Gayle Adams sets a trap near a spot where stray cats congregate. The Cat Action Team volunteer estimates she and her daughter helped trap more than 250 cats last year and deliver them to CAT clinics to be spayed or neutered.
ALBERTON -- Gayle Adams recalls a litter of three kittens arriving at her property several years ago.
“I didn’t pay too much attention and, all of a sudden I had 40,” the Knutsford woman related. “There’s still quite a few around,” she acknowledged. “They come and go. Some are tame, some you would never see, but you know they’re here.”
She subsequently got involved with the P.E.I. volunteer network, Cat Action Team and is doing her part to help control the population of stray, feral and barn cats in Western P.E.I.
Gayle and her daughter, Krista Adams have been involved with CAT for several years. They estimate they’ve delivered close to 1,000 cats, mostly to the West Prince Veterinary Clinic and some to the Atlantic Veterinary College, to be spayed or neutered. Last year the mother-daughter team helped insure that between 250 and 300 cats would not further add to the cat population in West Prince.
Of all the cats the pair trapped last year, the surgeries for 210 O’Leary and area cats were paid for through a $19,800 PetSmart Charities of Canada grant.
This year CAT has received its largest grant ever, $23,040 from PetSmart. It will be used for the control of cat population in Lots 1 to 5 in West Prince. The Adams duo will be actively involved in trapping those cats and delivering them to CAT spay and neuter clinics. It is estimated the funding will allow for 250 cats to be spayed and neutered between this June and next.
At CAT’s annual meeting it was reported that 1,022 cats were spayed or neutered at CAT clinics across P.E.I. last year and that 8,483 cats encountered the population-control procedures since CAT was founded in 2000.
Adams is aware of one colony in the grant’s target area that has over 20 cats plus kittens. There are several sites, she said, where six to 12 cats roam freely.
Traps get set near known colonies and are baited with food. When a cat goes in after the food, the door drops down trapping the unsuspecting feline inside.
Caregivers – the people who help provide for the cats – are instructed to set a towel or blanket over the trap as a means of calming the cat. CAT volunteers pick up the trapped cats the following day and deliver them to the clinic. Volunteers pick them up later in the day and take them home for the night or back to where they were trapped. They remain in a cat carrier overnight and are released into their regular roaming grounds the following day.