You’ve noticed some cats that do not seem to be pets. You’ve figured out that they are feral cats (click here if you missed our last post on the difference between stray and feral cats). What next?
Most people think that they should take these cats to an animal shelter. But that is not at all what you should do! It is terrible for the cat and won’t reduce the number of feral cats in the area.
Traditional shelters are sure to euthanize these cats, no matter how healthy they are. Feral cats are not socialized to people and never will be so they cannot be adopted. There are not enough homes for the cats that can be adopted, so feral cats will not be given a chance. They will be killed.
Non-kill shelters cannot house them either. As we said, they are not socialized to people and are not suitable for adoption. Shelters just simply do not have the space to keep them.
In addition, taking these cats from where are they found will not fix anything. Feral cats colonize an area because it is a good place to live. There is food, there is shelter. Study after study has shown that they then self-regulate their populations. They maintain the right number of cats for an area, and they can all live healthy lives. If all the cats are taken from an area, new feral cats will just move in. The problem is not solved. For more on the ‘vacuum effect,’ click here.
The best option for feral cats: Trap, neuter, release. Cats in Tow practices trap, neuter and release as the best option for feral cats. We’ll talk more about these programs in upcoming blogs. In the meantime, for more feral cat facts, click here.