Help Community Cats Survive the Next Hurricane
Every year, we read stories and see heartbreaking images of animals left behind during hurricanes to fend for themselves. It is never acceptable to leave an animal behind in a natural disaster. Your rule of thumb for evacuating should be that if you leave, your animals leave with you - without fail.
There are instances, however, where it's not possible to evacuate animals - such as those who form community cat colonies. Community cats, because they are adapted to living outdoors, will likely find a way to survive most hurricanes and other disasters. However, that doesn't mean they don't still need our help.
If you are a community cat caregiver and the area where your colony is located has been flooded and evacuated, the cats will be desperate for food and clean water. If you are unable to reach the area safely yourself, you should reach out to animal control and any rescue groups in the area - these could be locally based rescues or out-of-state rescues working in the impacted areas - to see if there are any efforts being made to reach stranded animals. If there are, they may be willing to boat or carry in food and clean water for your stranded colony.
Cats can survive nearly two weeks without food, but only three days without water. If the stranded cats don't receive fresh water, they will start drinking flood water which can cause them lasting damage depending on what the water is contaminated with. Even if the cats are only able to be fed and watered every few days, it could mean the difference between life and death for many of them.
Don't assume community cats will be fine. Be their voice and exhaust all efforts to get them some help until flood waters recede and things return to normal.
If you have questions, please contact us.