|Image Courtesy of Alley Cat Allies|
This year, the theme for National Feral Cat Day is "Architects of Change for Cats: Building blueprints for humane communities". Alley Cat Allies would like for people to reach out to their local animal shelters and advocate for changes to help save the lives of feral cats within the community.
According to Alley Cat Allies, about 70% of all cats brought to animal shelters do not make it out alive. Sadly, almost 100% of all feral cats are killed in animal shelters. Animal shelters are the number one cause of death in feral cats. They don't have to die this way! So what can be done to help?
My local animal shelter has a feral barn cat program. They adopt out feral cats to farmers in the area that need mousers. The cats are vaccinated and spayed or neutered. You can ask your local shelter if they offer this option and if not maybe you can suggest it to them.
My own cat, Honey Delite, was actually adopted through this very program. While she was not technically a feral cat, she was deemed "too mean" and unadoptable by the shelter staff. Being adopted out by the shelter's feral barn cat program was her only chance, as this particular shelter is a kill shelter.
You can also practice TNR within your community. If you are caring for a feral cat or cats in your neighborhood, instead of taking them to the shelter where they are likely to be killed you can have them "fixed" and then return them to their habitat to live out their lives happily. TNR is a humane way to keep the feral cat population from growing.
|Image courtesy of Alley Cat Allies|
Feral cats have lived alongside humans for over 10,000 years. While many people believe they are nuisances, I believe they deserve a helping hand. They are perfectly capable and happy to live outdoors in their feral family colonies.
If you've ever cared for a feral cat in the past or are currently caring for one (or more!), I commend you for having compassion for our feral friends!