What are Feral Cats?
While we know it is best for cats to live their lives indoors in order for them to have a comfortable and safe life, there are some cats that simply cannot adapt to indoor life with people. These types of cats are known as feral cats. Feral cats are born and have lived their entire lives outside, usually without any human contact. Because of this, adult feral cats are often too scared to be handled or adopted. Often their only option is to live outside with the help of their loving and dedicated humans.
Feral kittens can often be adopted into a loving home. In order for this to be successful, the kitten must be socialized and introduced to humans while it is still very young.
Watch a short video from Alley Cat Allies to learn more about feral cats.
What is TNR and why does it work?
TNR stands for Trap-Neuter-Release. It is a humane approach to improving the lives of feral cats. During TNR, a feral cat is caught and taken to the vet where it is then spayed or neutered, vaccinated and then ear tipped. The ear tipping identifies to others who are working with the colony that the cat has already been vaccinated and spayed or neutered. Once a cat is spayed or neutered, it can no longer reproduce. This ensures that the colony’s population stabilizes. Stress is also reduced among members of the colony. Neutered cats fight less and show less mating behaviors than cats who are not neutered.
Watch a short video from the Humane Society of the United States as they discuss the TNR process.
How can I help?
There are several things you can do to help a colony of cats live more comfortably.
Where can I find more resources about feral cats?
To read more about feral cats and what you can do to begin a TNR program in your area, check out the resources below.
Alley Cat Allies began it all. They were the first group to introduce and implement the TNR program. Since they began over twenty years ago, they are the only national avocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of feral cats.
The Humane Society of the United States is a name recognized across the country by animal lovers. They are one of the nations largest and most effective animal protection agency.