Anne E. Beall, PhD

Community Cats

A Journey into the World of Feral Cats

Steve Dale interview

It all started when a rat ran over a family member's foot and Dr. Anne E. Beall began a journey into the world of feral cats. Beall had experienced rat problems for a long time. Then a neighbor told her about a program called Cats at Work, where one could get feral cats that would take care of the rat problem.

In Community Cats, she tells how she entered the world of feral cats when she signed up for the Chicago Cats at Work program with Tree House Humane Society. Tree House practices TNVR (trap-neuter-vaccinate-return), and they trapped, neutered, vaccinated, and relocated a feral cat colony to Beall's home. She narrates what she learned about the unique world of feral cats and about the people who are involved with feral cats and who advocate for them.

Community Cats shares the story of what initially began as a creative solution to a rat problem and became a journey that led her to reach out to others in the feral-cat world. Beall interviewed other colony caretakers and leaders in the TNVR movement and learned about how feral cats live, how they relate to one another, and how they relate to their caretakers. She also conducted survey research on Americans attitudes toward stray cats, TNVR programs, and spaying/neutering.

Beall learned that feral-cat programs have a huge impact on the caretakers of the colonies, on the neighbors, on the community, and on the cats themselves, and she details those findings in Community.

Ms. Beall writes an absolutely delightful account of her experience with (and subsequent study of) the care taking of feral cats...The author does a wonderful job of describing and honoring the dedication and personalities of several colony caretakers...

E. Kirch, Amazon Review

A fascinating and informative study on feral cats and the success of TNR (trap, neuter, release) programs...[a] personal journey into the world of feral cats and TNR projects is engaging and inspiring. A must read for urban dwellers with rat problems and animal lovers of any kind...

marguerite, Amazon Review

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