Jesse and Willow were kittens adopted early through the program. Submitted

Quadra cat group making progress on feral cats

Island has a long history of undomesticated cat colonies

Quadra Island has a history of feral cats, but a local program, Quadra Cat Rescue, has been making progress to keep the population in check.

The group attends to many animals each year, as there still is a need to assist colonies of feral and semi-feral cats.

“I think what surprises us is the fact that after all these years, we’re still finding these colonies,” volunteer Valerie van Veen said.

While they make progress every year, she expects demand for the group’s services will continue for the foreseeable future.

“We would like to work ourselves out of a job, but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” she said.

In 2017, the group spayed or neutered 28 cats. Volunteers also made eight trips to bring a total of 52 kittens to the Pacific Cat Clinic in Victoria for adoption, the majority of which came from a single property on the island.

Van Veen credits the community for helping the group to continue its efforts.

“We’re really happy at the support that the Quadra community has given us,” she said.

For example, earlier this year, the group received a $1,500 grant-in-aid from the Strathcona Regional District. Van Veen also points to community donations and a retail store point program as other ways people in the community help generate funds for the volunteer service.

“That participation has really increased, and we’re really pleased to see that,” she said.

A key part of community cooperation is communication, and the group has found that residents with feral or semi-feral cat colonies on their property are getting in touch with Quadra Cat Rescue about the animals.

“We certainly appreciate being advised of these colonies,” she said.

According to its website, Quadra Cat Rescue runs a step-by-step program to attend to feral and semi-feral cat populations around the island. This includes trapping, spaying or neutering, returning some to their environment or providing necessary vet care.

RELATED STORY: Emergency surgery for kittens drains Quadra Cat Rescue funds

Adoption, where possible, is also part of the program, and last year they adopted out 12 cats or kittens. The volunteers also provide food for the cat colonies. For example, they arranged for food, maintenance and veterinarian care for two un-adoptable cats last year and fed 20 cats in a half-dozen feral or semi-feral colonies.

They also try to take in semi-feral kittens as soon as they are old enough to be weaned in order to be fixed and domesticated.

“They usually make excellent pets,” she said, adding the group works with veterinarians in Campbell River to check the animals. “We do make sure that the kittens we take in from any colony are in good health.”

The group also helps low-income cat owners by bringing them to Campbell River for vet visits, and by bringing in several animals at one time, they can offer the owner a lower rate.

“We’re able to help them as much as we can financially,” she said. “We work out an arrangement with each pet owner.”

The problem with feral cats goes back to the early days, van Veen adds, when the animals were brought in to control rodents, though this history was only something she discovered once she began working with Quadra Cat Rescue.

“Quadra has had a very long history of having feral cats, as in barn cats and mining camp cats and logging camp cats,” she said. “We’re still dealing with the fallout from those cats.”

 

A stray with the Quadra Cat Rescue program from 2018. Submitted

Just Posted

Time to reduce speed limit on Highway 18?

The speed limit is set as the maximum safe velocity for good weather, in daylight.

Nanaimo-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks cheese linked to 5 E. coli cases in B.C.

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Search and rescue piggybacks plucky injured senior out of Comox Valley woods

Rescue crews don’t have same success with dog swept away by river

Canadian Cancer Society stops accepting hair donations

A switch to synthetic wigs will lighten costs for cancer patients

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Student arrested at Vancouver Island elementary school

Pupils never in danger, incident unrelated to the school

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

Racist slur cleaned off memorial at Qualicum First Nation graveyard

Site was hit by vandals on Friday; many immediately offered support and assistance

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Vancouver Island leadfoot clocked doing 143 km/h in an 80 km/h zone

Driver issued $483 ticket, has vehicle impounded after pinging RCMP radar in Lantzville

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Most Read