The Parent Trap Program
80% of cats are born outside…
When kittens are found, mom and dad are usually close by! We leave no parent behind, making sure to get the remaining members of the colony spayed and neutered to prevent any more kittens from being born outside and helping the remaining colony members stay disease-free and healthier through vaccines and sterilization. Through the TNR process, any community cat is spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and returned to their colony.
We also provide assistance and funding to volunteers who help us statewide. When kittens are found in Eastern Washington, volunteers work together to transport the kittens into our care for socialization, while mom and dad (if feral) go through the TNVR process and return to their farm. If mom or dad is friendly, they join their kittens in our care and are also adopted out when ready.
*The microchip in feral cats is so that if the cat is ever injured and brought into a shelter, we can assist and help, whether that means with bills or space to recover. Rarely, we will have to return a nursing mom cat to where we found her if we can not find her kittens. We do not want the kittens to starve because we kept mom in our care. Through the microchip, if mom is found again with her kittens, we can be notified to help. Of course, we look for the kittens but sometimes mom carries them off to a really good hiding spot!
Parent Trap Examples
Spot, Opal, Hoot and Owl were found living in an attic! Two of them were clearly older, which meant there were multiple moms who were around. We were able to catch the babies, and use them as bait to catch their moms. The dad cats were trapped as well and all went through our program. They were returned to the property where they are fed and provided with shelter and free roam of the farm to hunt.
Owl During Trapping, Before and After
Bruce, Joker and Harley
3 hissy little kittens were found on a farm in Eastern Washington. Through volunteers, they were trapped and transported to Western Washington into our care. But we did not want to leave the parents behind to breed, or we would be welcoming new kittens in just a few months (mom can have 3 litters a year!) Both mom and dad were located and TNR’d through a volunteer and then returned to the farm. Ashley’s Kitten Academy also funded the purchase of a drop trap for the local volunteer to continue trapping cats in her area that were harder to catch.
Bruce, Joker and Harley were brought to the Kitten Garden foster room for socialization and medical care. While Joker and Harley took longer to warm up, they eventually became more trusting of people and other cats so that they could all be adopted out. Bruce and Joker were adopted as a bonded pair and Harley went to a home with other young playful cats. They were saved from a life outside!