Project Bay Cat

I’m suspending the photos of the parks this Saturday in favor of a guest spot by the team of Cimeron Morrisey and Andra Lorenz who are giving us the story of Project Bay Cat. Thank you Ladies! Also, there’s lots more photos of these cats, and other things, by clicking on the “Foster City Photographer” link on the left margin under “Local Blogs”.

 

“Oh my goodness, look at the cats!” says a woman who stops in her tracks while out for an afternoon walk along Foster City’s Bay Trail. She is mesmerized and confused by the sight of a beautiful black Himalayan mix and a brown tabby relaxing on the beach. Are they someone’s cats, she wonders? But there aren’t any houses in sight. It’s all confusing to her. As a new trail walker, she doesn’t know that just a few years ago, the scene here was quite different: there were dozens of kittens and scores unaltered adult cats crying for help. Now, thanks to a collaborative effort called Project Bay Cat, there aren’t any kittens being born here anymore, and the adult feral cat population has been reduced by over 40% – it’s all part of a humane effort to manage the cats.

 

The first question most people ask is how the cats got there. Years ago, people abandoned their cats on the trail (which is now illegal, not to mention inhumane). Since the cats weren’t fixed, they gave birth to many litters of kittens, who without the benefit of human contact, became feral. Thanks to the watchful eyes of trail users, police, and volunteers, we’ve been able to curb the illegal abandonment of cats on the trail.

 

The next question most ask is: “So what do you do with those that remain?” About 5 years ago, Project Bay Cat began, which is a collaborative effort between the City of Foster City, Homeless Cat Network, and Sequoia Audubon Society. Working together with the community,  Homeless Cat Network volunteers rescued and found homes for over 70 kittens that were born on the trail, then they set out to trap-neuter-return the adult cats. Now, almost all of the adult cats have now been spayed/neutered, which not only stopped the cat population from growing, but has enabled it to shrink (by over 40% now!) due to natural attritition and adoption. Sequoia Audubon identified sensitive bird habitats, and Homeless Cat Network migrated the cats away from those areas to minimize the cats’ impact on the bird population. The humane efforts have been working marvelously. One day, there won’t be any more cats on the trail, and the successful results will have been achieved humanely thanks to the efforts of Project Bay Cat’s volunteers.

 

Until that day comes, volunteers from the community will continue to provide food and water to the cats every day at feeding stations. Members of the public are asked not to feed the cats unless they are registered feeders since we have specific feeding locations and times. The program is funded by donations and staffed entirely by volunteers, so if you can help (either as a volunteer or donor), please contact Homeless Cat Network today: info@homelesscatnetwork.com

Comments

  1. Jim,

    Thanks for passing that info along. I have always wondered how that many cats ended up congregating on the waterfront, and what kind of impact they must have on the bird population. Most important, I’m glad to hear that the population is naturally dwindling — whenever I cycle along the Bay Trail, there’s invariably a “suicide cat” that runs right in front of my bike at the last possible second. That’s not only dangerous to both rider and cat, but it takes the relaxation totally out the ride.

    Chuck

  2. A great big thank you to the faithful folks who have cared for all these precious animals throught the years- a real selfless service to the community!!
    Also, check out Roberts photos- the cats photos are so beautiful – but so are all his shots!!

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