Kitty Post: Feral Cats at Industrial/Commercials Sites By Sallie Rhodes
Updated: Mar 28
Who would have thought that hundreds of community cats live in Beltsville’s industrial areas? Beltsville Community Cats (BCC) volunteers care for about 175 cats in 15 industrial and commercial sites every day, 365 days a year. When BCC started, volunteers trapped feral cats, transported them to local vets to be sterilized and vaccinated, and then returned them where they were trapped. As volunteers continuously encountered young kittens when trapping, BCC established a rescue program—placing young kittens in foster care, socializing them to people, and adopting them into forever homes. BCC’s colony support program naturally evolved as caretakers who had been trapping and feeding at industrial/commercial sites in Beltsville for years began volunteering for BCC. The number of cat colonies managed by our volunteers increased as local businesses contacted BCC. These colonies range from 2 to 40 cats.
Today, BCC’s colony support team visits these industrial/commercial colonies, ensuring that these feral colonies have healthy food and clean water every day and adequate shelter in the winter. Volunteers continuously monitor these colonies for unaltered cats, injured/sick cats, and dumped house cats (a growing problem with the COVID pandemic). BCC’s colony support program is financed primarily out of our volunteers’ pockets. BCC does receive some donated dry and canned cat food. This food is distributed to student volunteers and to volunteers who lost their jobs due to COVID.
How can you help? Consider volunteering to feed an industrial/commercial colony one day a week, donating cat food to help defray the costs volunteers incur in feeding industrial/commercial colonies, or donating money to pay for spay/neuter surgeries and/or care for sick cats. Learn more about volunteering at www.beltsvillecats.net/volunteer. To donate to BCC, visit: www.beltsvillecats.net/donate. Call 240.444.8353 to report community cat colonies.