Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How do we operate?
A: CatFriends (CF) operates as an ALL volunteer organization (most of us work regular jobs during the day and trap in the evenings). Our typical mode of operation includes training colony caretakers in humane animal trapping, and, with the caretaker's assistance, conducting mass trappings in an effort to sterilize the majority of the cats under their supervision. Once the bulk of the cats have been sterilized, the caretaker must complete the process by trapping and altering the few remaining felines.
Q: Wouldn't it just be easier to euthanize all the feral cats instead?
A: Euthanizing feral cats creates what is known as the vacuum effect. "Feral cats establish territories based on availability of food sources and shelter. When the cats are removed from this environment, more cats quickly move in to take advantage of those resources. These new unsterilized cats will breed prolifically. The vacuum effect has been documented around the world." [Alley Cat Allies: "Get Informed: Discover the Truth About the Vacuum Effect"]
Q: Where does the money from donations go?
A: Because we operate as an all-volunteer organization, 100% of donations to CF are applied towards the costs of bait, transportation to and from the trapping location, fees associated with microchipping/sterilization, and medical attention that felines may require to bring them back to health, as well as towards the purchase of humane animal traps and foster supplies (food, litter, medicine).
Q: How many cats have we sterilized?
A: In a typical year we sterilize about 2,000 cats and foster, fix and adopt out about 200.
Q: How can I adopt one of your cats?
A: Our adoptions are done through our PetFinder site, Kapolei Petco, and by special appointment.
Q: I've found a feral cat. What do I do?
A: Go to our TNMR page for more information about Feral Cat care and management. Or contact CatFriends or (808)226-4561. If you are willing to care for the cat, please be sure to get him/her sterilized. We can loan you a humane animal trap and/or assist you with sterilization.
Q: Why is CF necessary? Why not leave this to the Humane Society?
A: Although the Hawaiian Humane Society provides the neutering (and microchipping) service part of TNRM for feral cats brought to them under their Feral Cat program, they do not participate in any other aspect. "Today, the Hawaiian Humane Society serves as a shelter for homeless animals, a rescue operation, a placement agency, an educational and advocacy organization and a pet care resource center." [http://www.hawaiianhumane.org/aboutus.html.]
Q: How long have you been doing this?
A: CatFriends started in 1999 with a group of people interested in trying to humanely decrease the numbers of abandoned and feral cats on O'ahu. In 2002 we became a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
Q: What is the most number of cats one of your volunteers has fostered at one time?
A: Jennifer still holds the record with 35 fosters at one time. Her husband has now imposed a limit for obvious reasons!