Feral Cats in Islesboro 

When a cat is not spayed or neutered, it can quickly multiply.In fact a female cat, her mate and their offspring can produce more than 11-thousand cats in just five years.The folks on Islesboro know this is true. They’ve had a problem with wild cats for years. But some folks in town are doing something about it.Before Sharon Pelletier left on maternity leave she spoke to the folks at Island Feral Cat Association.”It’s estimated that there are more feral cats on the island than there are deer.”Feral cats are just like domestic cats, except they were born in the wild and haven’t had human contact.There are lots of them on Islesboro, it’s tough to say how many or why they’re here. Some believe they are the products of household pets, that wandered off from their owners who are summer time residents of the island.”So the cat would come in and when they step on this trundle to get food (trap closing)”Lisa Satchfield and many others on the island have had a soft spot for cats, and decided to try to cut down on the population by trapping them on their own, having them spayed or neutered, then releasing them back into the wild.Over ten years, they estimate trapping 75 cats, but then 2 years ago Janice Bethune wanted to do more.”My husband made the off hand comment since you like to volunteer so much, I’m surprised you’re not doing something with cats.”So she did, she founded the Island Feral Cat Association, and recruited lots of folks in the community. They organize their efforts to trapSpay, neuter and vaccinate all the cats. Some can actually be socialized and adopted.”He’s a success story that feral cats can definitely be adopted and be wonderful house pets”Janice has an island feral cat in her home..and Joan Lillie has four.”They’re all very friendly tame and wonderful.”But many feral cats can’t be socialized, so they’re released back into the wild.”It breaks my heart, they’re beautiful animals and the ones that you can socialize, the kittens you catch theyr’e just, they want to be loved. They want a place to be taken in and when you can’t do that for them it’s just heart breaking.”But the organization also makes sure that even the wild ones have a warm place to sleep, food and water.In just two years, they’ve managed to capture close to 2-hundred cats.And the organization also has another mission”It’s not just rescuing it’s also the education because it’s really inhumane for people to just dump cats which is where a lot of them came from”The Island Feral Cat Association wants to get the word out about the importance of spaying and neuturing your animals, and they’ve gotten young people involved in the group too.”Once I had to go check on a trap for them.””We help socialize the cats and the kittens.”This way the next generation will be able to carry on the mission of caring for these cats, in a humane way.The group gets some funding from grants but they rely heavily on donations, and so far they’ve been able to create a heated kennel, develop a cat food pantry, and pay the vet bills.It looks like this community has a real fondness for the their feral felines.”I’m just really proud of the people who’ve been association with this organization. I think they’ve gone the extra mile to try to correct a situation that a lot of people would choose to ignore.”