IndyFeral – Saving the lives of cats most in need.

I have unfortunately been unable to upload the pictures that I want to include it this post due to my malfunctioning internet.  I will update the post ASAP.


IndyFeral was my gateway into truly becoming involved in animal rescue.  My introduction to feral cats was much like most people’s.  I kept seeing a couple cats lurking around the garbage outback, lounging in the sun on the porch and hiding in the bushes out front.  I started feeding them and realized they were not friendly to humans and likely not owned or not fixed.  A little research lead me to IndyFeral.  The next thing I knew I was not only the caretaker of what turned out to be 8 feral cats but an active volunteer with IndyFeral, having been quickly converted by the enthusiasm, devotion and empathy everyone involved exuded.

The mission of IndyFeral is simple:  IndyFeral seeks to reduce the stray and feral cat overpopulation through the non-lethal method of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), not trap and kill.  This mission is so important because ” In the U.S. the most comprehensive data indicates that nearly 72% of cats that enter these facilities are killed.  For feral cats, the kill rate in shelters and pounds rises to virtually 100%.” (Source)

What is Trap Neuter and Return?  TNR is a humane and non-lethal approach to feral cat population control. It is a comprehensive management plan where healthy feral (free-roaming) cats are sterilized and vaccinated, then returned to their habitat and provided with long-term care. (Definition courtesy of Alley Cat Allies.)

What is a Feral Cat?  “A Feral cat may be defined as any cat to wild or unsocialized to be kept in a typical home.  These cats are often born in the wild and avoid direct human contact.  Every feral and abandoned cat is the end result of irresponsible pet owners who failed to spay or neuter their cat then allowed it to roam freely.”  *As defined on the IndyFeral website.

This 1 minute video also explains what a feral cat is.

I would add that in my opinion these cats are the most in need of our assistance and protection as well as perhaps the most deserving because we have abandoned them and without organizations like IndyFeral there would be no one to advocate for them.

When Lisa Tudor realized that there was a great need for a TNR program in Indianapolis, IN it 2002 Indy Feral was born.  Thanks to the fantastic volunteers, some of which have been active since 2002,  that she was able to bring into the cause Indy Feral can proudly present following amazing statistics:

  • 23,194 cats fixed
  • Assistance for over 2,500 managed colonies
  • 2,717 friendly cats/kittens removed from colonies

Marion County, Indiana passed a TNR Ordinance that regulates the care of stray and feral cats with the assistance of IndyFeral who was instrumental in passing this ordinance.

IndyFeral is somewhat unique among rescue groups as you will see if you visit their website.  They share regularly updated listing of many dog, cat and wildlife rescue resources on their site and in a pdf format.  They also offer the only comprehensive listing of low cost medical care for pets in Indianapolis that I know of.  In this way they make it clear that they are a part of the solution, for all animals in need in Indianapolis, IN.  A special, unique and effective organization that deserves our support through a monetary donation, food donation (scroll to bottom of page) or by volunteering.

I hope this post will make you look at the stray cat in your yard a little differently next time he shows up.  You can help save lives and IndyFeral will help you do it.


Cats Simon, Millie, Z Z and Fred Keep Track of their Pet Sitter

To our humans,

We are unsure how you can bear to leave us as often as you do, but you do manage it. You have provided a substitute servant for us and over the years she has improved her efficiency and been able to spend more time offering us her lap and providing pets.

Simon reminds me of my priorities - canned food of course.

She does not let us outdoors at all which is frustrating.  Except that Fred gets to go out, unfair!

Fred keeping track of Z Z

(Fred here:  I do get access to the house this time, at last, but she is still a bit scary.  I have allowed her to pet me a few times though.  She does provide canned food after all and I just can’t resist trying to trip when when she’s carrying it.)

(Pet sitter’s note:  Fred is a feral cat who over the last 3-4 years has become an increasingly more domesticated cat of his own accord. What is a feral cat? )

(Simon here: She is spending way to much time letting Fred in and out this trip though.)

She does not visit us nearly long or often enough.  Perhaps she could stay here next time to attend to our needs appropriately?

We are also dissatisfied with the areas of the house unjustly off limits to us.  She refuses to open the doors or let us into these areas that are rightfully ours.  Apparently someone has barricaded the doors this time so we can’t even provide access ourselves.

(Simon again:  The guest bathroom is also closed, this is surely an oversight on your part as you know that I like to look out he window in that room.  Filling the bathtub was just for fun, I only did it once and I probably wouldn’t do it again.  Haven’t you heard of second chances?)

Simon on his way to keep track of my activities.

Millie being disturbed from her wistful watching of the outside world.

(Millie here:  She sometimes will try to clean my eyes which is unacceptable behavior.  Period.  I do give her a bit of affection from time to time, even sitting in her lap occasionally.  She keeps the boxes clean, but not quite up to my exacting standards.)

(Z Z here:  At last she is letting my best friend Fred in the house.  I don’t understand why she isn’t letting me out when he goes out.  At least he gets to come in.  It’s also unfair that he gets access to the areas of the house off limits to us when he comes and goes.  Who knows what we are missing in there?)

Best Friends reunited.

ZZ showing off his best side.

As a rule, leaving us is unacceptable of course.  But, f you could make the above changes in the servants routine, (Amy is it?) we may consider not knock over any more lamps.

That’s our offer.

Simon, Millie, Fred and Z Z