About Us

Background

Feral Cats Maui Inc

Jody with cats

For 7 years Jody Sparks and his wife owned and operated the Iao Valley Cafe. The cafe is located between the entrance to Iao Valley State Park and Wailuku’s residential area on Maui island in Hawaii. During that time, Jody became aware of, and eventually became a Feline Foundation caretaker in 2007 and “adopted” the Iao cat colonies comprising approximately 200 cats.

Mr & Mrs Sparks learned from experience how to best interface with a feral cat colonies. They also learned that the resources and methodology allocated to the feral cat population on Maui was insufficient, inefficient, and at times resulted in cruel treatment for the feral. The feral cat population continues to grow in spite of the efforts of organizations such as 9th Life, Maui Humane Society, SPCA, veterinarians, etc. due to the sheer quantity of feral cats and unending supply of domestic NOT-STERILE cats abandoned or just let out at night to co-mingle.

Trap – Neuter – Return

The Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) program of the Maui Humane Society along with the assistance of local veterinarians greatly facilitated Mr Spark’s efforts in getting the Iao Valley colonies neutered.  Their feral cat money and time allotment, and corporate mission, are vital to the primary activity and mission of Feral Cats Maui, Inc.

Applying the TNR method to the Iao Valley colonies upon their adoption, Jody learned that one of the essential elements of cat colony management is the health aspect. A trapped feral or ‘community cat’ in addition to getting neutered, also gets a medical review by a veterinarian, much like the feral may have received while it was a pet. In some cases, the feral is not returned to its colony site for various reasons: returned to owner, adopted out, over-all health limitations, etc.  This keeps the colony strong and not expanding. It also leads to some cats being denied an opportunity to live out their natural life in nature as a CAT with human assistance.

The second and third essential elements for cats in the wild are the basic needs for food and security.

Security is found in numbers united. Cat colonies can range from a few cats and grow to hundreds if reproduction is left unabated. The same territorial rules apply for feral cats on Maui as they exist for lions, tigers, leopards, and all the cats of the world.

Food. Cats are carnivores and hunt for food, sport, and gifts.  Birds – exotic, tropical, and birds in general – are a favorite of the cat, be it feral or domestic. Baby chickens, mongoose, geckoes, mice, and rats are also on the cats’ menu. Feeding the cats regularly and well mitigates the cats’ need to hunt.

After 7 years of TNR effort and personal cost to Mr Sparks, the Iao Valley feral cat colonies are stable, healthy, out-of-sight to the park visitors, and not bothering the fragile bird population in the high mountains & cliffs of Iao Valley.

The Problem

Feral cats exist on Maui because former pet-owners decided to abandon their pets. The rejected, scared, and homeless cats are suddenly left to fend for themselves. The fortunate ones are impounded, get adopted, or are accepted into a feral cat colony.

My family and I have been involved in the Feral Cat coalition since 2007. We work with and through Maui Humane Society, SPCA Maui,and as of January 2013, founded Feral Cats Maui. As a caretaker with the Feline Foundation of Maui, we also are responsible for the daily feeding, care, and neutering of three very large feral cat colonies in central Maui.

Using the TNR method, we have neutered many hundreds of these cats significantly reducing the population by stopping the breeding process. While the cats are being spayed/neutered, we also provide food, shelter, transportation, and veterinary care. Some of these cats are adoptable and we do our best to find homes for them. We also rescue abused or injured cats from county parks or wherever we find them as well as answer ads on local media.

We have dedicated our lives to these animals and we wish to do more. We need your help and support to do so. Please help us help Maui’s community cats!

For more information about adopting a cat, please call Jody at 808-269-2940, or use our contact form.

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