Monday 12 June 2023

TNR volunteers feeding cats need to put down WATER with the dry food

This may be common sense to many volunteers and it may be the norm but I think it needs to be said just in case. Pretty much the only type of food that I see being put down for stray and feral cats is dry cat food. 

This is for the obvious reason that is much more durable particularly in hot climates. It doesn't go off rapidly. This means that all the cats can take advantage of the opportunity to feed. 

But the problem with dry cat food is that it leaves the cat mildly dehydrated. In a hot climate the cat might become a little more dehydrated than normal if they solely feed on dry cat food. 

They need water to rehydrate. Even them they'll probably be slightly dehydrated as cats are poor drinkers and don't fully compensate for the lack of water in dry kibble. 

Dehydration can lead to illnesses such as cystitis because the urine becomes less dilute which in turn encourages a bacterial bladder infection which is cystitis. 

The potential to developing cystitis is exacerbated by stress. The life of a stray and feral cat is stressful.

The food for stray and feral cats should also be put down for a set period of time. That is probably well known as well. 

The idea here is to avoid criticism from neighbours who believe that in feeding feral cats you are also feeding 'vermin and pests' and unwanted wildlife. 

The compromise is to put food cat down for a limited time which the cats get used to. The cats are fed and the opportunity for wildlife to feed is severely limited. 

This doesn't necessarily preclude entirely wildlife feeding on dry cat food but it hopefully deals with the potential or actual criticism by others. 

There are some people who don't like TNR. They think it doesn't work and that it attracts unwanted animals. 

TNR volunteers need to appease these detractors; to keep them happy if they are to successfully discharge their work.

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