Jun 24

About Feral Cats

The Truth about Feral Cats

Although there are tens of millions of feral cats living in the U.S., most people don’t realize there is a sensible way to manage and reduce their numbers: Trap, Neuter, and Return or TNR. Tragically, this lack of information leads to millions of cats being killed in shelters every year because they are not tame and therefore unadoptable.

Discover the truth:

A stray cat is not a feral cat.
A stray is a cat who has been abandoned or who has strayed from home and become lost. Stray cats can usually be re-socialized and adopted.

A feral cat is an unsocialized cat.
Either he was born outside and never lived with a human family, or he is a house cat who has strayed from home and over time has thrown off the effects of domestication and reverted to a wild state.

Feral cats should not be taken to local shelters.
Feral cats are not pet cats, and they will be killed at most shelters. Because they’re considered unadoptable, they sometimes don’t even make it to the shelter but are killed in the animal control truck. Even no-kill shelters are not able to place feral cats in homes.

Feral kittens can be adopted.
Feral kittens can often be tamed and placed in homes, but they must be tamed in their first weeks of life. This is a critical window, and if they aren’t handled in time, they will remain feral and unadoptable.

Feral cats have about the same lifespan as pet cats.
And they contract diseases at about the same low rate. The incidence of disease among feral cats is no higher than owned cats.

Feral cats are not the cause of wildlife depletion.
Studies show that the overwhelming cause of wildlife depletion is destruction of natural habitat due to man-made structures, chemical pollution, pesticides, and drought — not feral cats. Trap and Remove does not work.

Not only would you have to continue to remove cats, this process is extremely costly to communities. What’s more, other cats move in to take advantage of the available resources and they breed prolifically, quickly forming a new colony. This “vacuum effect” is well documented.

Trap, Neuter, and Return does work.

No more kittens. Their numbers gradually go down. The annoying behaviors of mating cats, such as yowling or fighting, stop. The cats are vaccinated, and they are fed on a regular schedule. This ongoing care creates a safety net for both the cats and the community.

TNR stops reproduction and gradually reduces feral cat populations.

TNR improves and extends the lives of feral cats.

TNR is effective, humane, and does not cost much.

Share the Truth!

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