If you ever have the pleasure of turning off the main road or cruising up the Rappahannock River from the Chesapeake Bay, you’ll come across the charming and friendly historic Colonial port town of Urbanna. Urbanna is home of the Official Oyster Festival, and there are more boats than people.
As with most port towns, Urbanna had a small problem. There was a large amount of feral cats, and the numbers kept growing. The cats have been in Urbanna for a a very long time. Some say 30 years and others speculate that the cats originally came over in colonial times.
At one time, some thought that catching and killing the cats would fix the problem. This is called the vacuum effect, and research has proven, that this method does not work. Catching and killing won’t keep an area free of cats for long. Once cats are removed from a territory, new cats move in to take advantage of new resources, and breed a new colony.
The residents of Urbanna knew that they had a problem, but also knew there was a solution. The solution was to Trap-Neuter-Return the cats. These animal loving residents formed a group called The Urbanna Cat project.
Their philosophy is simple: To make an effective, humane, cooperative and lasting impact on the feral cat population of Urbanna by organizing volunteers, educating members of the community and humanely decreasing the number of feral cats using the Trap-Neuter-Return method.
Urbanna Cat Project obtained a grant and spayed/neutered, vaccinated and ear tipped the town’s feral kitties.They are extremely well fed by faithful colony caretakers and the entire thing has been a great success bringing the colony’s numbers from 40 to 28 since they aren’t reproducing over the years.The Urbanna Cat Project has captured and released over 500 cats in the last 5 years, without any burden to the town. This method keeps the cats to one area, as they do not roam around searching for food. They are happy, healthy and loved.
The Urbanna desperately needs your help with food donations. You can mail or drop off food donations at The Urbanna Therapeutic Massage, located at 160 Cross St. Urbanna, Virginia 23175.
You can follow the Urbanna Cat Project by liking their Facebook page.