Displaying items by tag: feral cats

oxoplasma gondii: a risk for people and wildlife

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Keeping cats indoors is safer for cats, people, and wildlife. ABC has numerous resources to help pet owners transition their cats to full-time indoor living, including enrichment activities, literature, and more. Photo by Nikita Starichenko/Shutterstock

(Washington, D.C., April 14, 2020) As the COVID-19 pandemic tragically continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of people across the globe, evidence is mounting that domestic cats and other felines may also be at risk of contracting the disease. Professional organizations and new research suggest keeping pet cats indoors to manage infection risks.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) this week recommended that people who are self-isolating or have COVID-19 symptoms keep their cats indoors. According to BVA, it is possible that outdoor cats may carry the virus on their fur, just as the virus can live on other surfaces.

The American Veterinary Medical Association's standing policy is that pet cats be kept indoors. Their policy states that “keeping owned cats confined, such as housing them in an enriched indoor environment, in an outdoor enclosure, or exercising leash-acclimated cats, can minimize the risks to the cats, wildlife, humans, and the environment.”

For people wanting to respond to these concerns by transitioning their cats from the outdoors to indoors, whether temporarily or permanently, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) offers a range of helpful solutions on its website that were developed over years of consultation with veterinarians and pet owners.

New studies from researchers in China, where the virus was first identified, evaluated SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, to determine host susceptibilities and to better understand how the virus may move through the environment. These studies (Luan et al. 2020Shi et al. 2020Sun et al. preprintZhang et al. preprint), taken together, concluded that domestic cats are susceptible to infection, that infections have occurred both in experimental trials and outside the laboratory, and that infected domestic cats may transmit the virus to uninfected domestic cats.

Domestic cat infections have also been recently reported in Belgium and Hong Kong. Two Malayan Tigers, two Amur Tigers, and three Lions at the Bronx Zoo in New York have also shown symptoms of infection, and the only tiger to be tested came back positive for COVID-19. It's suspected that people exposed these felines to the virus. So far, the disease does not appear to be fatal to cats, and there is no evidence that the disease has passed from cats to people.

“Keeping pet cats safely contained indoors, on a leash, or in a catio is always a great choice to protect cats, birds, and people,” said Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs at ABC. “At this point, it appears that keeping pet cats indoors is also the safer alternative to ensure the virus isn't accidentally picked up or transferred by the cat.”

As well as being at risk from diseases, cars, and other threats, outdoor cats kill an estimated 2.4 billion wild birds each year in the U.S. alone.

Since 1997, ABC's Cats Indoors program has supported responsible cat ownership that not only protects birds and other wildlife but also supports long, healthy lives for pet cats. Cat owners interested in bringing their cats indoors, or providing safe outdoor time for their pets, can find resources on the Cats Indoors website.

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American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.orgFacebookInstagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).

Cats and COVID-19

Information and resources for those concerned about their cats during the pandemic

American Bird Conservancy.jpg  
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Keeping cats indoors is safer for cats, people, and wildlife. ABC has numerous resources to help pet owners transition their cats to full-time indoor living, including enrichment activities, literature, and more. Photo by Nikita Starichenko/Shutterstock

(Washington, D.C., April 10, 2020) As the COVID-19 pandemic tragically continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of people across the globe, evidence is mounting that domestic cats and other felines may also be at risk of contracting the disease. Professional organizations and new research suggest keeping pet cats indoors to manage infection risks.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) this week recommended that people who are self-isolating or have COVID-19 symptoms keep their cats indoors. According to BVA, it is possible that outdoor cats may carry the virus on their fur, just as the virus can live on other surfaces.

The American Veterinary Medical Association’s standing policy is that pet cats be kept indoors. Their policy states that “keeping owned cats confined, such as housing them in an enriched indoor environment, in an outdoor enclosure, or exercising leash-acclimated cats, can minimize the risks to the cats, wildlife, humans, and the environment.”

For people wanting to respond to these concerns by transitioning their cats from the outdoors to indoors, whether temporarily or permanently, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) offers a range of helpful solutions on its website that were developed over years of consultation with veterinarians and pet owners. 

New studies from researchers in China, where the virus was first identified, evaluated SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, to determine host susceptibilities and to better understand how the virus may move through the environment. These studies (Luan et al. 2020; Shi et al. 2020; Sun et al. preprint; Zhang et al. preprint), taken together, concluded that domestic cats are susceptible to infection, that infections have occurred both in experimental trials and outside the laboratory, and that infected domestic cats may transmit the virus to uninfected domestic cats.

Domestic cat infections have also been recently reported in Belgium and Hong Kong. Two Malayan Tigers, two Amur Tigers, and three Lions at the Bronx Zoo in New York have also shown symptoms of infection, and the only tiger to be tested came back positive for COVID-19. It’s suspected that people exposed these felines to the virus. So far, the disease does not appear to be fatal to cats, and there is no evidence that the disease has passed from cats to people.

“Keeping pet cats safely contained indoors, on a leash, or in a catio is always a great choice to protect cats, birds, and people,” said Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs at ABC. “At this point, it appears that keeping pet cats indoors is also the safer alternative to ensure the virus isn’t accidentally picked up or transferred by the cat.”

As well as being at risk from diseases, cars, and other threats, outdoor cats kill an estimated 2.4 billion wild birds each year in the U.S. alone.

Since 1997, ABC’s Cats Indoors program has supported responsible cat ownership that not only protects birds and other wildlife but also supports long, healthy lives for pet cats. Cat owners interested in bringing their cats indoors, or providing safe outdoor time for their pets, can find resources on the Cats Indoors website.

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American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.orgFacebookInstagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).

Talkin' Pets News

July 13, 2019

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestrial Custom Dog Services

Producer - Zach Budin

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Social Media/Production - Bob Page

Special Guest - Anthony Ferraro - Sales Director Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed Killer

 

Talkin' Pets News

January 12, 2019

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Suzanne Topor - Livingston Animal & Avian Hospital - Lutz, FL

Producer - Zach Budin

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Social Media and Production - Bob Page

Special Guest - Dani-Elle Kleha Releases a New EP "Runnin' On Dreams" and will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 1/12/19 at 630pm ET to discuss her new music, pets and give away some CD's

Give outdoor cats a helping paw this winter. Help us reach our goal of $20,000 by Dec. 18. Donate today!
 

Jon,

Cats are resourceful and resilient animals — but they still need help sometimes, especially during this time of year. We need to raise $20,000 by December 18 to help more cats and kittens this winter — can they count on your urgent support right now?

Cats can survive in the colder months, but sometimes well-meaning people bring them to shelters. And as you know, the vast majority of cats who enter shelters do not make it out alive.

Jon, you can save the lives of cats and kittens with an urgent winter gift to Alley Cat Allies. Please give the most generous gift you can right now — and together we can protect these animals during the winter season.

For the cats,

Becky Robinson   
Becky Robinson

Becky Robinson
President & Founder
Alley Cat Allies

P.S. Please make a gift by December 18 to Alley Cat Allies and save more cats this season.

Donate
 
 

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BETHESDA, Md., USA – Oct. 13, 2017 – Alley Cat Allies will celebrate the international premiere of Global Cat Day on Oct. 16, 2017, as a day for people around the world to stand up for policies that protect all cats in their communities. Participants are signing a pledge on GlobalCatDay.org to support advocacy efforts for all cats, including the cats who call the outdoors their home.

With the campaign already racing toward a goal of 100,000 people taking the pledge by year’s end, Alley Cat Allies president and founder Becky Robinson explained that the lasting impact of Global Cat Day will be a powerful message about protecting cats who live outside.

“Too often, local policies lead to cats being taken from the only home they’ve ever known – the outdoors,” Robinson said. “Community cats are no different from raccoons, otters or deer in that they are self-reliant animals who are totally comfortable outside with no need for human companionship. Global Cat Day is a turning point in helping more people to understand these essential facts about the cats living outside in their communities.”

GlobalCatDay.org includes short videos explaining the nature of community cats, plus the Global Cat Day pledge:

“I pledge to be an ally to cats, including those who call the outdoors their home. I will advocate for compassionate policies that protect every cat in my community.”

Global Cat Day has evolved from National Feral Cat Day®, which Alley Cat Allies created on its 10th anniversary in 2001 to raise awareness about community cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), and recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them. Because compassion knows no borders, international participation in National Feral Cat Day grew each year, reaching at least 20 countries with last year’s edition. That mark has already been eclipsed this year, with engagement for the inaugural Global Cat Day coming from more than 40 countries, from Australia to the United Kingdom, Belgium to Brazil, Saudi Arabia to South Africa and many more.

“It’s very exciting that interest in advocating for outdoor cats is coming from so many corners of the globe, because it’s more evidence that this is now truly an international movement,” Robinson added.

Follow all the excitement for Global Cat Day on social media with the #GlobalCatDay hashtag.

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About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the global engine of change for cats. We protect and improve cats’ lives through our innovative, cutting-edge programs. We are seen around the world as a champion for the humane treatment of all cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 650,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.

Alley Cat Allies Deploys Resources to Gulf Coast for Hurricane Recovery

HOUSTON – Sept. 3, 2017 – Alley Cat Allies has deployed an expert, bilingual disaster response team and is sending additional resources to help Texas and Louisiana organizations rescue cats and other animals whose lives continue to be in peril because of Hurricane Harvey.

“Many people and animals have been displaced, shelters are overflowing and families were forced to make difficult decisions about what to do with their animals,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “There are many cats and other animals who haven’t eaten for days and may be lost from their homes. We are eager to help the courageous people who are finding and saving these animals.”

In many cases, community cats, sometimes called feral cats, were left on their own when their human caregivers evacuated as floodwaters rose. The Alley Cat Allies team will help shelters and caregivers throughout Texas and Louisiana to rebuild programs that were in place to help community cats, including Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). They will also be forming a network of people to check on colonies, resume feeding them and place new cat houses and shelters as necessary.

The Alley Cat Allies disaster response team is starting its work in Spring, a Houston suburb, by assisting the Texas Litter Control (TLC) organization. TLC requested help as a member of the Alley Cat Allies Feral Friends Network. Alley Cat Allies has brought truckloads of traps, dens and cat carriers, which will all be in high demand. Additional supplies such as leashes, cat food, kitty litter, water, blankets and towels are also being delivered.

In Texas and Louisiana, Alley Cat Allies is offering emergency funds to overwhelmed shelters and organizations. In one such case, the Humane Society of Louisiana (HSLA) has used these funds for two disaster-ready transportation vehicles that are facilitating the rescue of hundreds of animals stranded by floodwaters. Jeff Dorson, executive director of HSLA, thanked Alley Cat Allies for helping in a second consecutive year, after the organization previously responded to extreme flooding in 2016.

“Once more, Alley Cat Allies has come to our aid in a time of need,” Dorson said. “This critical support is helping us to save cats and other animals who need our help. The generosity, partnership and good-will are helping us to get through some very challenging days as we try to do as much good as we can.”

Alley Cat Allies will post updates about its hurricane relief efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and donations to support its work can be made online at www.alleycat.org.

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About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the global engine of change for cats. We protect and improve cats’ lives through our innovative, cutting-edge programs. We are seen around the world as a champion for the humane treatment of all cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 650,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.

Hurricane Preparation Tips for Pet Owners, Cat Caregivers in Path of Irma

BETHESDA, Md. – Sept. 6, 2017 – As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida and the Southeastern United States, Alley Cat Allies, the international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting cats, has assembled a set of Disaster Preparation Tips for community cat caregivers, pet owners, and others involved with animals. These tips will help community cat caregivers and pet owners in the path of Irma weather the storm and keep their cats safe. Among the tips:

  1. Make sure to have descriptions of your pets and the community cats (sometimes called feral cats) you care for, along with photos. If you need to look for displaced cats in shelters or other rescue areas, this will help accurately identify them. Make sure all pet tags and animal microchips have up-to-date information.
  2. Enlist a back-up caregiver who is responsible for the community cats in your absence, and network with other community cat caregivers in your area to set up a ‘buddy system.’ This will create a safety net of care for the cats. You may be able to find other cat caregivers in your area through our Feral Friends Network.
  3. Create an emergency contact card for your pets and community cat colonies in case you are not immediately available. Include all contact information for your substitute caregiver. Carry this card in your wallet and your car, give copies to your backup caregiver, and post it somewhere visible in your home like on the refrigerator.
  4. Make a list of local shelters and their contact information. You will need this information in case you need their help or resources.
  5. Keep an emergency supply kit on hand and know where to find it quickly. Disaster kit basics for pets include a pet first-aid kit, a supply of prescription medications for pets, veterinary and microchip ID records, three to seven days of pet food and dishes, a seven-day supply of bottled water per person and per pet, a litter box and litter, a leash and collar, crate or carrier, blankets, and photos of pets and cats in colonies.

It’s not possible to bring community cats with you when evacuating from disasters, so they need their own special disaster plan. Read our Disaster Proofing a Community Cat Colony resource for guidance.

Finally, you can always reach out to Feral Friends Network members in your area for help in preparing community cats for a disaster or finding them after the danger has passed.

With an active Atlantic hurricane season now under way, it’s important to have a disaster readiness plan in place.  

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Non-native Predators Caught on Cameras in Wildlife Refuge

 

 

(Washington, D.C., August  17, 2017) Endangered ‘Alae ‘Ula(Hawaiian Common Gallinule, a subspecies of Common Gallinule formerly called Hawaiian Common Moorhen) are among the latest documented victims of feral cat predation on the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i. The pair of breeding adults was attacked and killed while sitting on their nest in a national wildlife refuge in late April. With no adults left to tend the nest, the birds’ remaining three eggs and two hatchlings did not survive. The incubating parents of two more nests were killed by the same feral cat on April 22 and May 19, and six more eggs subsequently failed to hatch. The feral cat is still at large.

The attacks were captured on remote cameras installed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in partnership with American Bird Conservancy (ABC). This predation by cats on endangered birds represents a major setback for conservation efforts and is a harsh reminder of the dangers feral cats and other invasive animals create for Hawai‘i's native species.

“Feral cats, whether they are dumped on the wildlife refuge by irresponsible owners or they find their way onto the refuge from nearby feral cat feeding stations, are having a very significant and tragic impact on Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge's endangered birds,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Project Leader Michael Mitchell. “Throughout Kaua‘i, natural resource managers are doing everything they can to save our native birds. But some species are running out of time, and extinction is forever.”

The recent attacks are among the latest in a long line of killings of endangered Hawaiian birds by feral cats, a non-native species. Unpublished data collected by FWS employees have documented at least 252 suspected cat kills of Hawaiian Common Gallinules, ‘Alae Ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian Coots), Ae‘o (Hawaiian Stilts), Koloa Maoli (Hawaiian Ducks), and Kōlea(Pacific Golden-Plover) in Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge between 2012 and 2014. Seabirds are similarly at risk, especially while in the nest. Feral cats were suspected in the deaths of 22 Laysan Albatross chicksduring a 3-week period in 2015. Recently, a feral cat was caught on camera killing and dragging an endangered ‘Ua‘u (Hawaiian Petrel) out of its nest by the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project (KESRP), an incident that is unfortunately recorded with regularity in remote seabird colonies on the island.

According to KESRP Coordinator Dr. André Raine, “Feral cats are one of the worst of the introduced predators on the island of Kaua‘i — they are widespread throughout the island, are highly adept predators, are capable of killing large numbers of birds in a very short period of time, and regularly kill breeding adult birds, which makes their long-term impact on a breeding population even more devastating.”

“The continued losses of Kaua‘i's unique and endangered birds to cat predation are unsustainable,” said Grant Sizemore, ABC's Director of Invasive Species Programs. “With even wildlife refuges no longer safe from cats, the time has come to pass a comprehensive cat ordinance — such as that recommended by Kaua‘i's Feral Cat Task Force — to encourage the responsible care of pets and safekeeping of wildlife.”

The task force, which included stakeholders from animal welfare, conservation, and community members, submitted its recommendations to the County Council in March 2014. Those recommendations include setting a goal of “zero feral, abandoned, or stray cats” and implementing practical solutions such as sterilization and confinement as key strategies for addressing the cat, wildlife, and human health concerns associated with free-roaming cats. Those concerns include toxoplasmosis, an infectious parasitic disease that may be spread to humans and wildlife through cat feces and which has been linked to deaths in endangered Nēnē (Hawaiian Goose) and Hawaiian monk seals. A report prepared for the Hawai‘i Department of Health in 2000 suggested that feral cats are the “highest collective risk factor [for toxoplasmosis] and require further attention and action from a ‘holistic public health perspective.’”

Top photo: Hawaiian Common Gallinule and chicks. Photo by Hob Osterlund.

Bottom photo: Remote camera image of feral cat preying on Hawaiian Common Gallinule nest, April 22, 2017. Cameras were installed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with ABC and are run by B. Webber.

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American Bird Conservancy is dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

 

A couple of long-disused buildings in the Florida Keys that once sheltered servicemen from missile launches have been sheltering something else – pythons. 

Four large crawlers – one, a female, was nearly 16 feet long – turned up within the last month at an old missile base at Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) reported. 

Scientists think the snakes migrated from the Everglades, a fertile breeding ground for the unwanted predators. Now, officials say, the snakes may be poised to head south, where several Keys species are defenseless against the large, invasive reptiles. 

Compounding their concerns: Officials this past summer also discovered some hatchling pythons near Key Largo – a strong indication that the snakes have found a welcome habitat and are multiplying. 

The latest unwanted snakes turned up in a couple of old bunkers where the U.S. military once had a Nike Hercules missile firing range. The site, closed 30 years ago, is now part of the 6,500-acre Crocodile Lake refuge. Searchers using trackers and specially trained dogs sniffed out the snakes, said Jeremy Dixon, who manages Crocodile Lake. 

“Snakes like deep, dark places,” he said. 

They also like black rats, which likely attracted them to the site, Dixon said. The area also is home to hundreds of feral cats, another potential food source. 

The easy availability of food, said Dixon, means the pythons could thrive on the Keys just as easily as they have multiplied in the Everglades. For more than two decades, an array of big snakes have spread and bred in the Everglades. Their presence has had a devastating effect on native birds, deer and other species in the park. Some snakes have even managed to devour alligators. 

The Florida Wildlife Fish and Wildlife Commission is working with the University of Florida to detect and remove the snakes in the Keys. They are partnering with the Irulas, members of a tribal community from India that’s renowned for its ability to catch snakes.  Learn more about those programs

If you need to report a python, dial the Exotic Species Reporting Hotline: 888-Ive-Got1 (888-483-4681).

                                                                                                                                                      XXXX
 


https://www.gofundme.com/cat-haven-rescue-inc
Land O’ Lakes FL, January 6, 2017: Cat Haven Rescue Inc. was established June 1st, 2014. Our main goal is to find forever homes for abandoned cats and kittens in the Tampa Bay Area. Cat Haven Rescue relies on a small network of fosters. We are a no-kill rescue that has taken in hundreds of cats and kittens,including many off euthanasia lists from other organizations.
We are NOT government funded, and all of our funds come from generous and kind people who donate to our rescue. Our funds go 100% to the care of our kitties for their basic health and wellness needs. It covers food, litter, beds & blankets, toys, and other cat necessities. Donations also cover unforeseen medical bills and medications for any of our sick cats and kittens.
We are in desperate need of donations! Currently, we have around 300 cats and kittens that need to find their forever homes, not to mention the cats we keep for life that are considered "unadoptable". We also care for numerous feral cat colonies in Tampa daily.
This past year has been incredibly difficult on our little rescue. Adoptions have been slow for months. We are down to a single adoption location at the Wesley Chapel Petco (on Bruce B. Downs). Any donation, no matter what the amount will make a huge difference in the lives of our amazing cats. Thank you for your consideration.

Cat Haven Rescue is where Jon Patch adopted Winter who you can watch during the Facebook live airings of Talkin' Pets @talkinpetradio

 

 

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