Today is Feral Cat Day and it's a special day for me because my sweet Lisa-Lee was a semi-feral cat herself. She was found by the rescue abandoned with her kittens under an old abandoned trailer. Today I'll be sharing 5 ways you can help feral cats + 11 facts about them too!
5 ways you can help feral cats
1.Trap-Neuter-Return Programs: The key to helping feral cats is Trap-neuter-return (TNR) endeavors that are geared toward reducing the number of unwanted cats by catching and then neutering or spaying them and some even additionally vaccinate while they are in care temporarily. What does that mean? This means that stray and feral cats are “humanely trapped, examined, vaccinated, and surgically sterilized by veterinarians.” Feral cats are then returned to their familiar environment and, hopefully, cared for by volunteers, who may provide food and shelter, and monitor them for sickness. This has some great advantages to the feral cats from fewer health problems and less weight gain and fewer catfights due to cats being in heat. Some of the benefits for humans is that it offers some population control and less fighting and marking all while still enjoying the benefit of rodent control. Ultimately, less cat suffering also means less human suffering in the face of death or injured cats.
2.Don't contribute to the problem. “It goes without saying that you should always spay and neuter your own fur-kids. Additionally, keeping your cat indoors helps them keep safe and prevents them from getting lost or ending up in a feral colony.
3.Don't feed and forget feral cats. Feeding feral and stray cats is generous and it's hard not to be tempted to be kind and feed them, but they do also need health care as well. If you know of a feral colony near you, reach out to a local rescue group that specializes in Feral Cats or cats and be sure to let them know where they are so they can help keep them fed and healthy too. If you'd still like to help the ferals be fed, try donating to your local feral cat rescue! It's a win-win!
4.Show you care with cash. A little money can go a long way to help a cat. Spay/neuter surgeries may cost as little as $17 for shelters to perform, so a single $20 donation can dramatically change the life of a feral cat. Contact your nearest rescue group to find out if they’ve got a TNR program; if they don’t, they’ll know who does. You can also donate money to animal welfare groups through an estate or will.
5.Volunteer your time. TNR and similar programs are often run by nonprofit organizations that rely on volunteer help. If you can’t aid in a clinical setting, you can be involved at the community level -- contacting local veterinarians and businesses, writing letters, fund-raising, or staffing a booth at a community event.
6.Become a colony caretaker. “In a managed colony, cats can live to be 12 to 16 years old,” says Slater. In fact, she adds, studies of 100,000 managed feral cats in TNR programs found that most were in good health. If you think you can provide ongoing shelter, food, or health care to a group of feral cats, contact your local rescue group, veterinary hospital, or other animal welfare group to find out how to get started. But before you do, understand that committing to care for a colony is a big responsibility. The colony will become dependent on you, just as a domestic cat would be. If you go away or move, it’s vital you find someone else to care for the cats in your absence.
13 feral cat facts
1.Feral Cats are often born and raised in the wild have little to no human contact
2.Feral Cats often live and reproduce near human populations; oftentimes they're indirectly taken care of by humans
3. Feral cats are not stray cats. Strays are homeless pet cats, while Ferals were born in the wild, and were never socialized with humans.
4. Some feral cats can be tamed (socialized to humans) but this takes time and effort and is more suitable for kittens than adult cats.
5. Feral cats often live in colonies, forming groups around food sources.
6. Killing feral cats does not lower their numbers. New feral cats will soon take up their place.
7.The only humane way of controlling the feral cat population is by TNR – Trapping, Neutering, and Returning them to where they were trapped.
8.Feral cats can have happy healthy lives outdoors. Humans can help that by TNR’ing feral cats.
9.Studies show that feral cats pose no public health risk.
10.You can also help feral cats by providing shelter during the cold season and water during the dry season.
11.Become a feral cat angel – help educate people about these special kitties!