They may be lost or abandoned pets, but most likely they are unsocialized outdoor cats. They go by many names: alley cats, strays, barn cats, even feral cats; but they are still just cats.
They have arrived through many channels. Some have always been among us in the wild, as they were thousands of years ago. Some are lost or abandoned pets that never found their way home and have become untrusting of people. Some are offspring of unsterilized pets allowed to roam free. However they got here, it is up to us to control their increasing population.
For many years it has been policy to trap and kill these "nuisance" animals. That has not worked. It has been proven many times that once cats are removed from an area, new cats move right in because there is food and water, as well as shelter sources these cats find habitable. This is called the vacuum effect and there is only one way to stop it: Trap, Neuter, Return and Manage.
Feral cats choose to live in "colonies" and share resources. This is what makes TNRM successful. When these cats are properly cared for, they live out their natural lives, keeping other cats from moving in.
Many still don't know how to go about doing so, other than the basics. Cats do not require much: Food, Water, Shelter. They should also get some veterinary care. Caring for a colony, even a small one, is very rewarding, and without too much effort, the cats can live long happy lives. Tip Me Frederick has been founded to help with these basics by offering affordable care.
We will teach caretakers the basics of trapping, how to provide ongoing care with food, water and shelter. Help stay up to date with vaccinations and get emergency or sick care when needed. We have many tips for seasonal care, parasite control and taming practices.
We will also help caretakers who face sticky situations with Animal Control or neighbors by providing practical solutions, offering support and standing with you if needed.