Next Thursday is National Feral Cat Day. Wondering what National Feral Cat Day is? It was launched by Alley Cat Allies ‘to raise awareness about feral cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them.’ (from the National Feral Cat Day website). All over the country, various organizations have planned events to increase awareness, educate people and help these often-misunderstood kitties.
If you would like to learn more about feral cats, Cats in Tow ran a series of posts last year discussing several aspects of the feral cat issue. Click on the titles to read more: What to Do; First Step; Stray, Feral, Pet; The Feral Fix; Why TNR; Cat Colony Care; TNR: Humane Trapping; Colony Carer Help and More Help for Feral Cats. (all will have links)
Or better yet, get involved with National Feral Cat Day. Click here to find an event taking place near you. If you are in Orange County, the OCSPCA has organized a Feral Fix drive. Or contact your local rescue shelter to find out what you can do.
Feral cats are not wild animals. They have been domesticated by humans and need our help. What’s your plan for National Feral Cat Day?
Caring for a colony of feral cats is the best option for these cats. It keeps them out of traditional shelters where they are most likely to be euthanized or no-kill shelters that are often overcrowded and just cannot take on more cats (no matter how much we want to).
This should also mean that the cats in the colony are healthier. In a cared-for cat colony, the cats are trapped and spayed/neutered. Fighting among the cats is reduced when they are not competing for mates, and spayed/neutered cats have much lower incidents of cancers and other diseases.
When the cats are trapped for spaying/neutering, the vet will check over their general health. This is only the beginning though. If you are thinking of caring for a cat colony, you need to educate yourself on monitoring the cats’ health on an on-going basis. Fleas, worms and other parasites may seem like harmless nuisances. But, they can actually be deadly – especially to young kittens. Monitoring behavior and checking with a vet applies to feral cats as much as it does to our pets. Severe malnutrition, anemia, dehydration and secondary infections are all possible as a result of these parasites. Treatment is vital.
We’ll talk more about the resources available to cat colony carers in upcoming blogs. And we would still like to hear from people who are caring for feral cat colonies. Please send us a message to tell us about your experience.