Flatbush Cats saves the lost kittens of NYC

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Kyla Clark/Flatbush Cats

Flatbush Cats is an all volunteer organization dedicated to reducing the outdoor cat population in Brooklyn.

Kyla Clark, Staff Writer

Through rescue, fostering and adoption Flatbush Cats is working to properly cut the feral cat population.

Kyla Clark/Flatbush Cats
Flatbush Cats is an all volunteer organization dedicated to reducing the outdoor cat population in Brooklyn.

According to the NationalGeographic, the Domestic Cat has been around for 4,000 years. However, the exact number could be 12,000 years as small cat skeletons have been found around the world. The belief is that the domestic cat comes from the African/European Wildcat. The primary theory is Wildcats domesticated themselves as they ate rodents in human areas and humans enjoyed the free rodent extermination. As human civilization grew, cats stuck around, resulting in the current situation: too many cats. 

“Approximately 25,000 healthy cats die in shelters each day awaiting the adoption that never comes. In Washington State alone, about 40,000 cats are euthanized in shelters every year, because there aren’t enough homes,” according to the Feral Cat Project.

The streets turn these cats feral, reverting to primal instincts and behaviors. Already domesticated cats can become feral and cats born wild usually cannot be domesticated. This means that feral cats essentially become an invasive species in America as they hunt for small birds and rodents at alarming rates. A study found that cats alone killed 1.4 to 3.7 billion birds annually. The feral cat population needs to be reduced in many cities and one organization is doing their part in New York City. 

Flatbush Cats was started with Will Zweigart and his wife in late 2016 when they moved to the Brooklyn neighborhood. Using all volunteer help, Flatbush Cats uses the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program for these cats. This program is more successful and ethical than mass killing and stops reproduction. The organization offers a TNR certification process and low-cost spay and neuter project for cats in need. They also foster kittens and stray cats that are adopted and find loving homes. Flatbush also displays their cat success stories through Instagram and YouTube, both using amazing photography and music to show the process of pampering their pet projects. Zweigart narrates these videos that serve as journeys, lessons and tutorials about the TNR program. He emphasizes the emotional toll fostering could bring, but also the catharsis of completing your role in the process of a cat’s second chance.

“If I adopted every perfect cat that we met, I would have stopped fostering a long time ago,” said Zweigart. “Which means I never would have met these perfect cats. It’s kinda like a kitten of the month club. You save a few lives, get them amazing homes and then get some more. And along the way you make amazing memories that you will keep forever.”

 

For more information about Flatbush Cats, go to their website at: Flatbushcats.org