Feral Cat Colonies
By Feral, do you mean wild????
What is a Feral Cat colony and the way on earth do they ever get started? This has been and very probably will continue to be a problem for caretakers of cats. Lets take a scenario: Joe, down the street, comes home from work one night to find his child has brought home a kitten. Now what’s not to love about a baby kitten? Joe says O.K., you can keep it as long as you take care of it. His child names this little ball of fur and fun Fluffy. Fluffy grows and flourishes under Joe’s wife’s care. Unfortunately she doesn’t care enough to get Fluffy neutered or have regular health checks, Joe doesn’t notice Fluffy and his child has outgrown the “fun”.
Fluffy reaches 7 months of age and his hormones come in with a vengeance. He begins spraying objects around the house to mark his territory and has taken to roaming the neighborhood at night looking for a little “action”. Mrs. Joe becomes quite agitated at the constant urine smell and forces Fluffy to live outside, but Fluffy isn’t giving up that easy. His next quest? Joe’s car! One morning Joe is leaving for work and picks up a couple of car pool buddies.
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They make remarks about the ripe smell of his car and Joe arrives home that night in a rage. Fluffy is picked up, put in a carrier and driven to an empty lot just outside of town. He is dumped like excess garbage and the “Joe” family drives away not looking back.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the street the exact same scene has played out except this time the kitten is female. She has taken to yelling and crying all night, looking for Mr. Right. After two nights of missed sleep her family drives her to a spot very near Fluffy’s where she too is dumped. These cats have become “homeless”. They are someone’s beloved pets who were dumped for any number of reasons.
They now must forage for food and shelter from the elements. Somehow they find each other and since neither one was altered they make a family. Their kittens are Feral Cats. They do not know, nor will they probably ever know, humans. They do not get needed vaccinations, nor spay/neuter. They are left to make their own way in the world and through inbreeding, after about 3 generations, we will see the results in sickly or unformed/malformed kittens.
This is a cruel scar to be worn by a nation as rich and diverse as ours is. This is just one example of why spaying/neutering is needed!
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What can we do about these colonies? We can, as the species with the opposing thumbs, do a lot. We can humanely trap, then spay/neuter and health check the adults. If they can be socialized and adopted into loving worthy homes all the better. Many of these adults are too Feral to be socialized so they are returned to their colonies to live out their life under the watchful eye of a caretaker who will see that they have adequate food, shelter and fresh water.
We can control the Feral Cat Population with very little effort on our part. Humane traps can be bought or borrowed from your local shelter. Please get involved today and save a life. I thank you for this.