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Have you ever seen feral cats roaming near your home?
Feral cats are found all over America and the world, and it’s important to learn what you can do to help these wild cats. National Feral Cat Day takes place each year on October 16th, providing the perfect opportunity to learn more about feral cats.
Keep reading as we discuss more about feral cats and how you can help cats in your local community.
A feral cat is a non-domestic cat that lives outside, often in a colony of other cats. Feral cats are not socialized with humans; they survive through hunting small animals and seeking out scraps of food.
Feral cats are different from stray cats. Stray cats used to have a home, but then got lost or wandered away. Feral cats, however, were completely born and raised in the wild with no human contact. Whereas many stray cats will come to a human, feral cats are often scared of humans6.
Stray cats can sometimes become feral cats if they’re on their own in the wild for long enough. On the other hand, if a feral kitten is rescued and socialized, it can sometimes be adopted out to a family and live the rest of its life as a domestic cat.
You might not think there are any feral cats who live near you. But just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
Trap, Neuter, Release
If you do see feral cats in your neighborhood, there are measures you can take to help those cats live healthy and safe lives.
Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) is a popular program used with feral cats7. In a TNR program, feral cats are humanely trapped and taken to a local veterinarian. The veterinarian spays or neuters each cat (and often vaccinates them as well). Then the cats are returned to their home.
This program is effective because it doesn’t harm the cats — but it also doesn’t add to the problem. Feral cats can cause issues in a community ranging from giving parasites to humans to killing entire species of birds. So when feral cats aren’t able to reproduce, a community’s cat population will go down over time and these problems will naturally resolve.
Ask around your community (your local Humane Society is a good place to start) to see if there are any TNR programs near you. Once you find a TNR program, consider supporting them financially if possible or volunteering with your time. This is a great way to help your neighborhood’s population of feral cats level off and then decrease.
Do Not Approach or Trap
If you see a feral cat, don’t approach it or try to catch it by yourself. Remember, feral cats are not socialized with humans, meaning they’ll probably be scared or aggressive. Notify a TNR program and let them professionally and humanely trap the cat.
Use this information to take action when you see feral cats near your home. Both the cats and your local community will thank you for helping them coexist in harmony!
Keeping up with your cat’s well-being regularly will help keep your furry friend safe.
Spaying and neutering your own pet cats is essential so you don’t contribute to the problem. Also keeping up with your furry friends’ vaccinations and vet visits will allow you to be sure your pet is healthy year-round.
Here at PetFirst1, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets. PetFirst Pet Insurance1 can help cover unexpected vet visits2 and can provide peace of mind. PetFirst Pet Insurance1 has cat and dog insurance policies2 to fit every budget.
Consider getting pet insurance for your furry friend today.
1PetFirst Healthcare, LLC (“PetFirst Pet Insurance” or “PetFirst”) is the program administrator authorized to offer and administer pet health insurance policies underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company, with its main office at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, or New Hampshire Insurance Company or The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, each with its main administrative office at 500 West Madison Street, Suite 3000 Chicago, IL 60661. For costs, complete details of coverage, and a listing of approved states, please contact PetFirst Healthcare, LLC.
2Like most insurance policies, insurance policies offered by PetFirst Healthcare, LLC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.
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