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Discussion Starter #1
There is a lady up the street from me and she's in a bit over her head with the feral cats she feeds. She currently feeds around 15 to 20 cats and they have had at least 3 litters that I know of. She does the best she can to tame down the kittens but most of them are still very wild.

The main thing is several of the kittens are very sickly looking, they have long hair and it's very matted plus after bad URI's there are two that I fairly sure are at least partly blind. I would love to take home the little tabby one because it's very loving but at this point in time I can't afford a huge vet bill, the Humane Society in my town will not help with vet bills, and all potential fosters are full and have been full for the last couple years. My vet clinic will let me make payments and I really want to help...If I did get this kitten it would be the last animal I can afford to take in. So I guess the point of this post is I want to help these cats but I don't know if it's financially feasable to help out. What would some of you do in this situation?
 

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That's sad. :( I know where you are coming from.

My friend decided to get another kitten as a friend to her young cat and we knew of a cute little fluffy thing that was a barn cat that was a sweetheart - she took it in but it ended up costing a ton in vet bills because the farm didn't deworm, vaccinate or spay / neuter. :? It had an upper respiratory infection and all sorts of parasites and was very malnourished. It is finally healthy and the sweetest little cat ever but it had a wild sibling that I felt awful for - I knew it would probably die because of all the health problems and I desperately wanted to help it.

After thinking about it, I realized taking this one kitten in (when I really didn't want a third cat) wasn't really helping anything. Other kittens would be born just as is need of a good loving home. Instead, I decided to foster with a local shelter - it seemed the best way for me to help as many as possible. It isn't feasible for everyone but for me it was the best option.

I'm sure everyone on here wants to help as many cats / kittens as possible. There are lots of ways to help - adopting from shelters, feeding feral cats, TNR, volunteering, donating supplies or money to good organizations... Think about your situation and what you can do - maybe volunteering or donating supplies to a local shelter would be the best for you. Maybe you can take in the little kitten (but if you can take one more in, could you maybe be a foster home and help many cats find forever homes?). Maybe you can help your neighbor with the ferals and try to start spaying / neutering some of them?

In my situation, I figured taking in one poor kitten only helped that one kitten. Because I have the means, space and time I decided to foster so hopefully I can help lots of cats / kittens. Good luck - your heart is in the right place, I'm sure whatever you end up doing it will help.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Volunteering as a foster was something else I was thinking of doing. It's just so sad because I pass by her house several times a day and I see these cats there...She did take several to be altered, I think she has a total of 6 that are fixed, the rest are all kittens that grew up. I've found homes for a couple of the tiny kittens but there are always more of them. Another reason I'm hesitant to take in the kitten is not knowing if it's FLV negative because I don't want to infect my two current cats. Thanks for replying your take on the situation as helped me work out a couple of my doubts.
 

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That's tough. The main problem I'm seeing here is that the cats aren't spayed and neutered, though. By feeding cats that aren't spayed and neutered you are going to end up with a very very quickly out of control inbred population. Cats breed just about as fast as rabbits, it seems. A female can still be nursing her kittens and go back into heat again.

Is there no TNR active in your area? (Trap, Neuter, Return)

The best I can suggest for trying to find the loving ones homes if it seems no organization in the area is willing to help (have you made sure you've contacted them all, as well as vets -- often vets have connections even if they won't directly help out) is to posting on places like Petfinder and Craigslist and see if anyone is interested. Make sure to get good pictures of them and type up a detailed description.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There is a huge overpopulation of cats in my town. The popultaion of the town is less than 500 and we have three feral colonies that I know of, each numbering more than a dozen. This lady was altering as many as she could but she has some serious health problems and can't afford to alter any more of them. I'm not aware of any TNR programs that help in my area. The vet will do a reduced fee but it's still outragiously expensive, especially for ferals where your having to try and keep so many from reproducing.
 

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Kupla if you dont mind telling us where you are maybe we can help you find a low cost s/n clinic within driving distance. This situation is only going to get worse unless you try to find a reasonable s/n clinic or vet to help you tackle this problem.

What rescues are in your area? We just need a bit of information to help you work the system that is in your area.
 
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