will never be able to pet them. But I do offer them a soft voice, telling them how beautiful/handsome they are, how special they are and how much I love them.........hope springs enternal though

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Westchester Cty, NY
    Posts
    8,450
    I've had ferals come around (Diamond) and those who never did (Pixel, Nutmeg.) It really depends on the cat.
    I've been finally defrosted by cassiesmom!
    "Spay or neuter your pols!" Sneaky Pie, in Sneaky Pie for President

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    872
    A couple who work for a pet store take in feral cats and they seem to do well with them...they give them their space, feed and water them and eventually the cats will let them come around. Their previous home had a loft that they had given up to keep the cats undisturbed, now they keep them in a spare bedroom with litter boxes and food and water.I would love to house some in a few empty barns around here but unfortunately wolves, coyotes and foxes would surely get them.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    20,294
    A reply from our Bylaw Officer in Calgary who is associated with the city shelter:

    We actually have working cats (not feral) in the lunch rooms at out Shepard landfill site. The staff there adopted a couple of cats that were abandoned at the landfill, started caring for them and tamed them. We spayed and neutered them, licensed them and give them their annual shots and check ups. The staff report that the rodent problems in the building have been solved and they think of their cats as part of the team. I found the article interesting, particularly the reasons why cats deter rodents. We are currently working with MEOW to look at the possibility of feral colonies and trap/neuter(spay) and release programs.
    I have asked for more details. Yes, Calgary has yet to develop a TNSR program.
    "Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life that you don't need to escape from." -- Seth Godin

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    671
    WOW. It would be so great if this thread got a some babies a job. I have been pondering where in the city I live could I approach someone with it. Hmm, hadn't thought about the landfill.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    In my garden
    Posts
    1,633
    Another group that knows how useful cats are as rodent deterrents, even though they are breaking the law by having them:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/21/ny...&sq=cats+delis

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-27-2008, 09:14 PM
  2. What cats know about war - NY Times article
    By jenn_librarian in forum Cat General
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-14-2007, 04:19 PM
  3. Interesting article
    By wolfsoul in forum Cat General
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-12-2005, 12:10 PM
  4. Interesting article about cats whiskers...
    By moosmom in forum Cat General
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-29-2005, 10:26 AM
  5. Interesting article about cats/allergies
    By Logan in forum Cat General
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-09-2002, 12:19 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Copyright © 2001-2013 Pet of the Day.com