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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Where to go for feral cat spay/neuter around Columbus OH

So we got quite few kitties hanging around the back yard this time around.

All feral, not mean, but very skittish, will come for food, will even let you pet them while eating, but not much more than that. So unlike for Bob, I doubt we could find homes for them.

It seem to be more humane to feed them and allow them to enjoy their free life in the backyard, as shelters are packed with domestic cats and ferals will not likely to enjoy a life in captivity. So, since nobody could talk about "Birds and the Bees" to these kitties in a sense of population control, it made most sense to trap them, neuter/spay and return back.

Now, I knew of TNR (trap-neuter-return) in theory, but wasn't quite sure how to go about arranging one here around Columbus OH area. I contacted few organizations in hopes that they can come over, trap cats, take care of neutering them, recover them after the surgery and then bring them back to release. However, as you can probably imagine I wasn't lucky to find anybody to do it all.

What I was lucky with is to find help doing some of it and info on how to do the rest of it myself. And I am going to summarize some of that in few articles.

Where to Neuter/Spay a feral cat around Columbus OH area?

The first thing I got to figure out is cost of neutering/spaying. If you have a cat at home whom you had to take to the vet to neuter or spay then you know that cost of that can easily ramp up into hundreds of dollars. And that will multiply if there are few cats to do it for. Usual vets also like to set up appointments for these procedures quite some time in advance. Most of them also require cats to be healthy and vaccinated in advance to perform the procedure.

So would you do? Set up a crowdfunding campaign and make sure a feral cat shows up for their appointment in time?

Thankfully I discovered that there are groups and organizations around Columbus area to help making this process a little bit easier.

Few of feral kitties I am taking care of have been spayed/neutered at low cost thanks to "Spay and Neuter program" of Cat Welfare Association. The process is pretty simple: download and fill in a Feral SNAP Application, then return it with a small payment back to them for processing, and then receive a voucher for a low cost clinic to take feral cat(s) for a spay/neuter. The clinic I was referred to was SOS of Ohio. Along with being low cost (when voucher is presented) it also doesn't require an appointment for spay/neuter of feral cats, which is quite convenient when dealing with ferals.

Rest of our neighborhood kitties went to a Rescue Clinic of Columbus Humane. They have feral cats appointments at Saturday's which is quite convenient for full time workers. The downside is that appointments are required. So you will either need to schedule them yourself and hope cat will show up. Alternative is to work with a rescue group which has regular appointments scheduled already. I have Colony Cats (& dogs) to thank for sharing some of their appointments with me.

Both of these places provide health assessment, spay/neuter and rabies shot. In addition they can offer tests, addition vaccinations, flea treatments, and other medical services if needed.

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