What To Do About Feral Cats

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As I mentioned before, my Sammy is a feral cat.  What’s the definition of a feral cat?  A feral cat is one who has not been socialized.  Truly feral cats are simply never going to flourish in a busy household and deserve not to spend the rest of their life hiding under someone’s bed.  WHERE is best for them is a topic of hot discussion.  Many opinions on the Internet favor a trap-neuter-release program.  Others feel that feral cats should be destroyed, period.  I don’t have the answers, but that has to be a humane way to deal with this problem.

Right now there are 85 million cats in the country that have a forever home.  Combine that with up to 60 million feral cats, and you have a major problem.  These cats kill 2.5 million birds each year, along with rats, mice, chipmunks, lizards, etc.  At least 33 different species of birds have reached extinction.  Now, before we put all of the blame on cats, you also have to consider that urbanization is part of the problem.  Clearing trees and bushes for new malls, condos, etc. cuts down on the available space for birds to nest and makes them more vulnerable to the outside cats(socialized and feral).
Biologists have given this example of how the animal kingdom works.  Let’s say that rabbits are plentiful one year and foxes have plenty to eat.  But, the following year, rabbits are not plentiful and the foxes go hungry.  That is the “natural” rhythm of things.  But our cats don’t work that way.  If they can’t find something to hunt, they go home, eat, and go out again the next day.
Fortunately, I don’t think these cats got the memo about mice and birds:

In many cities, feral cats are taking over the neighborhoods.  Citizens are complaining, animal control is busy, and some huge-hearted people are trying their best to take care of hundreds of cats by trapping and neutering them before finding forever homes for them.  An adult feral cat will never likely be a household pet, but the kittens can be “socialized” if caught at an early age.Why so many feral cats?  I do know that people abandon their pets which really makes me grind my jaws!!  Plus people don’t have their pets neutered or spayed. That’s not the whole problem, but it does contribute.   A cat will reproduce up to three times a year if not spayed.  What are your thoughts on the subject?  Do you have recommendations for what should be done?  Personally, I never let my cats out, but that’s just me.  Would like to hear from the rest of you.

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667
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4 thoughts on “What To Do About Feral Cats

  1. If only there was a municipal service for neutering cats! We have dozens of them and the only solution proposed is to destroy them. The vets have the monopoly on neutering and it’s expensive, certainly not something you can afford to do with all the neighbourhood stray cats. It’s a collective problem and should be shouldered by the collectivity.

    • I agree with you, Jane. It is very expensive to neuter your animals, let alone all of the ones running lose. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! It is a collective problem and more people or vets need to get involved.

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