Letter From the President
As of november 2019, 4Pawsadoptedoutmorethan 400 homeless cats and kittens. To date we have found loving homes for almost 10,000 cats!
Over the summer, we continued to rescue cats scheduled to die in overcrowded shelters, but we also made a concerted effort to tackle the pervasive problem of homeless cats through out the DC metro area. Concerned citizens directed us to outdoor populations in Beltsville, Fort Washington, Haymarket, and Hyattsville (see article “Hyattsville Rescues”).
Feline overpopulation is a national crisis. Don’t be fooled because you don’t see cats wandering around in the streets. Homeless cats are everywhere. They live in sewers, eat out of dumpsters, and take shelter under houses.
Every cat we rescue receives veterinary care: spay or neuter, vaccines, and treatment for parasites. Those that are not friendly are returned to their outdoor homes. All adoptable cats and kittens are placed into foster homes. 4Paws never has enough foster homes. With more fosters we could save more feline lives. Please consider being a foster volunteer today!
The majority of cats rescued from outdoors suffer from illnesses such as diarrhea, upper respiratory, and ear infections. Once these maladies are resolved, the cats are returned outdoors or adopted into loving homes.
The most effective weapon against overpopulation, home lessness, and subsequent suffering, is spaying and neutering. Realizing that a single female and her offspring can reproduce almost 420,000 cats in seven years, it is obvious that just finding homes is not good enough. The endless cycle of reproduction must be stopped.
In Beltsville, Fort Washington, and Haymarket, a 4Paws volunteer trapped 44 cats and kittens. Thirtyone were spayed and vaccinated before being returned to their outside homes, where a caretaker agreed to feed them. The remaining 13 were friendly and made available for adoption. In Hyattsville, so far the rescue effort has spayed and neutered 65 cats and kittens. Twenty-eight are in foster homes or have been adopted. The remaining 37 were feral and returned to their managed colonies.
By spaying and neutering cats in these targeted neighbor hoods, 4Paws volunteers prevented thousands of births and suffering that is unavoidable when a young kitten tries to survive the cold of winter, heat of summer, and danger of wild animals.
The cost of wellness and illness care for the more than 100 cats already rescued and the many more yet to be trapped, is staggering. We rely on your financial support to help us continue our lifesaving work. Please consider making a donation!
Soon 4Paws will adopt out its 10,000th rescued cat. Help us celebrate this momentous milestone with a donation to 4Paws.
in late august 4Pawsreceivedatipaboutafewstray cats running around a Hyattsville, Maryland apartment complex. When a volunteer went to investigate, she discovered not just a few, but hundreds of cats and kittens living outside. For years, a resident at the complex did what she could to provide food for the strays—unaltered cats abandoned outside when their owners moved away. In no time at all, the number of cats grew from a few to dozens and now hundreds.
A female cat can have three or four litters each year and a female kitten can get pregnant as early as four months of age. What started out as just a few cats quickly ballooned into a colony of hundreds. Studies show that the only way to control the homeless cat crisis, is through Trap Neuter Return (TNR).
When TNR is implemented, outside cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and then returned to their outside homes. A caregiver feeds the cats so they receive proper nutrition and need not rely on local wildlife to survive. As 4Paws volunteers trapped the Hyattsville cats, each was evaluated. The friendly cats or potentially socializable cats were taken into foster homes for future adoption. The feral cats, 37 to date, were returned to live out their lives in the neighbor hood that they already called “home.”
4Paws volunteers determined that 28 of the Hyattsville cats were adoptable; some have found their forever homes. At this printing, several of the Hyattsville cats are still available for adoption: Adelphi, Evelyn, Frijole, Lieutenant, Flaco, Isabella, Mary Luisa, Monkey, and Sandra.
Every weekend, volunteers return to the site and trap five or six more cats that are later seen by a vet. As of November, 65 cats have been fixed and vaccinated at a cost of thousands of dollars. A couple suffering from serious illnesses were treated at emergency hospitals.
Our goal for the Hyattsville cats is twofold: 1) bring inside and eventually find homes for the adoptable cats who are ill equipped to fend for themselves outside and 2) sterilize the feral cats before returning them outside so they stop repro ducing and the colony is reduced to a manageable level. This will alleviate the burden on the caretakers who continue to feed those that remain outside.
Beyond Basic Care
every cat adopted through4Pawsreceivesbasicvet care (as appropriate for its age). That care includes: spay/ neuter, vaccines, treatment for parasites, testing for feline leukemia (FeLV), and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and insertion of a microchip. For healthy cats, on average, these basic services cost $280 for a male cat and $330 for a female. More often than not, the cats we rescue require care well beyond these routine services.
Kittens usually need additional vet care when they arrive to 4Paws. Diarrhea is almost always a problem. Many kittens are born with worms passed from the mother cat. Poor nutrition and environmental factors contribute to digestive problems. Upper respiratory infections are also common with young kittens. Their immune systems are immature and not strong enough to fight off common viruses and bacterial infections.
The following are examples of cats who needed extensive medical care before they could be made available for adoption. Lola and her kittens arrived from a rural shelter. From the start, all suffered from severe diarrhea. Several treatments were tried, but none improved their condition. One day, Lola suddenly became lethargic with labored breathing. She was rushed to the emergency hospital where, after several tests, doctors determined that she was suffering from toxoplasmosis, which is caused by a parasite found in the environment. Common symptoms are neurological problems, enlarged heart, and diffi culty breathing. Before Lola’s treatment was complete she made another unexpected visit to the emergency vet. It took a couple of months of intensive antibiotic treatment, but Lola beat toxoplasmosis and is ready to live a full and healthy life.
Turanga also started out with terrible diarrhea. It took months of testing and treatment before she was healthy enough for the vet to address her more severe issues. When rescued by 4Paws, Turanga had a lame leg and injured eye. The poor girl had to drag her useless leg everywhere and only had vision out of her one healthy eye. After both her lame leg and blind eye were removed Turanga gained newfound energy. She quickly adapted to her physical alterations and is now ready to find her forever home.
Special Agent 81 (SA81) was only a young kitten when
a 4Paws volunteer (on a tip from a caller) rushed to a rural shelter to retrieve SA81 from outside the shelter’s locked doors. It was quickly determined that her jaw was broken—a certain death sentence had she not been rescued. A dental surgeon reset her bones and wired her jaw shut to facilitate healing. Recovery is going well, though eating is tricky. It is unknown whether SA81 will need additional surgery since she is still a growing kitten.
Our policy at 4Paws is to provide vet care necessary for a rescued cat to live a full life. It is expensive to give back quality of life to an ill or injured cat, who, many times, never knew comfort and contentment before coming to 4Paws. Please make a tax deductible donation today!
What is a Cat Cafe?
a cat cafe isaplacewherepeoplecangotovisitwith friends, enjoy a cup of coffee, and meet cats that are available for adoption. In July, 4Paws began partnering with Meows Corner Cat Cafe in Sterling, Virginia. Cafe visits are available to purchase in increments of 30 minutes, 60 minutes or multi hour blocks.
Cafe goers have an opportunity to interact with 15 to 20 cats that are roaming freely in a room decorated with all manner of cat entertainment—shelves line the walls giving the cats the oppor tunity to watch from above. There are sofas and comfortable chairs for patrons and cats to share while they get to know each other. Toys are provided to enrich the feline/person experience.
All the cats in the cafe are available for adoption through 4Paws Rescue Team. If you meet a furry friend that wants to go home with you, just fill out an application. The adoption fee is $120 for a spayed or neutered cat and $145 for an unaltered kitten. After you provide proof of spay for the kitten, a $50 deposit is returned to you. The process takes 4 or 5 days and then you can take your new friend home.
Come join us at 21435 Epicerie Plaza, Suite 115 in the Cascades Overlook Town Center in Sterling. Walkins welcome! Reservations are recommended on weekends. Visit the website meowscorner.com for information about special events such as Open Mike Night, yoga with cats, and Purre School for children ages 36. Bring this newsletter to the cafe to get a 10% discount.
To see the original PDF version of this newsletter, click here.