** Thank you for your interest and attention to injured, stray and or feral cats within your community. We currently don’t support specific or individual questions regarding injured, stray and or feral cats or colonies but can provide you with information so you can help manage them on your own.
If you are not in Middletown, please locate a rescue that is closer to the town you/the cat(s) reside in, please visit this website and type in the town and click search. You should also contact your local Animal Control Office as well.
If you locate a feral, stray or injured cat(s) or kitten(s) in Middletown, please contact Middletown Animal Control at 860-638-4030.
We are unable to take in friendly stray cats or kittens directly from individuals; however, we are able to help promote them for adoption by posting on our social media and website. See our Community Cats Page for more information.
Feral Colony Care
Spay & Neuter
Stopping the overpopulation epidemic is extremely important for the well-being of the current cat(s) as well as future cats. During the spay/neuter surgery, not only will the cat(s) be sterlized, they will also receive a rabies vaccine and sometimes a FVP distemper vaccine. This will help protect the cat and the community as a whole. The cat will also have his/her ear tipped so that from a distance, you and others will know that the specific cat has already been vetted. See more about the ear tip here. You can bring a feral/stray cat to a full service veterinary clinic or you can use low-cost clinics which are usually used to handling feral cats and are more economically friendly. We provide a list of low-cost spay/neuter clinics in CT under our Resources – Low Cost Veterinary Care page.
Nutrition & Water
Caring for a feral colony is hard work but can be so rewarding. Each colony needs to have food and water daily. If you cannot get to the colony on a daily basis, we recommend replenishment bowls that you can buy at local pet stores. You want to select bowl colors that will blend in with the area where you’re feeding and not cause unnecessary attention. As far as the type of bowls, heavy plastic bowls are versatile and easy to clean. Metal can retain heat or cold more than plastic, staying cool or staying hot longer. We do not suggest glass as it can break and be a safety threat to the cats. In the winter, freezing water is the biggest threat. There are ways to help ensure your feral cats have access to water in the winter and preventing water from freezing. We also encourage a feeding station to help keep the food and water protected from the sun and rain. The station should be located where you can easily get to it but is not easily visible to the public and should not be directly on the ground. Raccoons cannot jump as high as cats and it protects the food/water from any ground water after rain/snow. You can either buy one already made or you can easily make your own.
To help feral cats keep warm in the winter, there are many options for winter shelter. You want to make sure that the shelter is insulated and that you use STRAW, not hay or towels/blankets. Straw will help keep the shelter dry while also keeping the cats warm, where as hay, towels and blankets can get moldy and hold moisture; causing body heat to be drawn away from the cat(s). The cats will be able to huddle together to use body heat along with the insulation and straw to keep warm. There are many ways to construct winter shelters or purchase them already made.
How to build a shelter (DIY)
Where to buy a shelter
Or the Alley Cat website has a list of great, creative options – most with instructions!
I found a stray cat/kitten, what do I do?
Taking care of a feral colony can result in sometimes finding a stray cat/kitten. Trying to find a shelter or rescue to take in a stray cat/kitten or feral kittens is becoming more and more challenging as most shelters and rescues are full beyond capacity. But there are ways for you to still help.
Mom and Kittens:
You will want to think about what is best for the kittens and in order to decide that, you need to determine the age of the kittens. The best place for kittens younger than eight weeks old is with their mother, if at all possible. The ideal window for socializing kittens is about between 6 weeks and 12 weeks. Older kittens can be trapped, neutered, and returned and keep in mind, kittens can get pregnant as young as 16 weeks old. Examine different mom and kitten scenarios.
Even though your first instinct is to pick the kittens up, please refrain from this until you think about if you have the time, commitment, financial ability, patience and attention to socialize and care for them. The only exception is for kittens are between one to four weeks old and were abandoned by the mother. These kittens will need neonatal care and local veterinary clinics and no-kill rescues should be contacted to see if they have a nursing mother or if you have the time and commitment, you can care for neonatal kittens. Non neonatal kittens (>4 weeks old) can begin to be weaned from their mother and with daily one-on-one attention can learn to be comfortable around people or “socialized”. Make sure you visit your local veterinarian (or see our low cost spay/neuter section) for care of the kittens including deworming, vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery. You will then want to find the best home possible for the kittens. Be aware, you do not want to give the kittens away to anyone; there are people who take kittens for bait for dog fights or feeding snakes. Follow the guide Alley Cat Allies (feral cat advocates) has created for promoting your kittens and finding a good home.
Before calling your local animal control or shelter/rescue, we ask that you first try to find the cat’s home and once you have exhausted all option and the cat is truly a stray with no home, the next thing to do is to try to find him/her a new home. You will notice most rescues/shelters are full and will require you to care for the cat while you find a home for him/her. We encourage you to call or email all your local rescues/shelter and ask if they can post the cat on their website and/or Facebook page – the more his/her face can get out there, the better chances of a home being found.
For further information visit these sites:
- Alley Cat Allies – Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats.
- Neighborhood Cats – Neighborhood Cats believes Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the most humane and effective method available to end the severe feral cat overpopulation crisis faced by this country.
Neighborhood Cats TNR handbook – guide to feral cats, care and TNR. Cat Tales used this guide along with Ally Cat Allies to create our TNR policies.
- Humane Society of the United States – The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization.
- ASPCA – is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”