5 Ways to help feral cats
1. Learn more about feral cats and the special animals that they are.
2. Donate money, cat food and/or your time to people and organizations who help feral cats.
3. Encourage family, friends and co-workers to have their cats spayed and neutered.
4. Encourage people looking to acquire a feline friend to adopt a homeless cat.
5. Contact your local government and encourage them to humanely deal with the cat overpopulation crisis by offering incentives to have cats spayed and neutered, by encouraging people to adopt animals from pounds and shelters and, when necessary, to support Trap/Neuter/Return programs.
What is a feral?
Cats cover the whole spectrum from pampered royalty to an animal that lives as part of the wild-life community, albeit, often in the middle of the human domain. The mystery of cats is enhanced when added with the mystery of being feral.
How many ferals are there?
There are very few studies on the feral cats, and even fewer statistics kept anywhere. Hopefully with websites such as this, we may bring light to the question and be able to put together information from sources all over Canada.
Where do they come from?
Quite simply, ferals are the products of human irresponsibility. Unneutered domestic cats are allowed to roam freely or are "disposable" commodities that are dumped when they become too inconvenient. These unneutered domestics produce offspring who have little or no direct contact with humans. These are ferals.
What to do with them?
Feral cats deserve our compassion and protection. Cats, whether feral or domestic, deserve the right to be recognized as a unique and important species and to be treated as equal members of the animal kingdom. Most importantly, feral cats have the right to be free from cruelty and abuse. Compassionate caregivers work diligently to improve the life of feral colonies by providing aid and comfort, including food, water, shelter and medical care.
For decades the solution has been to trap and kill feral cats. Has it been successful? Obviously not as proven by the statistics from local animal control facilities. Individuals have been out practicing the trap-neuter-release or relocation method for several years. These valiant efforts are wonderful but relatively ineffective when faced with the seemingly unending amount of kittens on the streets every spring.
Mass spay/neutering. Just one pair of cats breeding 2 to 3 litters a year x 5 kittens averaged per litter x 7 years = 420,000 cats. To combat this prolific rate, a mass spay/neutering program is the most efficient and cost-effective solution. The situation can be referred to as an "over-flowing bathtub." Past methods have concentrated on dealing with the overflow itself. The "simple" solution is to turn off the taps first.
It IS that easy. The hard part is to convince others of its simplicity. Actively DOING spay/neuter eventually shows concrete results that prove its effectiveness beyond a shadow of a doubt. Just Do It! San Diego, California's Feral Cat Coalition (www.feralcat.com) holds a spay clinic and spay/neuters between 100 and 200 cats every month! After the first two years of operation, the euthanasia rates at the San Diego Animal Control were down by over 6000!
Come On, Canada! Join organizations and individuals nationwide in their successful work towards the lowering of the euthanasia percentages, the lessening of the on-street population, and the health and well-being of the feral cat colony populations!