Sanctuary is paradise for cats and cat lovers
In the early 1990s, when most people were unaware of the term, Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR),- a method of controlling feral & homeless cat populations – Habitat for Cats was quietly becoming the first organization in southeastern Mass to adopt the TNR method.
One of the first feral cat colonies to be addressed by Habitat for Cats was at the hurricane dike in New Bedford, MA. HFC trapped and neutered approximately 100 cats there. Our experience with this mass trapping and many others to follow, led to the discovery that there were cats that could not be returned back to their outdoor home due to dire reasons such as: no feeder at site, bodily harm being inflicted by neighbors, cat suffering a serious medical condition (blindness, leg amputation, etc.). Habitat for Cats decided to create a sanctuary to provide a permanent home for these select feral cats.
Good fortune was bestowed on Habitat for Cats when two cat loving benefactors offered use of their property – one acre of secluded, wooded land – thus, Habitat for Cats sanctuary was started. The Habitat for Cats sanctuary building process began with tree clearing, protective fence installation and the building of individual feral cat huts. Volunteers contributed their time and labor to this great goal. Grassroot fundraising and donations contributed to paying the cost.
Within months of opening the Sanctuary, 50 cats were relocated there. A roster of volunteers was drawn up and a daily routine of cat feeding and care was established. The sanctuary is managed by volunteers and the cats are treated by a visiting veterinarian when necessary.
At it’s peak, the sanctuary became home to about 100 feral cats. To ease their “golden” years, a new large shed-like building, called the Cattyshack, was built. It is a place with heat, lights, a comfy loft sleeping space and an area to house and treat sick cats. Additionally a smaller corralled area was fenced in around the Cattyshack to give the cats a safe space to convalesce or just lounge outside during the warmer months. Recently one of our oldest residents, Reiki, who came to us in 2003, and spent 18 years of her life living in the sanctuary, passed away. Reiki was one of many cats who experienced a long, happy life at the sanctuary.
***As of the last several years, the Sanctuary only admits cats who have been under our umbrella of care either from our foster homes or from a feral cat colony Habitat for Cats is responsible for maintaining.***
Please enjoy reading this descriptive story written by one of our supporters, Barbara Moss, about her visit to the sanctuary in the early 2000’s. Sanctuary is paradise for Cats and Cat lovers by Barbara Moss
Go to the Sponsor a Cat page to see some of the cats you can help support.
More Information about the Sanctuary
The winter months are sometimes tough for the cats, but cat shelters, are available throughout the sanctuary. All the shelters are filled with insulating straw and have wind blocks. Most of the shelter huts have heated warming beds and heated water bowls to keep water from freezing.
Twice a year, spring and fall, volunteers come together for a weekend of cleaning the grounds. Leaves are raked, the overgrown brush is pruned, and shelters are filled with fresh straw. Repairs to the fencing and buildings are also made as needed. On these weekends, only the bravest or friendliest of cats are seen during all the commotion. Click on the Volunteer Page to participate in the fun.