Everything I visit the islands I check in on the feral cat situation that haunts the islands.
It really began with my very first trip to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2006. Naturally many aspects of the island impressed me, but what I remember most of all, as if it was yesterday, were the dozens of cats scattered among the palm trees on the edge of the golf course at the resort where we were staying, scavenging for food and begging at the outdoor BBQ areas every night. Who did they belong to? How did they get there? Who took care of them? I had so many questions.
I did some research, found the AdvoCat website and felt some relief knowing someone cared and was doing something for these poor animals. The frightening fact is that a pair of unaltered cats can grow the population into hundreds of thousands in 7 years. I don’t really know how the homeless cats situation got so bad or how it all got started on the Big Island, but these statistics are daunting.
Thanks to the good work being done by AdvoCats, through TNR the population seems to be more under control and I saw only a few older kittens on this trip and the adults I did see look more robust.
AdvoCATS identifies feral cat colonies with the help and information provided by members and other concerned individuals and uses a Trap-Neuter-Return Program to control over-population as well as to maintain good health among the colonies. Once trapped, the cat is transported to a local veterinary hospital or a spay/neuter clinic event. He/she is neutered, ear tipped (R-female/L-male), vaccinated against FVRCP, and treated with Revolution. After recuperation from surgery, the cats are returned to their colonies where the advoCATS volunteer monitors their recovery.
AdvoCATS has been around since March 17, 1999 and as of May 2016, they have spayed and neutered 18,106 cats!! TNR is by far the most effective way to control the population but it takes resources and people dedicated to the cause. I applaud the work this group is doing and if you are a cat lover, please help support the work they do. Below is a link where you can learn more and this amazing group and make a donation to help the kitties.