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Alameda’s Garden Cats

Not quite ready for indoor living.

Alameda is well known for our many lovely gardens and our love of pets, but many of us have never even heard of our independent resident “garden cats.”  Island Cat Resources and Adoption, our local feral cat rescue organization founded in 1994 and staffed entirely by volunteers, started the Garden Cat program to provide care for outdoor cats “that are not comfortable enough with people to become house cats.”

Alameda Post - calico garden cat
Fern is a female calico shorthair, available for adoption as a garden cat. Photo ICRA

Garden cats don’t fit the stereotype of wild or aggressive feral cats, according to ICRA. They are just very shy and need both a safe outdoor place to live and humans to feed and care for them. They have been vaccinated and spayed or neutered.

Alameda Post - gray garden cat Alameda Post - black garden cat

“In time, some of these cats will allow petting from a trusted caregiver,” the ICRA website states. “Others will keep a safe distance but enjoy playing or sleeping in the garden while you are nearby. Most are curious about people and will interact with you at feeding time.”

These backyard cats just need a safe yard, shelter from winter weather, regular feeding, fresh water, and some places to hide around the yard. If you have a yard and would like to host a garden cat, ICRA will assist and support both you and the cat through the process. Just email ICRA at [email protected].

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