How to get a pet friendly license plate
How is a stray cat different from a feral cat?
A stray cat is a pet who has been lost or abandoned and is tamed or trained to the point where adoption or returned to owner is possible. A feral cat is not accustomed to human contact and may find it difficult or impossible to live as pets under the adoption of a single owner or family.
Why are there feral cats?
Without contact early on in life, kittens of stray cats will become feral, or too frightened to be handled as pets. Since female cats enter their reproduction stage as early as 4 months of age, reproduction and likelihood of producing feral offspring increases rapidly if not properly spayed and neutered.
Where do feral cats live?
Feral cats may be rarely seen, due to their nature of fearing human contact. However, they may occupy abandoned buildings, shelters, or areas around known sources of food (outdoor trash cans or dumpsters near restaurants where scraps may be discarded).
How can the cat-overpopulation problem be solved?
Spaying or neutering community (feral and stray) cats using trap-neuter-return (TNR) will reduce their numbers. Spaying or neutering pet cats before they reproduce will reduce their numbers and help stop pet overpopulation.
What is “trap-neuter-return” (TNR)?
TNR is a nonlethal strategy for reducing the number of community cats (feral and stray) and improving the quality of life for cats, wildlife, and people. TNR involves
- Humanely trapping feral cats
- Spaying or neutering them
- Vaccinating them against rabies
- Surgically removing the tip of one ear (a “tipped” ear is the universally-recognized sign of a cat who has been spayed or neutered)
- Returning the cats to their home
Why can’t animal shelters rescue feral cats?
Animal shelters are wonderful establishments that do their best to help find homes for countless numbers of animals, but most do not have the money or available staff to perform TNR services. However, shelters that receive calls of complaint citizens may may provide information and loan traps to citizens interested in humanely trapping feral cats. If there is a local group helping feral cats, the shelter may refer callers to that group.
Because adoption of a feral cat is impossible, most feral cats that are sent to shelters are euthanized due to limited space and unlikelihood of adoption. Therefore, we encourage TNR services rather than shelter faculty handling.
Would it be better if feral cats were euthanized?
Euthanasia alone won’t rid an area of feral cats, simply because the cycle of reproduction can replace the cats euthanized, which brings us back to square one.
A better approach is TNR and a dedicated caretaker. Spaying or neutering feral cats is the better option in eliminating the increasing population of these types of untamed animals. A spayed or neutered feral cat is less likely to become a classic nuisance (whining, groaning, or fighting over mates) to the environment they inhabit.
TNR aid in the prevention of reproduction and reduces the population of feral cats over time. Additionally, many have calculated that the costs associated with TNR are considerably less than those associated with the complicated process of removal, containment, and euthanization of feral cats.
Won’t removing feral cats from an area eliminate the problems they cause?
There are many reasons why removing feral cats will not eliminate the problem they cause. In most cases, when feral cats are removed from an area, some members of cats in the area are missed. In this example, the remaining feral cats take over the area and reproduction begins the cycle again. In other cases, all feral cats are removed, which only leaves the possibility of other feral cats taking over the unattended area. This simply recreates the original problem.
What can I do to help feral cats?
- Find local groups to perform TNR of feral cats to prevent overpopulating of an area
- Spay or neuter your own cat
- Volunteer to socialize feral kittens.
- Volunteer to help at a spay/neuter event for community cats.
- Build shelters for feral cats
- Fundraise or write grant applications for an organization or agency helping cats.
- Educate your neighbors and community about outdoor cats.
- Donate to Feral Cat Friends, Inc.