Many people on campus find cats living near their buildings and take it upon themselves to provide food. If you're feeding cats, please follow these rules and guidelines. Contact us and let us know what cats you are feeding so we can verify they are all fixed. We may already be feeding the cats in the area.
Please only put out dry cat food. If you do feed wet food please do not leave the container behind, don't leave an excess of wet food as if it is not eaten it will easily spoil. You can expect an adult feral cat to eat roughly 4 ounces of dry food. Don't put out so much that there are leftovers; this will also attract other animals. The first few times you feed the cats, monitor the amount of food they leave behind to determine the proper portion. Remember to always keep the feeding station or area neat and clean. This is vital, not only for the health of the cats but also for our community relations with UTA. Keep the food dishes in one space to facilitate clean up and to provide a neater appearance. UTA and the cats will appreciate your efforts!
Keeping water clean and plentiful can prove to be difficult at times. If you do put out a bowl of water, it's your responsibility to clean and refill it on a regular basis. Don't let the water stagnate and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. As with food, clean water is vital for both the health of the cats and our relationship with UTA.
Cut down on bugs by keeping your feeding areas clean, especially in hot, humid weather. An inexpensive and easy solution involves applying cooking oil to the outside of the food bowl. Bugs and ants will not walk on oil. Another solution includes placing the food bowls on a tray or cookie sheet with a 1” high lip and filling the tray with a layer of water. The cats can reach over the water to get the food, but crawling bugs cannot cross it.
You’ll want to keep an eye on the cats for general good health. Some common indicators of health problems are changes in behavior, changes in eating habits, inability to eat, dull eyes or coat, discharge from nose or eyes, or listlessness. If you feel that one of the campus's feral cats is ill, get in touch with us. We may want to give our vet a call first and describe the symptoms, and if necessary we will re-trap him and take him to our veterinarian for a check-up.