In honor of St Patrick’s Day, we are sharing an article from Ireland. This post was originally published by Feral Cats of Ireland. For more information on what this kind-hearted organization is doing for feral cats in Ireland, visit their website or Facebook page.
Ireland Has a Feral Cat Crisis
Feral and stray cats can be found right throughout Ireland in our cities, towns and countryside. In housing estates, industrial estates, at factories, on farms, at hotels and hospitals, in car parks and derelict buildings. In groups called colonies, they manage to survive by living on their instincts and with the kindness of humans who feed them daily.
Feral cats in Ireland are more commonly described as ‘wild’ cats. They are the same species as domestic cats, in fact many are former domestic pets that have been abandoned by their owners or left behind when their owners moved house or passed away. Some have strayed from home and are lost. Many become wild in order to survive and their offspring will also be wild as they will have had little or no human contact. All are trying to survive as best they can. It is not their fault they find themselves homeless and hungry.
There are no official statistics as to the number of feral cats in Ireland but their numbers have been guesstimated at hundreds of thousands. The reason for this vast number is that the majority of feral cats are unspayed and unneutered and consequently breeding uncontrollably. One female cat and her offspring can be responsible for a colony of 30 cats in an area in just one year.
Whatever the true number, Ireland has a feral cat crisis. That such numbers of cats are living in our communities, often struggling to survive in sometimes harsh conditions with not enough to eat on a daily basis, a lack of adequate shelter from the elements and with no access to veterinary treatment for minor or major illness or injury or just the basics such as parasite treatment is unacceptable.
We have created this crisis and it is up to each of us to be compassionate in our dealings with stray and feral cats in our neighbourhoods, responsible and humane when addressing their plight and to educate ourselves on the most effective way to address the issue of uncontrolled breeding which is Trap/Neuter/Return.
Feral cats have the right to live long, healthy, safe and peaceful lives in their territories without the burden of breeding or threat of death. Trap/neuter/return offers them that opportunity.
With many thanks to Feral Cats of Ireland for allowing Cats in Tow to share this post.
Have you had experiences with feral cats in other countries? We would be interested to hear your stories.