Feral Cat Day is October 16th! This is definitely a cause that could use some attention. By some estimates, there are as many as 70 million feral cats in the US. It’s impossible for any one person to help them all, but there are still things you can do to help. A Wichita, KS vet offers some advice on this below.
The issue with feral cats is ongoing, but doesn’t really get a lot of visibility. Spreading the word about feral cats and the organizations that help them is a small act that can have lasting effects. Even sharing posts on social media can help!
There are many ways to help feral cats. One of the more obvious options would of course be to adopt one. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work. Not all feral cats are suitable pets. If Fluffy has been wild her whole life, she may be too wary of people to ever learn to trust us. What’s more, she may never adapt to using a litterbox. That says, some feral cats do end up becoming happy pets. It really depends on the kitty. Age also plays a role. It’s much easier to socialize a feral kitten than a wild adult.
Adoption isn’t the only option here. If you have a barn or farm, you may find that feral cats make great barn kitties. After all, they are skilled hunters, and are often quite content to help with pest control in exchange for food, housing, and veterinary care.
Many animal charities try to address the overpopulation issue with trap/neuter/release programs. With these, stray cats are captured, fixed, and returned to the wild. It isn’t an ideal solution: feral cats will still face many dangers, and usually have much shorter lifespans than domestic cats. However, it does help reduce the amount of unwanted litters out there. Given that a single pair of cats can have as many as 11,606,077 descendents in just 9 years, this is a crucial task! Getting your own feline friend fixed is important as well.
You can also help by leaving food, water, and emergency shelters out for kitties. However, you’ll need to check local ordinances first. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Do you have questions about caring for feral cats? Contact us, your local Wichita, KS animal clinic!