Discover the Truth About Feral Cats

October 16, 2007

National Feral Cat Day Today is National Feral Cat Day! This post is geared towards learning the truth about feral cats. If you want to learn all about feral cats, Alley Cat Allies are the people to see.

They have been teaching others the truth about feral cats and their plight since 1990. Also, and more importantly in my opinion, they give people the tools and knowledge to directly help feral cats in their own neighborhood. They give people the power to make a real, positive difference and that, in turn, helps feral cats all over lead a longer, happier, healthier life right in their own home – outside.

So, now, on National Feral Cat Day, discover the truth about feral cats yourself:

A stray cat is not a feral cat.
A stray is a cat who has been abandoned or who has strayed from home and become lost. Stray cats can usually be re-socialized and adopted.

A feral cat is an unsocialized cat.
Either he was born outside and never lived with humans, or he is a house cat who has strayed from home and over time has become unsocialized to humans.

Feral cats should not be taken to local shelters to be adopted.
Feral cats are not pet cats, and they will be killed at most shelters. Because they’re unadoptable, they sometimes don’t even make it to the shelter, but are killed in the animal control truck. Even no-kill shelters are not able to place feral cats in homes.

Feral kittens can be adopted.
Feral kittens can often be adopted into homes, but they must be socialized in their first weeks of life. This is a critical window and if they aren’t handled in time, they will remain feral and therefore unadoptable.

Feral cats have about the same lifespan as pet cats.
And they contract diseases at about the same low rate. The incidence of disease in feral cat colonies is no higher than among owned cats.

Feral cats are not the cause of wildlife depletion.
Studies show that the overwhelming cause of wild life depletion is destruction of natural habitat due to man-made structures, chemical pollution, pesticides, and drought — not feral cats.

Trap and remove doesn’t work.
Not only would you have to continue to remove cats, this process is extremely costly. Other cats simply move in to take advantage of the available resources and they breed prolifically, quickly forming a new colony. This “vacuum effect” is well documented.

Trap, neuter, and return does work.
No more kittens. Their numbers gradually go down. The annoying behaviors of mating cats, such as yowling or fighting, stop. The cats are vaccinated and they are fed on a regular schedule. This ongoing care creates a safety net for both the cats and the community.

You can make a difference and save lives.
Together, we can educate people about the humane solution, TNR, and show how efficient and effective it can be. To learn more or to find tools to help you educate people in your area, go to

Take the next step. Support Trap, Neuter, and Return.

Facts from Alley Cat Allies. More printable Truth Pages can be found under Resources at

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