Just today I read a short article in a German cat magazine – Geliebte Katze – about architects in New York City who create little shelter homes for the feral cats of News York City.
The initiative “Architects for Animals: Giving Shelter” is a fundraising initiative. Participating architectural design firms build and donate creative outdoor winter shelters to provide NYC’s homeless cats with refuge from the season’s freezing temperatures. (Source: Architects for Animals)
According to estimates, tens of thousands of homeless, stray and free-roaming cats live on the streets and in alleyways, back yards, and abandoned lots throughout the city. Many of the cats live in groups known as “colonies.” The winter months are particularly difficult for these cats, when inclement weather creates serious and life-threatening challenges, including finding food, water, and shelter. (Source: Architects for Animals)
Shelters are important to feral cats, especially during winter time. As they don’t have a safe and warm place like domestic cats do.
But luckily there are already a lot dedicated New Yorkers who look after the feral cats and take care of them. But more New Yorkers are needed. The people are not only providing the feral cats with food, water and shelter they also “TNR” them.
TNR stands for trap, neuter and return. The cats are trapped, then they are neutered, health checked and vaccinated and at last they are returned to the area where they have been trapped.
To become a certified TNR care taker the person has to take a course to learn how to handle traps and the cats.
People wonder why the cats are returned to the area they came from. It’s a simple reason, if you take all cats from one area away the “vacancies” won’t be for long and other cats will replace the trapped cats.
The shelters designed by the architects are displayed on the “Giving Shelter” night event and are given to care takers who work closely with organizations like NYC Feral Cat Initiative.
I think it’s a great idea to help feral cats. Most of those cats are not ideal candidates to be placed in loving homes and the animal shelter facilities can’t handle those tens thousands of feral cats.