Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Animal Shelters Number One Cause of Death in Feral Cats | National Feral Cat Day

Today is National Feral Cat Day which was created in 2001 by Alley Cat Allies in order to raise awareness about feral cats, promote trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs, and to recognize the millions of Americans who care for these cats. I personally am a fan of feral cats. I can remember trying to care for feral and homeless cats even as a young child. Many of them actually ended up becoming my own pets.

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!

Happy National Feral Cat Day - be sure to spread the word! 


33 comments:

  1. I have not personally been lucky enough to share my life with a former feral but I have a lot of friends who do. They are definitely not as hopeless as so many shelters and organizations make them out to be (the cats, not my friends.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. To those who complain about feral cats, I say gp live in the Dark Ages when the cats weren't around (unfortunately due to superstitious and religious persecuters) and see how it's like to die of Bubonic plague or other rodent-borne illnesses. Certainly would stop the stupidity and junk science we've dealt with lately!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joan, cats sure do make good rodent catchers. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts today.

      Delete
  3. My Skeeter is a formerly feral cat and we're celebrating today, too. I am a feral cat feeder and have been for many years. When I can, I catch them, have them vetted, and find them homes. Skeeter happened to think our home would be okay with her :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I'm glad Skeeter decided that your home was acceptable! ;)

      Delete
  4. We don't get so many feral cats in the UK, when we went to Spain, there was hundreds. xxooxxx

    Mollie and Alfie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It might be a good thing Mollie. Some people are just not crazy about them. =/

      Delete
  5. Mom's BFF adopted a feral cat once, because their city government caught a lot of cats and they needed new homes. Felix was the beloved "kid" in their house for more than 17 years, but he never was cuddly or clingy :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, I think some of them never really do become "civilized" but it's amazing the amount of trust some of them are willing to give us humans.

      Delete
  6. We have read a bit today about the TNR program and we think it is a good one. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
    Best wishes Molly

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't quite understand why animal shelters are the cause of so many deaths. Im a volunteer at a shelter and we've only had to euthanize the few that were deathly ill. We don't kill our ferrell's, they remain with us well cared for until they are old and grey or until we have found them a forever home, barn. Alot of the time we foster them out and socialize them if we can to prepare them for adoption. Is there something I am missing? Please fill me in... I want to be better informed :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Krystal, thanks for commenting. I'm glad to hear your shelter does this for them and I think that it's awesome! I guess there are shelters out there who don't have the means to do this. Maybe barn cats are not in demand in more urban areas making it harder to adopt the cats out. I don't want to imply that shelters are bad places or the people that work there are bad. This information was provided by Alley Cat Allies for National Feral Cat Day. You can read more about it at their website if you like.

      Delete
    2. But you keep them caged. Is it good quality of life to be in a cage? Don't you think they would prefer a life outside even if shorter?

      Delete
  8. We love feral kitties and we love those who help them.

    ReplyDelete
  9. TNR totally works! There are a number of managed feral cat colonies in our area, and it is scary to think what the cat population would be like without them. Our sweet angel Sammy was found in a feral cat colony, and we were blessed to adopt him and have him with us for 6 years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome that Sammy was found that way! I'm glad you guys got to live together for 6 years. He was one cool cat.

      Delete
  10. a friend of ours has a large family of feral cats living in his small holding,they keep the rodents at bay plus he feeds them too lot during the winter months and every couple of day to make sure the are ok in the warmer months,xx Rachel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's very nice of your friend Speedy!

      Delete
  11. When I was younger, we never really had pet cats, but we fed all the neighborhood roamers. They weren't exactly tame housecats, but weren't quite feral either. Somewhere in between. Not friendly, but not skittish either. Most were cats that other people had just abandoned the care of and they had spent enough time on the roam to become about semi-feral, I guess.
    Well, in our neighborhood now, there are roamers. My husband thinks they belong to various neighbors who just let them roam, but I don't know. I am no cat expert... but they are not approachable. We have never really fed them, though we wouldn't mind doing so. They aren't skinny, so they are either good hunters or being fed somewhere. There are a number that I see regularly and recognize, but I need to make notes on them so I can know if any suddenly stop appearing or start looking different/unhealthy. I will be keeping an eye out for them during the winter and will definitely make sure they are eating enough. I worry about them freezing, though. I really wish I knew if they belonged to someone or not.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hmmm I guess it's a little hard to tell sometimes. Honey used to belong to a home and when we brought her home she was definitely NOT approachable. It takes time and trust - usually with a little bit of tasty food. Cats are very resourceful and know how to survive. Of course, it may be harder if they were once house cats. Adjusting may not be quite as easy for them to that kind of lifestyle.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I posted an article on examiner.com about a cat food drive one of our local feral cat organizations is holding in celebration of National Feral Cat Day. It got angry and disgusting comments from one person, trashing TNR and calling for the extermination of feral cats. Maybe you or one of your readers would like to reply to it. This is the URL of the article:
    http://www.examiner.com/article/south-shore-felines-celebrates-national-feral-cat-day


    Bruny Hudson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes Bruny... I was prepared to deal with similar cases today but wow that's pretty bad... I'm not sure I really want to jump into it with that guy! lol... but honestly it's truly sad that people think that way. Maybe the cats wouldn't be "destroying" his precious wildlife so much if he gave them some food. Of course, I don't see that ever happening.

      Delete
  14. We think those who work to feed TNR colonies, and help get them spay/neutered are true unsung heroes!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. All of our cats were strays when we took them in. We also like to feed ferals when we see them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Those some like some very interesting programs. I have never heard of such a thing!

    ReplyDelete
  17. That's not surprising! Shelters pout down kittens too young for them to care for too, for no reason than they are too young. The mom forgot to post about ferals because of the blogger problems, we have had several as pets. Yours was one of the blogs we couldn't comment at yesterday. But here are we today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yikes - thanks for telling me. I hadn't heard any complaints yet. Must have just been a fluke or something. They can make wonderful pets - I agree!

      Delete
  18. Hmm, that cat looks like someone I know from the hood. TW used to do TNR with a friend when she was a teenager a hunnert years ago. They had most of the hoods' strays 'fixed" and even had the male cats ofguy upstairs done cos he wouldn't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow CK. TW sounds pretty awesome after all ;) I didn't realize they had TNR a hunnert years ago! I think it's great that she got those cats neutered for the upstairs guy too.

      Delete
  19. I adopted a feral cat as a kid. She was a great kitty.

    ReplyDelete
  20. We don't have too many feral cats in the area, not that I know about anyway. We have a very good TNR rescue not too far away, though. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that's OK Austin. I'm sure you wouldn't want them on YOUR territory anyways ;) I mean you've already got that Tigger hanging around eh?

      Delete
  21. I totally agree with you they do need a helping hand! People that believe feral cats are nuisances need to stop being so ignorant, and read up a little bit about history!

    ReplyDelete
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...