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What is a Feral Cat?

Feral Cat Although there is no precise definition of a feral cat, many times they are abandoned house cats that have become much too antisocial to be kept as a pet in a typical home. Often, they are born in the wild, and are afraid of people from lack of human contact. They usually live in colonies near any food source that they can find: In neighborhoods, alleyways, apartment complexes, behind restaurants, on college/hospital campuses, and many other places. Unchecked breeding, with females spending most of their lives pregnant, or nursing, results in feral cat overpopulation even though half of the kittens die soon after birth.

The Hard Reality:

Feral cats are a great challenge for city/town animal control departments, and humane organizations, because they comprise a huge percentage of the pet overpopulation problem in America. These cats also make up a large percentage of the 4-6 million cats euthanized yearly by U.S. animal shelters. Many end up at animal control agencies at a huge cost to taxpayers, and an emotional burden to shelter workers.

Making A Difference:

Recently, a few agencies around the country have begun promoting the benefits of trap/neuter/return programs including reduction of animal shelter costs, impoundments, cat complaints, and number of cats euthanized. KittiCo desires to work with the Dallas area agencies to help them realize these benefits by helping them develop city feral cat programs. Most experts agree that the best and most humane way to manage this population of cats and gradually reduce their numbers is called the trap/neuter/return method. This method involves trapping, spaying, or neutering, the cats, and returning them to their environment to be overseen by caretakers.

This approach is accepted by well-respected institutions and organizations including the American Veterinary Medical Association, Texas A&M University, Tufts University veterinary schools, Stanford University, and the San Francisco SPCA. Spay, and neuter, programs should be a fundamental part of any effective animal control program. These programs not only reduce numerous surplus animal births, but also lower the costs of animal control services, hence saving taxpayers money.

KittiCo believes that feral cats are not born to survive in nature to forage for food on their own, and that they deserve our compassion and protection. By having these cats spayed and neutered and educating their caretakers, the existing colonies will be healthier, and their numbers will stabilize or gradually reduce through attrition.

Because these cats originate as domestic animals, they are not intended to survive in nature on their own and that they deserve our compassion, and protection.

Interesting in helping? Visit our
Trap-Neuter-Return page
to learn more.

feral cats

Download KittiCo's The Basics of Trapping

For other Feral Cat Resources click here.

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