Today is National Feral Cat Day. In celebration, Planned PEThood of GA held a mega-trapping event in Gwinnett County last week. Feral cat day is a day to celebrate cats of all stripes, no matter where they call home. Feral cats have been stigmatized the world over, but thanks to this holiday, we can change how we see these lovable nomads. While these cats may not want to be pets, they still deserve food, shelter, and basic medical care.
This mega-trapping event was able to ensure the cats and kittens were vaccinated for rabies, ensuring the safety of the community, and spayed/neutered, preventing hundreds of births. After recovery from surgery, the cats were returned to their ‘homes’ to live out their lives with caregivers.
National Feral Cat Day focuses on raising awareness about the various issues facing feral, or stray cats, promoting Trap-Neuter-Return, and recognizing the numerous compassionate people who care for them. This day aims to end the practice of euthanizing these cats and also to reduce the number of unneutered cats.
National Feral Cat Day 2022 Feral Cat Facts
Feral cats are independent cats who live and hunt outdoors and do not socialize with humans. Feral kitties do not do well at shelters. When they end up at the local pound, they are deemed unadoptable, often resulting in euthanization.
There is a movement toward accepting feral cat colonies in neighborhoods, along with caring for these outdoor felines who keep the rodent population in check for homes and businesses in their adopted communities.
National Feral Cat Day History
Alley Cat Allies began observing National Feral Cat Day in 2001 to promote awareness about feral cats, and how to care for and reduce their populations. Alley Cat Allies strongly support the “Trap-Neuter-Return’ policy, where stray cats are captured and brought to local volunteer veterinarians who neuter them and then return them to their street homes. That allows cats to live out their lives on the streets without giving birth to more kittens that would also end up on the streets. Many of shelters have now adopted the “Trap-Neuter-Return” policy, rather than the cruel practice of “catch and kill.”
How to Celebrate National Feral Cat Day 2022
The best way to celebrate Feral Cat Day is by informing people of the various issues facing our stray friends. Most cities continue to catch and impound cats in shelters, attempt to get them adopted and end up euthanizing them. Educate others about organizations such as Alley Cat Allies, and the “Trap-Neuter-Return” policy which saves cat’s lives while preventing future generations from joining the stray cat population.
Another way celebrate Feral Cat Day is by getting your cats neutered. You will be ensuring that no unwanted cats are born into this world.
What Can I Do to Help?
There are many ways you can make a difference. You can participate in a stray cat capture program, organizing your very own “Trap-Neuter-Return” program with a local group. You will be helping curb future stray cat populations while giving stray cats the chance to live their lives they way they prefer.
You can take part in changing the way society views stray cats. Social media is an effective platform to get your word out. There is no reason for the stray cats to endure the inhumane practice of euthanization. When posting on social media, use NationalFeralCatDay. Let your voice be heard and encourage others to see feral cats as the unique creatures they are.
This coming Thursday, October 16, is National Feral Cat Day. This day was launched by Alley Cat Allies in 2001 to raise awareness about feral cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them.
The theme for this year’s National Feral Cat Day is “TNR: From the Alley…to Main Street.” Trap-Neuter-Return—a humane approach to managing and caring for feral cats, and it’s the only effective method of stabilizing feral cat colonies. In the last decade, the number of local governments with official policies endorsing TNR for feral cats has increased tenfold, with hundreds of cities and towns successfully carrying out TNR.
What is a feral cat?
A feral cat is not the same as a stray. Feral cats are descendants of a domesticated cat that have returned to the wild. Feral cats are born in the wild, as opposed to stray cats, who are usually cats who have been lost or abandoned.
Can a feral cat become a pet cat?
Feral kittens have a better chance at being domesticated than adult feral cats. Taming a feral kitten takes a lot of patience, and the process can take several months. It becomes more challenging, and often impossible, with older cats. Even though most cat lovers feel that every cat should want to be a house cat, some ferals simply love their freedom too much to give up a life wrought with danger and often starvation, even in exchange for safety and a permanent home.
Caring for feral cats
Dedicated and caring individuals around the country do what they can to feed and provide basic health care for these cats. Whether it’s a group of neighbors who band together to get a neighborhood feral spayed and keep a collective eye on her well-being, or whether it’s the elderly woman who barely has enough money to feed herself, but always manages to scrape together enough for her “outside cats,” feral cats who have these advocates in their corner are the fortunate ones. Too many others are persecuted as a menace, and an increasing number of municipalities are passing ordinances to ban these helpless creatures.
Facts and statistics about feral cats*
- Cats have lived outdoors for more than 10,000 years.
- In the last decade, the number of local governments with official policies endorsing Trap-Neuter-Return has increased TENFOLD.
- More than 70% of all cats who enter shelters are killed there, including virtually 100% of feral cats.
- Feral cats can have the same lifespan as pet cats.
- The nation’s animal shelter system is the #1 cause of death for cats.
- More than 40% of Americans have fed an outdoor cat.
- More than 80% of Americans think it’s more humane to leave a stray cat where he is to live out his life than to have him caught and killed.
How can you help feral cats?
Educate yourself on the plight of feral cats. Vox Felina, a website dedicated to providing critical analysis of claims made in the name of science by those opposed to feral/free-roaming cats and trap-neuter-return (TNR), is an excellent resource for learning more about the feral cat problem. Alley Cat Allie’s website provides a wealth of information on all aspects of helping feral cats.