Oct 162016

Ernie-headshotHi guys. I know you usually expect to see a selfie of me today…but today is an important day that we want to acknowledge. It’s National Feral Cat Day…a day to think about the cats that live outside…you know…the ones that don’t have comfy homes.

National Feral Cat Day was started back in 2001 by Alley Cat Allies as a way to share information and educate people about feral cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), and to recognize the millions of people who care for feral cats. Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of feral cats. Their mission is to end the killing of feral cats and lead the movement for their humane care.

National Feral Cat Day 2016 logo

The theme for this year’s Feral Cat Day is “All Cats All Communities.”

Feral Cat Facts

I thought I’d share some facts about feral cats. Did you know…

  • Feral cats are also called community or outdoor cats. They’re the same as pet cats but are more wild. These cats are often the offspring of unaltered strays. They usually will not like humans unless they’re socialized as kittens and therefore, are considered unadoptable.
  • Feral cats live in the country, in cities, in suburbs…around businesses, apartment complexes, restaurant parking lots…basically they go wherever they can find food.
  • Feral cats are carnivores but often end up eating garbage.
  • There are an estimated 60-120 million feral cats in the U.S. alone.
  • After the age of 6 months, cats can produced 3 litters of kittens a year. These litters usually have 2-4 kittens in them on average. Sadly, many feral kittens do not survive.
  • Virtually all of the feral cats brought into our nation’s animal control centers and shelters are killed.
  • TNR or Trap-Neuter-Return is the only humane and effective way of caring for community cats and stabilizing their population.
  • The sign of a feral cat that’s been TNR’ed is a tipped ear.

How Can You Help Feral Cats?

So you want to help feral cats but you don’t know how or where to start. Well, one way is to get involved with your local groups or organizations that are already helping community cats. Contact your local animal shelter to find out if they have a feral cat program. Many do and could use help. If your local shelter doesn’t have a program, Alley Cat Allies has the Feral Friends Network and can put you in touch with someone in your area.

Once you’ve found an organization, you can:

  • Become a community cat caretaker by feeding and caring for community cats
  • Help with TNR efforts
  • Volunteer to help socialize feral kittens
  • Build shelters for feral cats
  • Help educate your neighbors and the community about feral cats
  • Donate to organizations that help feral cats

If there isn’t an organization in your area, why not start one of your own? Alley Cat Allies provides many tools and resources to help start your own community cat program.

Our Former Feral Cats

In honor of National Feral Cat Day…and the fact that it’s also Selfie Sunday…instead of a selfie of me, we’re featuring selfies taken by our former ferals.

Zoey Feral Cat Day selfie

Most of you know that our Zoey is a former feral…or at least a former part-feral kitty. After trapping her, the mom and dad-guy knew that if she was taken to a shelter, because of her lack of socialization, her chances of ever being adopted were pretty slim. At the time there weren’t any fosters willing to take Zoey, so the mom and dad-guy decided to bring her home to live. That was over 8 years ago. Zoey still has a bit of feral in her…but she loves life on the inside.

Chip Feral Cat Day selfie

Slim Feral Cat Day selfie

We’ve also told you about Chip and Slim, the outside cats that live at the dad-guy’s garden center. They showed up one day a few years ago and the dad-guy decided to let them stay. He and the mom trapped them, got them neutered and then returned them back outside. They have access to a garage area with lots of bales of straws and heated blankets. They’ve become friendlier towards humans, though they’re still a little skittish. They may not have all the comforts of home, but they are loved and well taken care of…even if they are outside cats.

National Feral Cat Day logo circle

If you’d like more information about feral cats and the work that Alley Cat Allies is doing for them… and ways for you to help…visit NationalFeralCatDay.org or the Alley Cat Allies website.


  42 Responses to “National Feral Cat Day 2016”

  1. It’s so wonderful that Chip and Slim are so well taken care of!

  2. Such a wonderful message gang! Our Feral Day post got delayed because the Dad was doing the TNR thing.

  3. Paws up for caring for feral cats! It’s a topic close to our hearts with Ashton in our family, and we’re so glad to see it becoming a topic that people are more familiar with as time goes by.

  4. We are big fans of the Feral cat and lots of them. The Mom has known one very feral cat, Momma kitty, who one day just came running in the house on her own and has been here ever since.They make great pets even if they don’t sit in your lap. And the kittens sure can be wonderful pets if caught early enough. We have about five of those.
    Great post about them.We forgot that today was feral cat day.

  5. Thank U furor thoughtfully celebrating a day which means so much to so many!

  6. So many of our friends are posting about Feral Cat Day today. We feel so bad we couldn’t get a post together in time. Thanks for bringing attention to this important issue.

  7. We have helped many throughout our years of rescue, including adopting some, which is not easy.

    Thank you for posting.

  8. Pawsum post Ernie! And yur foto iss grate!! fankss fur mee-yowin aobut Feralss…so many people dee-spise us…
    Mee iss now been labelled a ‘feral barn’ cat an wee know where that got mee!
    Zoey was a part-feral?? Shee iss such a luvley ladykat; you wood nevurr know!!!
    An Chip an Slim are kewl katss!!!!
    Hurrah fur Feralss!! Hurrah fur us!!!
    ~~~head rubsss~~~ Siddhartha Henry~~~

  9. Great post about a very important date on the calendar… a date that is and has an all year round message, like Christmas good will… purrs ERin

  10. Our feral boy Thompson thanks you for this informative post.

  11. Wonderful post! Luvluvluv the photos of Zoey, Slim and Chip!!

  12. You guys are such wonderful advocates of feral cats! These are all wonderful selfies of your three ferals: Zoey, Chip & Slim. Thank you for everything you do!

  13. Your three cats are very lucky to have found you! Great post.

  14. That’s a great message to get out there,xx Speedy

  15. Such an important topic.

  16. Every feral cat has their own way they want to live. It’s awesome when humans understand that.

  17. Oh, what sad news about getting rid of us at shelters! TERRIBLE. But I do understand the problem when there are people who literally throw us out and leave us to die or make more feral babies. I was a feral kitty but not for long, I think, because I was in nice shape (except for my teeth) when I found mama and papa. Thank for for this information and you three kitties are just beautiful!!!

  18. Awesome Feral Cat Day post, Ernie. It’s so important to care for the feral cats in our communities! Nice selfies by Zoey, Chip and Slim. 🙂

  19. We don’t see a lot of feral cats where we live, but we know they’re out there. I’m pretty sure our cat Conrad, who came from our local shelter, was formerly a feral (they probably just called it “stray” back then). It’s great to see cats like Zoey end up in a happy home, and cats like Chip and Slim have a safe place to live where they are well taken care of!
    We are so glad there are so many groups, and individuals, out there doing what they can to help them.

  20. Lovely post, and it is nice to see Chip and Slim again.

  21. Good to see Chip and Slim again! I didn’t know Zoey was a former feral. We are big believers in TNR in our house.

  22. Your mom and dad are good people for adopting Zoey and helping Chip and Slim. I miss my ferals at my last job.

  23. Aaaaaaaaaw Ernie any foto of you is a good one. And we luv seein’ bootyful Zoey. Fank your pawrents fur all they’ve done to purrvide fur da ferals in their lives. Big hugs to you all.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena

  24. Amazing post Island Cats and it’s great that Chip & Slim have a safe place with your peeps, if only more peeps were like your peeps!


    Basil & Co xox

  25. Pawsome post for the Feral Cat Day! And great selfies of your former feral kitties 🙂

  26. You are a good example of how to handle ferals pal. The fact that with time and patience you now have an indoor former feral. Your outside kitties at your dad’s work have a good life too. Bless your humans for doing the right thing.

  27. Gorgeous kitties! Your Mom and Dad embody the quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

  28. Great post! Hope all of you are having an easy Sunday.

  29. Today is such an important day, and thank you for being such wonderful humans to all 3 of these precious babies!

  30. Angelique is a former feral too!

  31. It is a day worth remembering and celebrating. Great selfie Zoey!

  32. Excellent post. I wish every place would use TNR instead of euthanizing.

  33. These posts are so important. We sure hope they help educate people. (and cities)
    And we’re waving hello to Chip & Slim! Hi guys!

  34. Chip and Slim is pretty darn lucky. As is Zoe. So many ferals is not so lucky.
    thanks for telling us about them!

  35. Our first foray into cat loving was deciding to care for a stray who hung around on the fringes of our property when we first moved in. We thought it might be a feral who was hoping for food. We committed to attempting TNR and providing as much care as the cat would tolerate for its remaining life. To our surprise, we had found an abandoned cat who was looking for a new family. We were so happy we could give her a proper forever home, but we would have willingly provided only distant care.

  36. What a fantastic post this is! We try our best to help out the feral and other outdoor kitties in our neighborhood. Food and water is always available in our back yard (which the possums are just as thrilled about as the cats), as well as a shelter with straw bedding. We love that Zoey found such a purrfect home, and that Chip and Slim know the comforts that they do. Thank you for spreading this wonderful message on behalf of the feral kitties of the world!

  37. Great post ! Paws up for caring such good care of Chip and Slim. and for helping ferals ! Purrs

  38. Nicely done! Hoping to meet both sets of your cats someday SOON!

  39. TNR is the best solution for feral cats who can’t be socialized. Zoey, Slim and Chip are lucky they found the mom and dad person.

  40. Exceptionally good post with lots of great information. With three feral cats under your care, you are uniquely qualified to write about this subject. Thanks for sharing these lovely selfies with us. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  41. Great post and I love seeing your former ferals!

  42. Your (former) Ferals are so lovely! We have Alley Cat Angels working in our area too, and petcretary has seen them trapping kitties for an elderly lady who um…well she was out of kitty control on her own. Thank you AACA!

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