Campus Cat Group Celebrates 10 Years

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    Students walking to class Friday afternoon got a chance to cuddle with some special visitors in front of Mary Couts Burnett Library.

    Frogs and Cats Together, or FACT, celebrated its 10th anniversary by bringing six kittens to campus to educate students about the feral cat population at TCU.

    FACT founder and TCU’s own music and media librarian Cari Alexander said she “needed to do something” in 2004 after 34 cats and kittens were rounded up in the Worth Hills area and taken to animal control, and not all of them arrived alive.

    “It was an ugly time in the history of our school,” she said.

    Alexander was the Trapping Coordinator for the UNT campus cat group from 2001-2003.

    “I met other local trappers through KittiCo and Feral Friends who loaned me traps and we got started,” she wrote in an email.

    Alexander and FACT use the TNR method when dealing with feral cat colonies.

    TNR, which stands for trap, neuter and return, is a humane method of controlling feral cat breeding by trapping the cats, neutering or spaying them, vaccinating and microchipping them and returning them back to their colony.

    Alexander and FACT worked together to overturn a Fort Worth city ordinance which made TNR illegal. Alexander said it took seven public meetings and two city council meetings to overturn the ordinance.

    Currently, the City of Fort Worth “endorses Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as a humane method of controlling feral cat populations,” according to the city’s website.

    Alexander explained that feral cats can’t simply go to animal shelters because they’re unadoptable. Adult feral cats have not been properly socialized to humans and they’re unable to adjust to living in a human home.

    According to Alley Cat Allies, a national advocacy program for the protection of stray and feral cats, the euthanasia rate for feral cats in pounds and shelters is “virtually 100%.”

    After FACT returns a neutered or spayed cat back to its colony, the team monitors the cat’s health and returns to feed it regularly.

    When new kittens are discovered in colonies, FACT immediately steps in to foster the animals in volunteers’ homes in order to give proper medical care to the kittens, as well as socialize them to humans. After the kittens are old enough, they are adopted out.

    Alexander says FACT currently monitors six different colonies in the TCU area, and each is home to two to three cats. Since its’ founding in 2004, FACT has successfully maintained the population to a stable 14 feral cats.

    Alexander says that if students happen across a feral cat, leave it alone, but contact her via email at:

    c.alexander2@tcu.edu

    Or, contact FACT on its’ Facebook page:

    Frogs and Cats Together Facebook Page