Friday, February 5, 2016

Alley Cat Rescue's Guide to Managing Community Cats by Louise Holton

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At last there is a comprehensive, authoritative book for people who help feral cats. Alley Cat Rescue's Guide to Managing Community Cats by Louise Holton with a Foreword by Roger Tabor.

Holton is no newcomer to helping feral cats. She has founded two international cat advocacy organizations in the U.S., including Alley Cat Allies with Becky Robinson, and then went on on her own to found Alley Cat Rescue. Louise Holton is my go-to person for issues regarding community cats. Holton helped pioneer TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) in the U.S., bringing her experience of working with feral cats from her home country of South Africa. She has assisted over 40,000 cats of the past four decades, has presented at many conferences and symposiums and won awards for writing about feral cats.

Louise Holton and Dennis

What I love about this book is that it covers such a range of topics that are so easily understood because of her ability to explain them clearly, making this a practical guide for everyone from people who work with feral/community cats to city and county officials. Veterinarians, too, will find this guide interesting and helpful.

The really heartbreaking issue is that people throw cats away as if they weren't living, breathing, sentient beings, often dumping their pets into an established colony of feral cats where they will face competition for food, space, be attacked by other cats who haven't been vaccinated and will badly injure these former house pets who are left to find for themselves. If a cat disappears, the owners are less likely than dog owners to look for them, believing that they are "independent." They are independent hunters but not independent creatures. Domestic cats are dependent upon their owners for food, love, companionship and safety. 
Kittens Eating

For entirely too long, cats have been blamed for the diminishing bird population. Holton supplies her readers with the  scientific information dispelling the misinformation that has led too many places to ban TNR which is completely humane and proven to be effective. Yes, the misinformation continues. I urge you to read this book for the truth as well as how to handle the cats, the importance of spay/neuter of companion cats as well as feral or community cats. She includes health issues and a plethora of information as well as true stories about cats. 

The book is only $15.99 in soft cover 235 pages.  Buy it for yourself but it also makes a wonderful gift for anyone who cares about cats. It is invaluable.  

Here's a link to the book at Amazon:

For more information about Louise Holton go to:

Ear Tip Photo courtesy of Maggie Funkhouser


Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

I wish I'd had a book like this when I founded non profit, The Annex Cat Rescue 20 years ago in Canada. In those days we learned TNR by trial and error as a community and I learned the value of volunteers.

Darlene said...

Thank you so much for posting, Layla, and confirming my reaction to this book. I just wish it were in everyone's hands, especially those doing TNR, those who need to understand it, and those in the cities and towns who think it's better to kill cats then to let them live out there lives, spayed and neutered, and the colony just naturally dies out. Volunteers are invaluable.

Gordon Brice said...

Sounds like value for money, Darlene and an essential tool for anyone who helps care for feral cats, including the TNR programme. I have no hesitation in posting your blog on my Timeline, in the hope that many people will buy this book filled with invaluable information.
Thank you for sharing.

Darlene said...

Thank you, Gordon, for sharing this post on your Facebook Timeline, and helping spread the word. It is definitely value for money. I so hope that more people will learn about this book and buy it for themselves and/or someone else.