Practicing and promoting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in DuPage County, Illinois

We're a 501c3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and practicing Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in DuPage County, Illinois. We believe that TNR is the only effective, humane and long-term solution to the problem of cat overpopulation.
Happy Holidays!
Hello friends and supporters of Feral Fixers!

Welcome to our annual Holiday Newsletter - another jam-packed issue sharing with you all the goings-on at Feral Fixers!
Due to the restrictions in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is no Frosty Claws event being held in January of 2021. We miss you all and truly regret this – but you can learn about other ways you can help Feral Fixers
throughout this Newsletter.

Because of the help you have given us, as of this newsletter we have had 12,431 cats spay/neutered since we incorporated in September of 2007. We have also found homes for thousands of friendly cats; over 2,100 by our Adoption process alone as well as all the friendlies we have given to other rescues for their Adoption efforts. We will continue with our efforts until the problem of cat overpopulation in DuPage County is solved and every cat has a loving home. Thank you again for caring about the cats.

(note: you can see a full-size version of many of the pictures in this email simply by clicking on them)
Letter from the President

What A Year!

If nothing else has come of this year it has brought us all new appreciation for what we have, what we have lost and what we are able to do to make things better for ourselves and others.

We appreciate all the people who have continued to care about the cats. Many new caretakers had the time to resolve the cats around them. Extra time spent at home led to lots of new fosters and some foster failures as those families adopted their fosters, unable to part with them. People spending more time at home led to many more kittens being brought in and the longest "kitten season" we've ever experienced with the extended balmy weather. We formed tighter bonds with the area rescues as we all went thru the same challenges.

All those kittens took a toll on our fosters, our s/n transporters and Sue, our adoption counselor. There were individual kittens that actually received 40 – 50 inquiries EACH! But each of these kittens go to the best home possible for them as individuals and the alumni stories we receive validate the effort put into that goal. Please take the time to read the foster story included in this newsletter, we have some very impressive volunteers.

Thru it all we kept going as our physical interactions with people are limited and usually outdoors. A few fosters experienced COVID, most of us have been able to remain healthy.

Our ability to fundraise has been greatly impacted as cat people are much more social with other cat people than one might think and they greatly enjoy our in-person events!

A Few Notes About the Building

We try to wash and disinfect our traps before they go into Winter storage so they can be used immediately in the Spring. We were able to transport them all to the building, the railing spacing on the ramp made it very easy to get them into the building, the new washtub was able to hold 4 traps (3 large, 1 small) at once, so simple! And there was plenty of room for spraying with a blast of disinfectant, rinsing and shipping off to storage!


Just a few more days of our Black Cat Giving Tuesday Fundraiser. We hope the 2021 Feral Fixers Happy New Year! Raffle helps to replace our Frosty Claws event and provide something our donors will enjoy participating in.

For many reasons, I receive emails from a great many non-profits. That means that I see how they promote their organizations and ask for money. We do our very best to be different, low-volume and specific about our needs. I can't imagine how weary some of you must be, bombarded on a daily basis by every group for human, environmental, political and animal needs. I could say negative things about those other groups but would instead reaffirm that funds donated to Feral Fixers work to benefit the cats in this geographic area. Surgeries, medications, food, transportation, supplies, a building to house them in, it all goes towards the cats. The percentage of funds used for fundraising (administrative costs are often a high percentage of total costs) is minimal. We adapt ideas and make our asks as enjoyable as possible 😸. We will never be able to give up fundraising but promise to keep the annoyance to a minimum!

We have personal relationships with our donors and we appreciate them so much!

Happy Holidays!

We wish you a Wonderful Holiday and the Best Possible New Year!

Thank you all for your personal messages this year, they are greatly appreciated. Wish we could thank you all individually!
Los Angeles City Council votes unanimously to fund
Citywide Cat Program for TNR

As reported by Alley Cat Allies and elsewhere, the City Council of Los Angeles has unanimously voted to fund their new Citywide Cat Program for Trap-Neuter-Return. Quote from the article:

“The financial and organizational support of the City of Los Angeles will exponentially increase the amount of TNR undertaken. Over the past decade, TNR has been undertaken and funded solely by individuals and non-profits in L.A. Going forward, a great partnership will exist under which individuals and non-profits will continue to engage in TNR, but they will now do so with less financial strain. More cats and communities will soon be beneficiaries of this important life-saving and life-improving program.”

More information can be found in the article, available here.
How many cats? 12,431 (and counting)!

Feral Fixers was founded in September of 2007. Since that time, we have spayed/neutered 12,431 cats!

If you visit our website ( and scroll down the page, you will see a box on the left-hand side entitled “How Many Cats?” showing the total number of cats we have had fixed to date. If you click on that line item, you will then see the Feral Fixers 'Statistics' page where you can see our progress, month-by-month, since we've started work. Or, you can just click on the calculator 😊.
Winter Cat Care

As the recent weather has reminded us, winter is here! And feral cats need extra care to help protect them in these conditions. There are several websites that contain excellent information about how to help the feral cats make it through the weather.

Some of our favorites are:

Why Shelters? While cats are often great about finding shelter on their own, this can lead them to places that might be dangerous for them (warm car engines) or areas where the property owners don’t want them (basements, boiler rooms. Other times, there’s just no sufficient option for them. These are all reasons providing an insulated shelter (if you have the property ownership or permission) is a great idea for community cats in cold climate.

Why Food and Water? Feeding a measured amount of food is a key to responsibly managing feral cat colonies and this doesn’t change in the winter! What does change is that everything freezes quickly!

Yes, everything can freeze quickly. In addition to the websites mentioned above, TorontoStreetCats has an excellent article about how you can make a Do-It-Yourself Water Bowl Warmer for your outdoor furry friends. If you are unable to run electricity out to your feeding station for an electric bowl warmer, this DIY project might be just the ticket.

Another way to keep water from freezing overnight in winter is to copy an old trick used by horse owners to keep buckets of water out in the pasture from freezing. Take an old black tire (that's off its rim) and fill it with rocks. Then tightly wedge a large bucket in the tire's hole and fill with water. During the day, the tire absorbs sunlight and heats the rocks stuffed inside. The rocks in turn radiate heat and keep the water from freezing overnight. You can learn more about this and other ways to keep water from freezing at night from the Neighborhood Cats website.
How to Help Feral Fixers!

There are several ways you can help Feral Fixers:

You can participate in one of our Fundraisers


  • You can benefit Feral Fixers by purchasing apparel and accessories from Animal Hearted and with our logo at Cafe Press - a percentage of these purchases is sent to Feral Fixers.

  • You can purchase items on our Wish List from Amazon (Amazon Smile is better - then you help us in two ways!) and have them directly delivered to Feral Fixers. The picture to the right shows just small number of the many items we have received from our Wish List!

  • You can also purchase pet supplies at discounted price from Kuranda, Cat Litter from Cat's Pride and scratching pads and cat toys from Imperial Cat and have them sent directly Feral Fixers.

  • You can shop at Amazon Smile or via Giving Assistant and a portion of the proceeds purchased will be donated to Feral Fixers.

  • You can purchase and donate needed supplies to us from wherever it is convenient for you to shop (a current list of supplies needed can be found on the Buy Something! page on our website.

The latest and most complete instructions on how to help Feral Fixers through your shopping can be found on the Buy Something! page on our website.

You can sponsor one of our Adoptable cats on Petfinder! To see a list and pictures/video of our cats currently up for adoption, visit the WANT TO ADOPT page on our website, click on the cat’s picture and then on the SPONSOR link on the right-side of the page.

You can donate to us directly via PayPal or via a Credit Card. To do either, click on the DONATE link at the top of our website. This will take you to the PayPal site where you can donate either via your PayPal account or via a Credit Card (no PayPal account needed). And, did you know that you can set up Monthly donations via PayPal? These are absolutely wonderful for us, giving us a steady, can-count-on-it stream of income, more important than ever now to help take care of our monthly building expenses. To do so, just check the Make this a monthly donation box in the PayPal page -you can cancel it at any time.

Switched jobs or your employer has had Human Resources changes? Check to see if there is a Matching Funds Program! Some companies have started doubling the original employee donation! A very large number of companies already have a matching funds option and more are being added all the time. You can check a current list of such companies here

More information about how you can help Feral Fixers by participating in any of these programs can be found on our website - Thank you!
Want to volunteer?

Interested in helping Feral Fixers? We are looking for a 'few good volunteers'! Specifically, we need transporters, fosters, people to do laundry, scrub traps and cages, help with for s/n trips and recovery.

We need transport help both in the morning and the afternoon. If you're interested in helping, call us at (630) 881-3977 or email us at
Have you seen our Adoptables?

The events of 2020 brought an interesting set of benefits and challenges to our adoption activities. While much of the world experienced some downtime while isolating due to COVID, animal rescue and adoptions experienced a surge in interest as folks sought out a furry companion to help fill their time while in isolation. We received double the number of inquiries for cats & kittens in 2020 as in prior years! The interest was terrific, but the challenge was finding the best matches for our cats & kittens - families who will provide them with loving forever homes, far beyond the pandemic.

Our volume of adoptable cats & kittens is limited by the space in our foster homes. Fortunately, the pandemic also raised interest in fostering and we welcomed several new foster families, while also enjoying the support of many of our dedicated long term fosters. Many thanks to all of our wonderful and dedicated foster families! We went through a lot together this year.

As a result of the outstanding effort of our foster families, we should close the year with >310 adoptions, the largest single year total since we began. This brings us to a total of >2100 adoptions since 2013!

While there is lots to celebrate with these numbers, the greatest joy comes when we find the perfect home for some of our kitties who have been waiting the longest or need a specific type of home.
Spotlight: Matilda

Matilda is a 1 year old black/white sleek and strong tuxedo girl. Her white cheeks are dotted with the cutest black freckles! She keeps her white socks impeccably clean.

Matilda was rescued as a kitten in 2019. Being an independent girl at heart, it took her awhile to appreciate the value of her human caregivers and the benefit of buddying up with them. She has definitely come to appreciate the wet food and treats her foster family gives her, and she thanks them with lots of ankle weaving! Her appreciation of family time is also increasing as she is spending more and more time hanging out with them in the living room, engaging in play or just chillin' on the couch.

Matilda's biggest fun comes from play time and chasing around. Hair ties are her favorite toy. She absolutely loves them! She hunts them down from the bathroom and leaves them in her water and food bowl, to designate they are hers! Matilda would love a home with a young and active cat to play with, and a patient, experienced cat-loving family who will love her for the independent, fun and entertaining girl that she is!
Spotlight: Cato

Cato is an adorable 7 month old white and gray male with lots of personality. He loves lots of petting when he decides it's time for pets. He is a talkative little boy who likes to tell you what's on his mind! Once immersed in a petting session, his purr motor will turn on. When it is playtime, Cato goes crazy for the laser pointer. He will follow that red dot anywhere!

While his wonderful personality is enjoyed by those he trusts, Cato is cautious around new people, and will need a patient family who is happy to give him lots of time to get comfortable in his new home. Once he acclimates, Cato will be a wonderful family member for experienced cat parents in a quiet adult-only home. He enjoys the company of other cats and would benefit from a confident and welcoming resident cat who will befriend him and help him feel comfortable.
Spotlight: Goose

Goose is a goofy and loveable 7 month old black & white tuxedo boy with his little goatee and adorable mask. Goose was rescued at 3 months of age and is still working on overcoming some of his fears. He is nervous when approached, but will eat treats from his foster mom's hand. Even though he is still learning to trust people, he loves to curl up at the foot of the bed in the kitten room. When foster dad hangs out to watch TV on the bed, Goose loves to join him. Goose would likely do best with a resident cat buddy, especially a confident, easy-going cat. The perfect family for Goose would be with patient adults, possibly older children who will give him time and space to adjust.

If you are interested in Matilda, Cato or Goose or any of our other Adoptables (which you can see on our website by clicking on the WANT TO ADOPT? tab at the top), please email us at - thank you!
Welcome to the Feral Fixers 2021 Happy New Year! Raffle

In lieu of Frosty Claws and our Silent Auction, we are holding an online Raffle event this year.

Tickets are $5 each - you can purchase multiple tickets for each item. Tickets can be purchased online at our website or by sending a check to Feral Fixers, PO Box 1416, Lombard, IL 60148 (we must receive your order by January 12th). If you purchase tickets by check, please CLEARLY INDICATE what items you are purchasing tickets for, how many tickets for each item you are purchasing and contact information (email address or phone number) so that we may contact you if you are a lucky winner.

Items will be delivered to your home free of charge but must be within 50 miles of Lombard, IL.

Full rules of the raffle are posted on our website. Below are just a couple of items that are up for Raffle. There are eight items/packages in all.
JoEllen has made so many quilts for Feral Fixers – each one is signed by her – they are collector's items!
What more could a cat want? Fully outfit all your cat's needs with this raffle package!
And Mom Makes 200
by Nora Schneider and Gillian Schneider

In the fall of 2011, we decided to foster cats. What led to this decision is complicated, but at the heart of fostering remains a compassionate desire to help the world in some small way.
So we answered an ad for a foster cat family—thinking there would be a month or more of some application process. Instead, within two days we had five kittens through Feral Fixers. The kittens were about 6 weeks old, and my daughter Nora was 8 years old and my son Toby was 6 years old at that time. We were drawn into the process immediately, and with a quick commentary of what to expect at this age and some food, litter, cat toys, and cat beds, we started naming the new babies: Andy, Callie, Jet, Lucy, and Pablo. When we weren’t at school or doing homework, we were playing with kittens. Sometimes we played with kittens while doing homework.

As the kittens grew, we took pictures and sent personality descriptions to try to get the kittens adopted. However, we were warned not to do too much until after the kittens had their neuter/spay surgery around 10-12 weeks of age. When our foster coordinator came to our house to pick them up for surgery, we said goodbye to the kittens. Unfortunately, Pablo did not survive the surgery due to health issues we could not have known about in advance. There is so much we don't know about our fosters, but we do the best we can. Lucy was the first to find a forever home, followed quickly by Jet and Andy. Callie, an adorable tabby, was sweet but shyer than the rest. When any cat is shy, the challenge to get them adopted is compounded. She would hide from visitors, even though she was always playful with us. So Callie (pictured at right) became our first foster failure, which we call our foster triumph. Nora wished for Callie for Christmas, and Santa delivered.
From that point, we moved on from kittens to older cats. We worked with truly feral cats, ones that were hard to catch and did not want to be touched. We had one that had to stay in the cage and growled at us for weeks before being neutered and released back outside. Despite dealing with ear mites, infections, and even escapees (one cat escaped outside, returning a week later to our back door), the cats brought joy to our home, so we kept fostering. After five years, we had fostered over 130 cats and kittens. By the time we hit #133, we felt another foster triumph approaching. Few cats were allowed to walk around our house, especially ones that had not had their shots, but Atlas (#133), a sleek black 6-month-old, had already been vetted and was ready for adoption. When he walked around our house like he owned the place, our three female cats did not know what to do. So Toby got Atlas for his 11th birthday.

As our schedules changed, we had less time to help and adjusted to fostering more in the spring and early summer. With the “kitten showers,” we would start fostering in March or April until June. It became our foster cycle, helping in what ways we could, even if it meant waking up at 5 in the morning before our days started. Though difficult in many ways, fostering is rewarding work, and even though the cats come and go, we love each cat and kitten for the individual personalities. Many ask how we can foster because it might be so hard to give the cats up once, we get to know them, but with four of our own cats, we cannot adopt anymore.
Yet there are kittens that stand out from the rest and pry at our heart, and when they knead us, we realize we truly need them. Almost two years ago, we had the pleasure of meeting five older kittens, one tortie, and the rest with the same grey tabby coloring, clearly four brothers. A couple weeks later, we got two more from the same colony, and we found ourselves with a troop of cat cousins. This was an unusual group from the start, because no matter our schedule, we had never previously started fostering over the summer, but these kittens came to us on June 30, 2018. They still came and went fast. People fell in love with Post, Herald, Winston, Gazette—and four of the kittens were off to their forever homes, and we were left with three: Winona, York, and Onion (aka “Chex”). They climbed into our lives, becoming like our own cats, breaking free from the kitten room and wandering our house. They dashed through the house and would curl up with us when they finally crashed. They made acquaintance with our own cats, and every one of us (human and cat) formed a bond with the three kittens. When it comes to sanity and inviting guests over, we do understand how seven cats seems excessive. Winona, York, and Chex stayed with us for six months, and every day was an exhausting joy. In January 2019, York, Chex, and Winona went together to a kind woman who adopted some of the best cats we have ever known and, thankfully, kept the three together. We miss them but are grateful they went to such a loving home.
Like all good things, the challenge comes in letting go, because the cats do go. When fostering so many cats, we can never know where they all will end up, and adoptions do not always work out. We help our feline friends the best we can and do all in our capacity to give them a loving forever home, which rewards us because we get to work with amazing cats, seeing so much personality, so much variety, and we get to learn and grow from the experiences, which surprises people when we tell them, “We’ve fostered over 200 cats.”

We’ve added each cat carefully to a list on our “kitten room” wall, and this mom makes 200: our first pregnant mom (Weaver, pictured at left) had a litter of five adorable, playful babies in the safety of our garage. In fact, we have now fostered 208 cats. This does not seem very remarkable to some, as there have been over 11,000 cats that have been neutered/spayed through the Feral Fixers organization. But this is a personal achievement for us.
We are grateful for the 208 foster cats that we have had the good fortune to help. We are grateful to the moms because—while it’s not always easy, they make it easier on us. We are grateful that, through Feral Fixers, we can give back to cats and people alike. We have met some wonderful felines, and of course, some wonderful fellow volunteers. We are grateful to them because, in today’s world, compassion remains at the core of all the work we do.
2020-2021 Holiday Card Photo Contest!

As many of you know, each year Feral Fixers sends out a Holiday Greeting card to everyone on our mailing list.

Beginning with the 2012 card, the picture on the card was chosen from entries made by you, our friends and supporters. While there is no monetary prize awarded for the winning entry, the winning photographer will be credited on the Holiday Card.

And so, we would like to recognize the winning picture for this year's holiday card submitted by Pat Thomas.

We encourage you to submit your own photos of outdoor cats in winter. The picture should definitely say "winter" and "outdoor cat". A shelter would be nice but is certainly not required. We can accept pictures in nearly any format as long as the resolution is acceptable.

Thank you, Pat, - this picture of "Cali" truly says "winter" and "outdoor cat(s)"!

Please send your submissions to
The deadline for entering is April 15, 2021.
Our new building!

As many of you know, we finally closed on our new HQ building in March of this year (2020). While it is a great building in a wonderful location, a lot of renovation had to be done to it to make it suitable to our needs (and to fix some problems that came with the building). We’re happy to report that the renovation work is nearing completion and we hope to be issued an Occupancy permit for it very soon.

If you’re signed up for our emails (No? You can sign up by clicking here.) or visit our blog posts on our Website or visit our Facebook page, you’ve been seeing a steady stream of the progress which has been made, including lots of photos and videos of the action taking place. Below are just a couple of our latest photos from the building.
Traps being staged before being brought into the building.
Careful planning specified the bottom rail be far enough off the ground so that traps can be slid underneath it.
After the traps have been washed, they are being air-dried on our brand-new poured floor.
The new sink in action - washing our traps!
We are enormously grateful to all our supporters, donors and volunteers who have made all of this possible – we truly could not have done it without you – THANK YOU!
Walk your cat! (or your dog or your pig
or just yourself) ...

The ResQWalk application (now owned and maintained by Best Friends) is an app you can install on your Apple or Android smartphone and use to keep track of your walks. Charities registered with ResQWalk compete to see how much of a predetermined pool amount they can win for their charity based on the number of miles they walk while using the app.

Feral Fixers is a registered charity with ResQWalk and so whenever you go for walk, you can earn money for Feral Fixers.

Registered Feral Fixers walkers have earned several hundred dollars for us over the years and you can help! The app is free, the money is real and walking is very good for you - it's a true win-win.

Learn more about the app and download it here.
Sign up for our Mailing List!

If someone has forwarded this you and you're not on our regular Email List, we invite you to SIGN UP and receive regular newsletters and notices from us.

All you have to do is click here, enter your email address and then fill out the very brief form presented to you. That way you'll be one of the first to be "In The Know" about all the goings on at Feral Fixers - thank you!
Check us out on the Web

Please visit our website at There you can donate to us (via PayPal or credit card), find out about all the ways you can help Feral Fixers, visit our store, read the latest news, and learn more about feral cats. You can see our list of Adoptable cats, follow the ‘running total’ of how many cats we’ve had spayed/neutered, see the current list of Upcoming Events, check out past years Archived articles, read about our Friends and Partners, sign up for our mailing list and much, much more!

We also have very active Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. From these pages, you can get the latest information about what we are doing - often before it shows up on the blog! Links for all these pages are on our website home page. And don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook and the good karma will surely flow your way- Thank you!
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?

TNR is a full management plan in which stray and feral cats already living outdoors in cities, towns, and rural areas are humanely trapped, evaluated, vaccinated, and sterilized by veterinarians.

When space is available, adoptable cats and kittens are transferred to sheltering organizations to be adopted into good homes. Healthy adult cats unsocialized to humans are returned to their familiar habitat under the lifelong care of their original caretakers.

(note: you can see a full-size version of many of the pictures in this email simply by clicking on them)
Feral Fixers, NFP, is a certified 501c3 corporation - EIN Number 13-4364615