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.
The Feral Fixers e-Newsletter - Issue # 70 - Holiday Season 2019-2020
In This Issue
Letter from the President
Frosty Claws
How many cats? - 11,685!!
Declawing cats...
2019-2020 Holiday Card Contest!
Winter Cat Care
Check out our Social Media!
Walk your dog!
Want to Help?
Have you seen our Adoptables?
Event Calendar
Help Feral Fixers - Buy Something!
Visit us on the Web
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
About us
Dear Friend,

Welcome to the 2019-2020 Holiday newsletter from Feral Fixers!

You are receiving this newsletter from us because you have donated to us before, or perhaps we have helped you with your feral  cats or perhaps you have signed up for our mailing list. Whatever the reason, you have shown yourself to be a friend of feral cats  and for that we sincerely thank you. But before we go any further...

Frosty Claws is nearly here! Our TWELFTH annual Frosty Claws Fundraiser is coming soon - information about the event and how to purchase discounted Early Bird tickets is elsewhere in this newsletter.

This is, once again, a jam-packed issue. There is our Letter from the President, an article talking about all the bad things caused by declawing cats, the 2020-2021 Holiday Card contest (and the 2019-2020 contest winner) and how you can help Feral Fixers by taking a walk!

There is also a calendar of upcoming Feral Fixers Events, a chart showing how many cats (11,685!) Feral fixers has had spayed/neutered since its inception, ways to help us by shopping on Amazon or CafePress (and many other shopping destinations) and much, much more!

Thank you again for caring about the cats.


Feral Fixers
Holidays are Here!

Free Food
Rescue Pack Chicago (formerly Rescue Bank) distributed a value of over $4 million in food and supplies to local animal welfare organizations in 2019!  One of the ways to help them obtain those supplies is to visit  The Animal Rescue Site and click to donate. "Click here to Give - It's Free" is as simple as that.  Corporate sponsors advertise on the website and in exchange donate food.  The Rescue Site also has an online store which donates a portion of the products sold.  It should be noted that The Animal Rescue Site is NOT a non-profit organization and does not claim to be one. However, it has helped feed animals in need by raising funds for millions of pounds of much-needed food. The donated funds are then distributed by and Rescue Pack Chicago is one of the recipients of donations.  The local groups pay for shipping costs at a rate of 12cents per pound.  That means that a skid of 1,000lbs of food may cost an organization $120 - many times that is less than a tenth of what it would cost off the shelf with much less handling and damaged product in obtaining.  Rescue Pack does a great job on Distribution Day - coordinating 60 to 100 groups with up to two vehicles each, benefitting so many so that funds normally spent on food can be allocated differently.  This helps us help so many ferals and adoptables while using those funds towards surgeries!  A legitimate program and while a daily email and a few keystrokes every day may seem a very strange way to donate, you can make a difference for the animals of Chicagoland!

New Spay/Neuter Clinic in Joliet
SNIP Society Clinic opened in Joliet in September of this year.  Their goal is to provide low-cost spay/neuter for the dogs and cats of the Joliet area.  Currently they are open for services on Wednesdays and Thursdays, visit  their website for more information.  We get many calls for help in the Joliet area, we hope that SNIP Society will assist in reducing the number of cats that end up outside as strays and ferals, further improving the lives of cats all over the Chicago suburbs!

New Tomahawk Trap
Our friends at Tomahawk are always experimenting with  new ideas.

Recent Legislation And How It Affects Feral Fixers
There are three new bills signed by the Governor this year that affects Feral Fixers.

The first is  Public Act 101-0210, requiring alarm systems, sprinkler systems and staffing of kennels while dogs or cats are on the premises, taking effect January 1, 2020.

The second is  Public Act 101-0295, which includes many definitions, including "shelter", the 'Return' in TNR and fine structures. Took affect 8/9/19.

The third is  Public Act 101-0299, requires rabies vaccination for all cats four months of age or older that are companion animals.  Takes affect 1/1/20.  All feral cats must be vaccinated at sterilization.  This affects Feral Fixers as we often neuter at 2.5lbs, which is usually under 3 months, so will impact the feral kittens that we trap that are not yet 4 months, but not expected to become tame.  We will be trying to figure how to address this issue.

Many changes, most just common sense, which shows that our legislation is becoming more reflective of current needs.

Changes To Spay/Neuter Trip Schedule
Due to veterinary availability, we may be switching from almost every Thursday to Thursdays and Mondays and not every week.  PLEASE contact Feral Fixers to be sure when we are making a trip in, so that cats do not have to remain in traps longer than necessary AND you may be able to trap for a longer number of days = greater success in getting all of the cats in your colony!  This may result in larger numbers trapped along with increased down time in between trips so that we are all not as exhausted by the end of the year!  We're still working on this, stay posted!

Frosty Claws
Our 2020 Frosty Claws Fundraiser is on Sunday, January 19 th from 12 noon to 4pm.   Early registration at $10 cut-off is 1/14/20 and $15 on the day of the event.  We will have a Silent Auction, raffles, our boutique, food, all to support Feral Fixers for the coming year and more.  This event is very popular so be prepared for a crowd of cat-friendly people!  If you wish to donate items to our raffles and auctions, please contact us by 1/5/20 so that we can fit them in.  Items should be brand-new, collectable - something you would give to a close friend or family member!  Perfect opportunity for re-gifting and gift cards you won't use!  Please contact us at or call 630-881-3977.  We have a huge variety of items at this event due to the generosity of our donors!  Hope to see you there!!!

Holidays Are Here!

Thank you to all of our donors, caretakers, fellow Rescue partners!  Everyone who helps us every day in so many ways!  We could not do this without your impact and with your help 2020 is going to be a great year!

How many cats? - 11,685!!

# of cats fixed

Clicking on the Calculator will send you to the Feral Fixers 'Statistics' page where you can see our progress, month-by-month, since we've started work.
Declawing linked to chronic pain and aggression in cats

Declawing cats is a barbaric process that is, fortunately, becoming less and less common - but it still exists. While it is illegal in much of the world, it is still legal here (though efforts to outlaw this practice are underway).

In this article, author Melissa Breyer details the many reasons you should not consider declawing your cat(s). Money quote from the article:

A study from 2017 sheds a bit of light on the situation. The research, published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, found that the poor cats who are subjected to declawing surgery (onychectomy) are at significantly increased risk of long-term or persistent pain; which can lead to a number of unwanted behaviors.

The team studied a group of 274 cats, half of which had undergone declawing. They found that "inappropriate toileting," biting, aggression and overgrooming occurred significantly more often - from three to seven times more - in the declawed cats. The declawed cats were also three times more likely to be diagnosed with back pain than non-declawed cats.

The article links to the 2017 study.

2019-2020 Holiday Card 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 Marty Britt.

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 Marty - this picture of "Star Cat", "Bob", "Prince" and "Stripes" truly says "winter" and "outdoor cat(s)"!

Please send your submissions to The deadline for entering is April 15, 2020.

(click on the picture of Star Cat, Bob, Prince and Stripes to see a full-size version)
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 climates...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 -  
Check out our Social Media!

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 of 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!
Walk your dog! (or your cat or your pig or just yourself)...

The ResQWalk applicatio(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 amount 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.

Want to help?

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, and help with spay/neuter trips and recovery.

We need transport help both in the morning and the afternoon. If you're interested in helping, call us at (630) 881-7459 or click on the Want to Help? link near the top of our website
Have you seen our Adoptables?
Thanks to our outstanding foster homes and adoption event volunteers, 2019 was another successful year of adoptions, totaling close to 290.  This brings us to a total of almost 1800 adoptions since 2013!
Noteworthy among our 2019 adoptees are:
  • Victor, who waited 4 years to find his new family.  His 2019 kitten foster sister, Sandy, became his good buddy and helped draw him out.  The two of them won the heart of a wonderful gal in Yorkville.
  • Wendee, a 9 yr old Siamese lady, who was adopted in 2015, but had to be rehomed in 2019 when her adopter sadly passed away.  Her original adopter's daughter did a wonderful job of caring for her until we found her a new home with a great gal in Elk Grove Village.
  • Cerena, who was rescued on a bike path, and was good with people, but not other cats.  She is now the princess in the retail shop of her terrific adopter in Chicago, and enjoys interacting with all of the customers.
  • Ivy & Ruby, who spent a few years in Jeff's Cat Stop, and are now enjoying home life with a wonderful couple in Roselle.
While there is much to celebrate, there are still some cats & kittens who have been waiting a long time for their forever home.

Spotlight: Bobbie & Donnie and Sangria & Scilla  
Bobbie & Donnie are  a sweet, affectionate and playful pair of 3 yr old brothers in a foster home in Willowbrook. They are still kittens at heart and have a lot of love to give, without all of the mischief of young kittens.  When foster mom works on her computer, Donnie can be found laying between the monitor and keyboard with his paw touching her hand.  Bobbie is the first to claim his spot on the foster mom's lap before being joined by Donnie.  He follows his mom waiting for her to sit down so he can get comfortable on her lap.  When company visits, Donnie's curiosity gets the better of him and he comes to say Hello.
Donnie has an easy-going nature and gets along well with all of the pets in his foster home.  While Bobbie is fine with dogs, he is dominant with other cats and is best suited to be paired only with his brother.  If you are currently cat-less and looking for some friendly, well-trained, affectionate, good-natured furry friends, Bobbie & Donnie could be your boys!

Sangria & Scilla
While not actually related, Sangria & Scilla are the same age and have  grown up together in their foster home in Schaumburg since June 2019.  They love running around and playing together, but also enjoy cuddle time with their foster mom.  Sangria enjoys being picked up, held and loved on.  Scilla prefers to cuddle up next to you.  Both girls get along well with the other cats in their foster home. 
First impressions can be deceiving, and that is the case with these girls.  While they are a bit shy upon initial meeting, if you stay long enough for them to get comfortable with you, you will see how sweet, loving and fun they are.  Will you spend a little time to get to know these black beauties?
If you are interested in either of these pairs or any of our other Adoptables (which you can see  here), please email us at - thank you!

(click on either picture thumbnail to see a full-size version)
Event Calendar

(Note: Please check the Event Calendar on our website for all the latest information about upcoming events.)

January 19, 2020 - Frosty Claws! - Feral Fixers will be hosting its ELEVENTH annual Frosty Claws Fundraiser on January 19th, 2020. This event is our longest-running one and is always lots of fun and very well attended. More details, including how to register in advance (and save $5.00!) by purchasing Early Bird tickets can be found elsewhere in this Newsletter.

April 15, 2020 -  This is the deadline for sending in entries for the 2020-2021 Holiday card contest. Details about how to do this, along with announcing the 2019-2020 winner, are elsewhere in this newsletter.

April 19,2020 - Kitten Shower! - Feral Fixers will be holding its FIFTH annual Kitten Shower at the Villa Park VFW on this date. More details will be posted soon, but in the meantime - MARK YOUR CALENDERS NOW!
Help Feral Fixers - Buy Something!

There are several ways you can help Feral Fixers by BUYING SOMETHING!
  • You can purchase Feral Fixers apparel and accessories from our friends at CafePress and AnimalHearted. A portion of the proceeds from these purchases will be 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!) or Walmart and have them directly delivered to Feral Fixers.
  • 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.
The latest and most complete instructions on how to help Feral Fixers through your shopping can be found on our website page - Buy Something!

Thank you!

Visit us on the Web 

Visit our website at  There you can donate to us (via PayPal or credit card), visit our store, read the latest news, and learn more about feral cats.

If this newsletter has been forwarded to you, you can also sign up to be on our mailing list so you don't miss a thing!
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.
Feral Fixers, NFP, is a certified 501c3 corporation - EIN Number 13-4364615