Do you ever pay much attention to feral cats in your area? It’s easy to overlook them, isn’t it? They’re always prowling around homes and alleys, slipping through fences, and getting into garbage. Cats being cats, just without a home to go to at the end of their day. Sometimes it’s even difficult to tell a home cat apart from a feral cat if they’re wandering outdoors and don’t have a collar on. But feral cats and alley cats are a growing problem in the country, sadly contributing to disease, over-population, and adding stress to the already burdened animal shelter system.
That’s why the Alley Cat Allies have formed National Feral Cat Day, to bring heightened awareness to the issues surrounding feral cats and help you discover how you can help.
See, feral cats are just like house cats. The same species. The same needs. Often the same behavior. However, they have not been adapted to being around humans or other tame animals, and so can cause numerous problems in a neighborhood where they’re allowed to abound. They can, for instance, carry numerous diseases because they lack immunization and other necessary shots from the vet–which can then spread to domesticated cats who come into contact with them.
They can also be more aggressive and attack more quickly, both with humans as well as other cats (or dogs) they encounter in the urban wild. Plus, when feral cats are brought to shelters, it creates extra strain on the volunteers and workers there, and the cat–because it is often considered unadoptable–is usually euthanized. Not to mention that feral cats will keep breeding and adding more feral cats to their alley communities.
So what can you do? Aside from helping others realize the possible problems feral cats can cause, the Alley Cat Allies have launched a Trap-Neuter-Return initiative to help prevent many of these problems. Feral cats deserve to enjoy healthy lives just as much as domesticated ones. However, this require a little community intervention. By trapping feral cats (safely and humanely, of course), taking them to a shelter to be neutered or spayed, and then returned to their community, these cats can live out their days without adding to their already swollen numbers.
Check out Alley Cat Allies to discover the Trap-Neuter-Return program and see how you might be able to partner with local shelters to expand this throughout your own neighborhood, helping feral cats of all sorts feel loved.
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