Volunteers Needed to Trap-Neuter-Return Orkney’s Feral Cats

Cats Protection’s Caithness branch needs to recruit a team of Trap-Neuter-Return Volunteers to oversee its vital work in controlling feral colonies of cats on Mainland Orkney and, hopefully, the outlying islands too. The Caithness Branch also covers Orkney.

The branch, which is run entirely by volunteers, needs people who can spare a few hours a month to help prevent colonies of feral cats breeding out of control.

As feral cats are not domesticated, it is not possible to tame them so the charity runs a Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) programme to humanely capture them before transporting them to a vet to be neutered and finally releasing them back to their home territory.

Deirdre Campbell, branch coordinator explained:

“The branch does a huge amount of work to help local cats in Caithness but now we really need people to form a Trap-Neuter-Return team on Orkney and oversee this vital part of our operations.

“It’s a unique role, so we do not expect new volunteers to have experience in this area, and we can provide all required equipment,  assistance and training. However, we do need people who love cats, enjoy being outdoors and have bags of enthusiasm.

“By sparing just a few hours a month it can make a huge difference to the quality of life for ferals. We are sure whoever takes on the role will find it incredibly rewarding. It’s also a great way to make new friends – both human and feline!”

According to the charity, neutering is vital as cats are prolific breeders and left unchecked a feral colony can rapidly grow out of control. As one unneutered female cat could potentially produce up to 18 kittens a year, owners who do not neuter their cats may unwittingly be contributing to more cats being abandoned in the future and joining such colonies.

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cat charity and the Caithness branch is part of a nationwide network of around 230 volunteer-run branches and 37 centres that together help around 200,000 cats each year.

As well as its work with ferals and finding new homes for unwanted and abandoned cats, the charity also offers cat care advice to the public and can help towards the cost of neutering domestic cats.

If you are interested in becoming a TNR volunteer for Cats Protection’s Caithness branch in Orkney, then please

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  1. Beautiful yet often misunderstood, prejudged and unjustly despised animals, cats are.

    Perhaps pet cats have a beneficial effect on the human psyche that most people still cannot fathom thus appreciate, a quality that makes losing that pet someday such a heartbreaking experience. I read that people with autism spectrum disorder, like myself, typically prefer cat company over that of dogs. For me, felines’ silky soft coat and generally more mellow and less sensorily overwhelming are important factors.

    Yet, some cat-haters procure sick satisfaction from torturing naively-trusting thus likely sweet-natured cats whose owners have recklessly allowed them to wander the neighborhood at night. A few cat-haters simply do not care for cats’ seemingly innate resistance to heeling at their masters’ commands. Indeed, with their reptile-like vertical-slit pupils and Hollywood-cliché fanged hiss when confronted, in a world mostly hostile toward snakes, cats may have a permanent PR problem, despite their Internet adorable-pet dominance.

    Neglect/cruelty/abuse against cats occurs prolifically/daily/globally, for various reasons, though none morally justifiable. (At 54 years of age, I believe that along with human intelligence comes the proportionate reprehensible potential for evil behavior, malice for malice’s sake.)

    Meanwhile, it was reported a few years ago that the city neighboring mine (Surrey, B.C.) had an estimated 36,000 feral cats, very many of which suffer severe malnourishment, debilitating injury and/or infection. Yet, the municipal government, as well as aware yet uncaring residents, did little or nothing to help with the local non-profit Trap/Neuter/Release program, regardless of their documented success in reducing the needlessly great suffering. …

    Only when overpopulations of unwanted cats are greatly reduced in number by responsible owners consistently spaying/neutering their pet felines might these beautiful animals’ presence be truly appreciated, especially for the symbiotic-like healthy relationship (contrary to common misinformation) they can and do give us. Pet cats’ qualities, especially their un-humanly innocence, indeed make losing them someday such a heartbreaking experience.