A Stray Cat is NOT a Feral Cat
A stray is a cat who has been abandoned or who has strayed from home and become lost. Stray cats can usually be re-socialized and adopted. A feral cat is an unsocialized cat.
Either he was born outside and never lived with humans, or he is a house cat who has strayed from home and over time has thrown off the effects of domestication and reverted to a wild state.
Feral cats should not be taken to local shelters to be adopted. Feral cats are not pet cats, and they will be killed at most shelters. Even no-kill shelters are not able to place feral cats in homes.
Feral kittens can be adopted. Feral kittens can often be tamed and placed in homes, but they must be socialized in their first weeks of life. This is a critical window and if they aren’t handled in time, they will remain feral and therefore unadoptable.
Feral cats can have about the same lifespan as pet cats and they contract diseases at about the same low rate. The incidence of disease in feral cat colonies is no higher than among owned cats.
Trap and remove doesn’t work. Not only would you have to continue to remove cats, this process is extremely costly. Other cats simply move in to take advantage of the available resources and they breed prolifically, quickly forming a new colony. This “vacuum effect” is well documented.
Trap, neuter, and return does work.
No more kittens. Their numbers gradually go down. The annoying behaviors of mating cats, such as yowling or fighting, stop. The cats are vaccinated and they are fed on a regular schedule. This ongoing care creates a safety net for both the cats and the community.
FERAL DOES NOT MEAN A LIFE OF HORRIBLE EXISTENCE!!
F FREE OF DISEASE
E ENOUGH TO EAT
R RESCUING OF KITTENS
A A PLACE TO SLEEP
L LIVE HEALTHY, SAFE, AND PEACEFUL LIVES
Studies have proven that trap-neuter-release is the single most successful method of stabilizing and maintaining healthy feral cat colonies with the least possible cost to local governments and residents, while providing the best life for the animals themselves.
Statewide, more than $50 million (largely from taxes) is spent by animal control agencies and shelters for cat-related expenses.
One mother cat and her first litter of kittens in 7 years can have 420,000 more kittens.