Stray cats in Atlanta have enjoyed a little more warmth this winter thanks to a Boy Scout named Tyrell Cooper and his troop, Troop 3310.
High school senior Cooper and his fellow Boy Scouts created and delivered insulated cat shelters to the LifeLine Animal Project to help protect feral cats and kittens from a range of health issues, including hypothermia, from exposure to the elements. Outdoor cats have a much shorter life span (around 2 to 5 years) than indoor cats, who typically live between 10 and 15 years.
Cooper’s DIY shelters, which he calls “feline abodes,” give outdoor cats in the Atlanta area a safe place to rest. LifeLine shared photos of the brightly colored creations to their Facebook page and gave thanks to Cooper and his troop. LifeLine also revealed that they would be giving the shelters to clients with colonies of outdoor cats who been trapped, neutered and released (TNR). This process helps to reduce stray cat populations while providing care for existing outdoor animals.
According to local news sources, Cooper is an honors student at Westlake High School, and he plans to attend college and major in ecology after graduation. His cat-friendly project will help him advance to become an Eagle Scout.
If you ever find a stray cat or kitten, LifeLine recommends leaving them in their environment. They could be a community cat, which generally doesn’t like the shelter environment. However, you can help them by taking them to a vet for the TNR process. If you find a feral cat that’s missing an ear tip, this means they’ve already gone through that process.
If you come across stray kittens, the most important things to consider are whether they seem to be healthy and warm, and whether their surroundings are safe and free from traffic. If you are confident that the answer to both is yes, it’s likely that the kittens are being looked after by their mother. But if the kittens are cold, dirty or in immediate danger, the best advice is to take them to an animal shelter or rescue group.