Welcome to Operation Catnip Peterborough!
COVID-19 UPDATE: Please read!
Operation Catnip Peterborough would like to sincerely thank everyone for their support and patience during this difficult time. We are overwhelmed with calls right now and it may be months before the vets are fully open to us. The vets we work with are doing what they can to help and we are so grateful for their continued support. But they are backlogged due to the shut downs too, and without their availability, our TNR hands are tied.
We are doing the best we can, but during this challenging time, we need you to help these cats too! We are just a group of volunteers who started organizing because we recognized that there was a problem in our community. While we have grown over the years, we are still completely run by a few dedicated volunteers. We are not shutting down, but we are asking for you, the caring public, to help in whatever ways that you can, especially while we try to catch up.
If you have the means to help rescue cats yourself, we have many resources that can assist you. Here are some things you can do if you find an abandoned or feral cat:
• Talk to your neighbours and make sure it isn’t their pet. If it is, ask them if it’s fixed. If it’s not and they let it out regularly, ask them to keep it inside and away from other un-fixed cats. This will prevent more pregnancies and kitten explosions from happening.
• Provide food, water, shade and shelter.
• If the cat is semi-friendly/friendly (the cat doesn’t run from you, makes eye-contact, rubs up against you, or you can pet it/pick it up), try bringing it into your house and socializing it, or find a friend who will. Many of our volunteers and caregivers have had success making their street cats into lifelong indoor companions, like Garby in the above photo. It can sometimes take time, but some of the best cats we’ve ever known were ones who were abandoned and almost didn’t get a second chance.
• If you have other neighbours who care about cats, see if you can work together! Having a little community to pool resources is a great way of making things happen. Maybe someone can try fostering, maybe another person can help contribute to food costs. Maybe your whole neighbourhood can pitch in a few dollars to help with spay/neuter costs. It only takes one caring person to get something started – the cats can’t help themselves, but we can all help each other!
• If you find kittens or young cats, you can try caring for them or socializing them – but please wait until they are weaned, at about 8 weeks. Please do NOT remove newborn & young kittens from their mothers – they have a higher risk of dying and need to be closely monitored. If the mom has abandoned them, please contact an animal rescue immediately. Humane Societies will usually take kittens, you can give them a call for help.
• Pursue your own options for having stray cats spayed/neutered (if you already have a vet, they may be able to take a cat on for surgeries faster than we would be able to get appointments).
• Read some resources on alleycat.org , neighborhoodcats.org or other TNR/rescue sites. Many of the bigger TNR groups, especially in the US, have paid staff and whole facilities dedicated to their programs, they have some great educational resources that we often consult!
Please do NOT:
• Get upset with us. We have no control over this situation – we are all working incredibly hard to do as much as we can to save cats. We are volunteers who have our own jobs, families, health, and other important commitments that need our attention. We are trying our best to answer calls and messages in a timely manner.
• Expect us to show up within a few days (or weeks). We have a list of over 100 cats that we are working through – some injured, some pregnant, some needing to be relocated due to dangerous industrial situations. We are a TNR group, not an emergency line or a rescue.
• Put yourself, or any other person or animal in danger. Cats can react aggressively when they are scared, even if they aren’t truly feral. Learn about warning signs in cats at the above websites. If you want to start petting or socializing cats and kittens, please wear gloves the first few times and proceed with caution. Be patient. Food and play are great ways to build trust and bonds with animals. They will grow to appreciate you over time & hopefully will start to feel safe in your presence.
We very much appreciate everyone’s continued support and patience during this time, it really does mean the world to us. To date we have TNR’d over 1100 cats, and have helped many more.
We hope that everyone is keeping safe and in good health.
Love, Operation Catnip Peterborough
Trap/Neuter/Return of Feral and Abandoned Cats
Working with community partners, our mission is to reduce the suffering and control the population of feral and abandoned cats in our community. Operation Catnip provides TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) and preventative educational services within the City of Peterborough, Ontario.
OC began in April of 2013 with a small group of volunteers. As of January 2023, we have TNR’d and rescued over 2000 cats in over 460 colonies in Peterborough and the surrounding area. Along with the help of great caregivers, we are making a difference in the lives of these cats and our community!
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