But what exactly is a feral cat, anyways? How are they different from our pet cats? There is no difference in their species, and feral cats are in fact the same type of cats as the ones we call pets. The difference is the way they live. Here are some interesting facts about feral cats from the Alley Cat Allies website:
- Feral cats have lived alongside people for more than 10,000 years.
- They are also commonly known as outdoor cats or community cats.
- Feral cats live outside in groups known as "colonies".
- A feral cat can be just as healthy as an indoor cat, but are not socialized to people very well. Therefore, they are not candidates for adoption most of the time.
- Feral cats can thrive in every type of landscape.
TNR is a humane way of caring for feral cats and managing the growth of feral cat colonies. How does it work? Caretakers of feral cats set up a plan to catch them and then bring them to be spayed or neutered. Some shelters have TNR programs. After the feral cat is recovered from their surgery, they can be released back to their colony. Now, they are no longer able to reproduce which helps keep the population down.
Even with TNR programs set up in many places, feral cats are still brought to shelters where they will ultimately die because they are not fit for adoption. The shelter system is the number one cause of death for feral cats in the United States.
|Feral cat at my mom's house.|
Sometimes, feral cats can be adopted out through barn cat programs from shelters to help rural farmers and growers keep the rodent population down on their property. These cats are fed, cared for, and provided shelter by the farmers.
There are many people who are compassionate enough to care for feral cats in their communities. These people might leave food or water out for the cats or build them shelters when the weather gets cold. They may also provide them with medical care when needed. To these people on National Feral Cat Day, we say thank you for caring for these cats when no one else will.
Have you ever cared for a feral cat? What kind of things did you do for them?