Did you know that feral cats (also called community or outdoor cats) are the same species as pet cats? Or that they live in groups called colonies and can thrive in every landscape? Or that they can be as healthy as pet cats, even though they are (in most cases) unadoptable because they are not socialized to humans? Or that there is a special day to raise awareness about them?
Today is National Feral Cat Day! Now in its 15th year, National Feral Cat Day was launched in 2001 by Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for feral and stray cats and a recognized authority on Trap-Neuter-Return (T-N-R) — the program wherein cats who live outdoors are humanely trapped and brought to a veterinarian to be evaluated, spayed or neutered and vaccinated.
Friendly cats and kittens are put up for adoption. Feral cats that have been spayed, neutered and checked are released back into the areas from which they came, with volunteer caregivers providing a managed food source and monitoring the colony to aid sick or injured cats. Because they are spayed and neutered, the feral cats don't have to deal with stuff like territorial fighting, mating and pregnancy, and no new kittens are born.
|A feral kitty I met in Jerusalem, Israel.|
Sadly, in many municipalities, cats are still caught and taken to animal pounds and shelters where they are killed. The shelter system is the number one cause of death for cats in the United States. That’s why it’s so important for people to consider feral kitties today and every day, to help change society and create compassionate communities for cats.