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Feeding Not Fixing - the 57 cat problem

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

Feeding a stray cat is a kind act, but feeding and not fixing can turn into a serious problem. Recently, the Lucky Cat Program assisted in stabilizing a rapidly growing cat colony in Mooresville, NC, which began with this one small act of kindness.

Unfortunately, feeding one cat led to two, and the cats began to multiply exponentially to 57 cats and kittens in less than an 18 month period of time. The kind-hearted elderly woman who fed the cats recently passed away and with no one left to care for the cats, the property owner wanted them removed immediately, which meant relocating 57 cats too.

Relocating feral cats is not recommended because they are highly territorial and bonded to the land. Suitable land is hard to come by, and even when a colony is relocated, the cats often try to return to their home only to be killed on their journey back.

Fortunately, our story has a happier outcome, thanks to an ongoing project by the Lake Norman Lucky Cat Program.

Dedicated volunteers stepped up to trap, transport, and foster, and thanks to their efforts friendly cats and kittens have been placed for adoption in partnership with Lake Norman Humane and Maggie Mayflower Rescue. Feral adult cats were successfully relocated to dedicated new caretakers. Each of the adult cats was spayed or neutered, received rabies and FVRCP (Distemper) vaccination, as well as any other necessary medical care. The cats’ new caretakers provide ongoing food, water, and shelter, and the overpopulation cycle comes to an end. These cats are truly Lucky Cats.

Community cat colonies are often unseen, as these felines hide in the shadows and are fearful of humans. Some are lost or abandoned pets. Others were simply born in the wild to unspayed females living without human companionship. Without intervention, these unhomed cats reproduce continuously, and, although adorable, they often suffer. Without a sustained source of food, water, and shelter, they struggle with starvation, disease, and wild predators. When they turn up in shelters, they're all too often labeled unadoptable and euthanized.

Through Lucky Cat’s network of volunteers, veterinarians and resources they provide an important local, humane, long-term solution to overpopulation for our region. The Lucky Cat Program facilitates the process to trap, neuter, return and manage (TNRM) community cats, offering vaccines and health care too.

However, they can’t do it alone. On average it takes $100 for one community cat to become a Lucky Cat, and the expenses continue as the program also provides cat food and veterinary assistance to help many community cat caretakers in the area. This year has presented additional challenges due to the effects of the pandemic on community cat populations.

Executive Director, Robin Byrd, explained, “Due to pandemic-related shortages, veterinary spay/neuter services have been limited, resulting in an explosion in community cat and kitten populations. Through supporting the Lucky Cat’s TNRM services to the community, together we can improve community cat lives and better our community too.”

The Lucky Cat Program has helped thousands of cats in the region since its formation over 20 years ago, however, the need remains great. Founder and president of the non-profit, Abigail Jennings, shared, “This year’s fundraiser is one of the most critical in our history. Funds are needed more than ever to continue our work in light of rising clinic fees and the COVID cat population explosion. Our Fall Fix-a-thon Raffle has a $25,000 goal to cover the costs of 250 community cats, and we hope to help even more through the generous support of the community.”

100% of all donations from the Fix-a-thon will go directly to TNRM community cats. Thanks to this year’s presenting sponsors Lake Norman Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Lake Norman Realty, all donors who make a contribution of $10 or more will receive an exclusive Lucky Cats clear stadium tote approved for major event venues, and will also receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of the following prizes: an Ipad Pro featuring the M1 chip, an Oak Island condo waterfront vacation two-night getaway, a three-night vacation lakeside cabin on Lake Norman, or one of five $100 Amazon gift cards. For contest details, sponsorship opportunities, or to enter the raffle, visit Cat food donations are also greatly appreciated and may be dropped off at any of Lake Norman Realty’s offices around the lake. Volunteers are always welcome and are regularly needed for a variety of roles. If you’re interested in helping out or have any questions about the Lucky Cat Program, please email or call 704-877-7779.

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