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Feral Cats in Our Community


What is a Feral Cat? Controlling Feral Cats Effectively How Can You Help?
How do feral cats survive? Managing a Colony Relocating a Colony
Protecting a Colony For further information


What is a Feral Cat?

  • Feral cats are the 'wild' offspring of domestic cats and are primarily the result of pet owners' abandoning or not spaying/neutering their cats.

  • Feral cats are generally elusive and do not trust humans; however, there can be a wide range of behavior in a feral cat colony.

Shown to left: Feral Cat Colony

  • Sometimes tame cats or “friendlies” will join a feral colony in a desperate attempt for survival.

  • Feral cat 'colonies' can be found behind shopping areas or businesses, in alleys, parks, abandoned buildings, and rural areas.

How Can Feral Cats Be Controlled Effectively?

  • Feral cat colonies can be decimated with disease and starvation, so it is important to control their populations.

  • Euthanizing feral cats has not proven to be an effective population control measure.

  • A non-lethal method called TNR (Trap, Neuter and Release) has been shown to reduce feral cat populations dramatically over time.

Shown to left: Feral Cat Humane Trap

How Can You Help?

  • Volunteer with IAR’s Feral Cat Team!

  • All types of volunteer activities are needed:

    • Trapping cats for TNR

    • Transporting cats to and from spay/neuter surgeries

    • Feeding cats and maintaining colonies

    • Educating people about TNR

    • Coordinating cat food drives to feed the colonies

How do feral cats survive?

  • Scavenging for food from dumpsters, backyards or trash cans.

  • Main food source is garbage.

  • Also eat insects or rodents.

  • Usually in urban areas—not generally a thread to birds.

Managing a Colony

  • Start with a daily feeding and watering program.

  • TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release)

  • Young kittens are considered tameable.

  • Removing tamable kittens or tame abandoned pets that have joined the colony, vetting, and placing them for adoption.

Relocating a Colony

  • Hazards such as construction or poison may necessitate relocating.

  • Suitable sites may include outdoor homes, farms, barns, stables.

  • Cats must be crated and slowly acclimated to the new location.

Protecting a Colony

  • Never tell or show anyone (except helpers) the exact location of the colony.

  • Be as discreet as possible when feeding.

  • Don’t attract attention.

  • Feed after hours or at night.

  • Hide the feeding dishes out of plain site.

For further information

alley cat allies Alley Cat Allies at http://www.alleycat.org/