Category Cats

A quick discussion about feral cats

Each year, October 16 is celebrated as National Feral Cat Day.  It helps to raise awareness about feral cats, and aims to promote TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) programs. By neutering feral cats, the goal is to help control the population and reduce the number of cats in shelters. It’s a day to celebrate all cats no matter where their home is.

What exactly is a feral cat? And how is it different from a stray?

A stray cat has had human interaction and may be a pet that’s lost. Strays typically have some kind of identification like a collar or tattoo. They may be skinny, and although afraid, they’re ok being near humans.

A feral cat on the other hand, is one that survives on its own outdoors and has become wild because it has had no interaction with humans. They sometimes live in colonies and reproduce prolifically adding to over population. In some cases, humans provide food, water and shelter for feral cats but they do remain wild.

Programs exist across the country where pet rescues capture, neuter, then return feral cats to their home. The kittens are captured as well, vet-checked and treated, and when they’re ready, these kittens are adopted into loving homes.

Do you have feral cats in your neighborhood? Is the colony being managed by a caretaker that ensures they’re neutered, fed and have shelter?  If you need help with feral cats, contact your local pet rescue for advice and help.

If you’d like to support the cause in other ways, here are some ideas:

  • Adopt a feral kitten. Although they’re born wild, once in the care of loving humans, these little ones can become amazing pets.
  • Donate to a feral rescue.
  • Create a feral shelter by using plastic tubs or wood pallets and then line it with straw.
  • Tell other people about feral cats, the issues they face and how to help them.

Spaying and neutering of feral cats is an important part of the process to control the cat population, but it’s just as important for family pets. No matter where you get your pet, remember what the late Bob Barker used to say “Help control the animal population, have your pet spayed or neutered.”

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