Hi 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.
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.
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.
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.