Feral FAT Cats of Brooklyn Need Your Help

For: FAT Cats
New York, NY
Organizer: Flatbush Area Team for Cats
$1,600
of $3,000 goal.
Raised by 32 donors
53% Complete
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The Story

We are the FAT Cats!

Flatbush Area Team for Cats – or just call us the FAT Cats! - is a group of cat colony caretakers in Flatbush, Brooklyn, primarily in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. We’ve joined forces to help the outside cats in our area stay healthy while limiting their population growth. We’re energized by the mutual support our new coalition offers, making us more than the sum of our parts.

Here’s what we do:

  • TNR (trap-neuter-return) – getting outside cats spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and returned to their feral colonies where they will be fed and provided shelters
  • Vetting of sick and injured cats
  • Finding adoptive homes for the kittens and friendly adult strays that we rescue
  • Helping neighbors with hands-on assistance for their own TNR projects
  • Providing long-term care for over 100 cats in several outdoor colonies

Here’s what brought us together:

For our initial large-scale project in late April 2015, we targeted six different locations and successfully trapped 27 cats that went to the ASPCA for surgery, most of them female and a few already pregnant! Several of the cats required additional weeks of antibiotic therapy under our care. We took in 15 kittens, some as young as 3 days old, and along with allies in another rescue group, we fostered, vetted, and found adoptive homes for all of the kittens. Some amazing volunteers came out to help with trapping and cat care, a few of them newbies who gained experience so they could work on their own TNR projects.

That is 27 cats TNRd and 15 kittens rescued in our initial project!

(Please see our updates, as these numbers have increased and continue to grow!)

OUR WORK CONTINUES, BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Where does your money go?

100% of money donated is used directly for cat care through our TNR projects. We are all volunteers and do not receive any money for our efforts; in fact, we personally cover many expenses ourselves. We pay for ongoing colony feeding and sheltering out of our own pockets, using donations only to cover expenses related to trapping, vetting and feeding the cats who are sick or are pre- or post-surgery.

The majority of the money goes to veterinary costs. We save money by using vets who offer discounts to rescue groups and using free or low-cost services where available, like through the ASPCA.

Your donations also allow us to buy supplies so we can get those hard-to-catch cats. Using our new Drop Trap, we caught a worn-out mama who has had about 10 litters so far. Now she is spayed, healthier and happier! Her sickly kittens were nursed back to health and are thriving in their new homes.

Are donations tax-deductible?

Unfortunately, no. FAT Cats is a recently formed group and we have not gone through the steps of forming a 501c3 non-profit organization. But rest assured that every penny you donate is spent directly on cat care, as we have absolutely no overhead costs!

Why should you care about feral cats?
Whether you love or hate them, feral cats (also called neighborhood or community cats) are a big part of this city. When people unlawfully kill or remove cats, new ones will take their place. There is no way to get rid of them permanently, but there is a way to limit their numbers, which is to cease their reproduction and to provide them with a safe place to live. Plus, they’re helpful to have around!

  • Cats keep rats and mice at bay.
  • Cats are territorial, and will not allow large numbers to live in their colonies, which naturally keeps numbers at a minimum.
  • Neutered and spayed cats make less noise and won't "perfume" your outdoor spaces.
  • Spaying and neutering is good for cat health and ultimately results in less stress on their bodies.

If you love cats, know that these ferals are happier outdoors and just need the care that some very good-hearted individuals are happy to provide. For the friendly abandoned cats outside who are not feral and who crave human companionship, we find loving adoptive homes once they are spayed/ neutered, tested, and vaccinated.

HELP US HELP THEM, PLEASE DONATE

All of this is not free! If you can offer just a few dollars it will help us to move toward our goal of being able to afford appropriate care for our community's local ferals.


Other ways to help if you live nearby:

  • Volunteer to help with Trap/Neuter/Return projects.
  • Adopt or foster a friendly kitten or cat! We have so many adoptable kittens and adults just waiting for a home. 
  • Tell your neighbors about the benefits of TNR.

Links:

We thank you from the bottoms of our furry hearts!!

- FAT Cats

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on December 17, 2015

Posted on December 17, 2015

MANY THANKS! to all who have donated, for your amazing support! We've already spent most of the $800 on vetting for the 6 kittens from our last TNR and other cats we've taken care of, and we still need to raise funds to get the kittens spayed/neutered and fully vaccinated. Kitten care is expensive due to needing extra medications and vaccinations, and adoption fees only cover a portion. (Also, the free or very low cost vet options like ASPCA have been booked solid; we keep trying to get appointments but it's been difficult.) Please help us continue to help our neighborhood cats. We are a non-profit all-volunteer group, and every penny goes to helping these cats have better lives. 

Posted on December 1, 2015

Posted on December 1, 2015

4 more cats TNR'd and 6 more kittens rescued, for a total of 88 cats TNR'd and 35 kittens rescued since April 2015!

We trapped 10 cats in the past 36 hours, 4 adult cats were trapped the night before last on E. 25th but we didn't get a sick kitten we were targeting. We went back last night and got the sick kitten, plus another random one. There are still at least 5 adults there and a kitten who will have to wait until later in the month. 

We are also very relieved to report that we were able to get kittens that had been trapped in a basement at the Albemarle colony. While we TNR'd the colony a few weeks ago, the super next door told us he had kittens in the basement that he wanted out. He was keeping them locked in a room because he didn't want other cats to get into the room. It was a nightmare in there - the room was literally condemned by the Dept of Buildings, unfit for entering. Meanwhile the super refused to feed the cats food that we offered, saying he was too busy. He just wanted them out but wouldn't let them get out themselves. We'd TNR'd the mama during the project and she kept trying to get to the kittens. After several visits, we finally got in there yesterday and caught 4 kittens - 3 of them all went into a box trap at the same time! Fortunately the kittens must not have been as locked-in as we feared because they seem healthy-ish.

The 10 cats either have ASPCA appointments this week or are going to a private vet. The 6 small kittens (about 7-12 weeks old) will get exams and we will work on socializing them. If you know anyone who wants to foster some really cute kittens, let us know. 

Our work continues because of your financial support. We are a non-profit, all-volunteer TNR group, and every penny of your donation goes toward helping these cats. 


Posted on November 26, 2015

Posted on November 26, 2015

This is what FAT Cats has been up to since our last update in August:  We've TNR'd most of a colony on Lincoln Rd, and assisted with various other TNR projects. We've rescued kittens galore, including one in the process of being dumped on the street.

That's 21 more cats TNR'd and 7 more kittens rescued since August,
for a total of 84 cats 
TNR'd and 29 kittens rescued since April 2015!

We continue to foster, rescue and find good homes for cats and kittens, and look forward to connecting with more friends and neighbors to do even more TNR projects going into 2016. With your help, we can continue to do this vital community work. FAT Cats is an all-volunteer, non-profit TNR group. No one in FAT Cats gets paid for this--all monies donated go directly to the cats. 

More detailed information on each FAT Cats TNR/Rescue since our last update is below.


Project: Lincoln Road part 1 (Marion)

During the summer we received a Facebook message about a hungry mother kitty and some kittens on Lincoln Road that needed help. Marion went to check out the situation and started feeding the cats. She also talked to neighbors on the block and learned that there was a colony there that had lost their regular feeder. Marion was allowed access to one of the gardens and started feeding together with those neighbors. She estimated that at least 8 cats from that colony needed TNR, which was performed 9/22/15 by the ASPCA after a successful trapping. Two were male, the rest female, one was pregnant. Some feral kittens were vaccinated for FVRCP and most of them needed flea treatment. We have been told that there are two more cats there that need TNR, so our work on Lincoln Road continues.

Project: Maple Street (Marion)

Marion also trapped 3 additional cats from Maple Street: Rambo, his sister and mom. Rambo was trapped before the project and taken to the vet, because we suspected he might be deaf or have an ear infection. Luckily, there was no ear infection, but he did have Giardia which needed to be treated for 2 months, and we had some kind neighbors help with his vet bills. Luckily also for Rambo, he turned out to be very friendly and snuggly. We named him Rambo because he was so fearless of the neighbor's dog! His mom and sister went on the ASPCA truck and were TNR'd, but they remained shy and feral. They were returned to Maple Street, where a neighbor is feeding them, and they have winter shelters. Rambo recently was adopted into a wonderful new home with lots of toys and cat and doggie friends!

Project: Lincoln Road part 2 (Marion)

While the 10 cats from the ASPCA truck were recovering, Marion caught 4 more cats: 3 girls and a boy. They all went to Faithful Friends, where the 3 girls were spayed. The boy (Tommy) was already neutered and turned out to be friendly a few weeks later. No one was missing him and he had no microchip. Marion trapped him again and vetted him further with a neighbor’s help. He tested positive for feline leukemia, but was lucky to be adopted by another kind neighbor on Maple, where he can live as a single cat indoors for the rest of his life.

Project: Flatbush (Guido/Heather)

Guido was on his way to work one morning in July when he spotted a man dumping a kitten. When asked what he was doing, the man replied "I don't need him anymore." Guido took the kitten home, where he and his wife (Heather) fostered him. We brought the kitten to Faithful Friends for vetting, where he tested negative for FIV/FeLV and was vaccinated and neutered. So, thanks to Guido being there just in time, Justin will not spend a minute on the streets. He found a wonderful forever home in only a few weeks.

Project: Linden Blvd (Rico/Elizabeth)

In October one of Rico's neighbors discovered a beautiful orange and white fluffy 5-month-old kitten hanging around their colony that had not been there before. She was very sweet/friendly, so no trapping was needed, just picked her up and brought her to safety, and named her Fie (pronounced Fie). Elizabeth stepped in and had her fully vetted, tested for FIV/FeLV (negative), vaccinated and spayed, and brought her to The Cat's Meow (The Cat Café). She is now in a foster-to-possible adopt home!

Project: Albemarle Road (Naomi)

Earlier this month Naomi helped a newly certified TNR-er trap 7 cats in a colony on Albemarle, overcoming serious obstacles due to lack of access to the lot where the cats live. There were 2 males and 5 females - 1 female was pregnant, 1 was lactating. We will soon go back for the kittens. The colony caretaker paid for the vetting, so there was no cost to us for this project, just the opportunity to help give a newly certified trapper her wings! We gave her a winter shelter to keep the colony cozy in the months ahead.

A number of people continue to contact us for help with friendly and feral outside cats. One of them had an unusual request: an enthusiastic Prospect Park Zoo veterinary technician is researching feral cats as part of a graduate program in conservation. She came along to a trapping session and asked great questions about issues surrounding TNR. Glad to help!

Project: Avenue R (Esther)

This one was a bit out of our jurisdiction, but our foster mom Esther found a black kitten while she was visiting her mom. Ebony was one of a litter of four, but the mother cat moved her kittens once she saw we discovered them. Little Ebony wanted to explore (and paid the price, as she had a scab on her nose when Esther got her). The other kittens are nowhere to be found and have probably gone their own way by now. Ebony's mom still hangs out on Avenue R. Esther is giving Ebony extra TLC and socialization. She is now 9 weeks old, FIV/FeLV negative, and sweet as can be. She is looking for a forever home. We’ll go back and TNR Ebony’s mother to prevent further litters.

Project: Ocean Avenue (Naomi)

Naomi TNR'd and provided a winter shelter for a feral adolescent girl. Named Ocean. She was spayed just in time, before she starts having her own kittens. She also took on a small colony of two cats on Clarkson Ave that had no regular feeder. The rest of the colony was trapped and adopted out by another rescuer, but there are two savvy cats remaining. With regular feeding and their new winter shelter, hopefully the cats will become trusting enough to be trappable so they can be neutered and vaccinated.

Project: Caton Avenue (Elizabeth)

Mid November the FAT Cats Facebook page received a request from a local good samaritan regarding a stray that she found on E21st and Caton. Because she was willing to foster him, we were able to help with vetting and posting to find a forever home, which Elizabeth is coordinating. Afredo is a super sweet and affectionate 5-month old kitten. Elizabeth brought him to our vet where he has been vaccinated, microchipped and tested negative for FIV/FeLV. He hasn't been neutered yet because the vet wanted him to gain some weight first, but his foster is giving him lots of love and good food. He is up for adoption and will be neutered in the near future.

Project: Friendly Adult Rescues!

Throughout this year we came across 4 friendly adult cats who needed homes as well: Louis, Brooke, Benny and Tommy. Louis was healthy and found a new home quickly, but Brooke was older and suffered from asthma while Benny and Tommy were FeLV positive. We found forever homes for all of them!

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