Chances are if you reside in a rural or perhaps suburban environment, you live near feral cats – skittish, roughened wild cats that may look like they need some human help, just to run away when approached. These cats aren’t tame and in no way eager to become a house cat and are perfectly capable of living outside on their own, whether it damages some of the ecosystems or not.
If you end up surrounded by these untamed creatures, you have many options. One, you could leave them be and claim they are simply not your problem. This is a favored option for many but by no means a great one. There are over 70 million feral cats in the U.S.A. scientists and alone rightly blame the extinction of thirty-three species of bird on that huge number of cats: cats that hunt, kill and eat all sorts of birds, rodents and reptiles. This overpopulation could quickly result in the extinction of different birds and maybe even some prey mammals. Plus, who wants the reek of a feral cat spraying its territory underneath and around their carport? Yuck.
The second option would be to begin feeding them. This is a much better choice, but still not perfect as your third option, which we’ll discuss in a minute. Feeding these cats at set times during the mornings or evenings and putting a homemade shelter for them is a good idea – cats that are not hungry will pounce halfheartedly and are a lot more likely to end up empty-pawed after the hunt. But this also results in several other problems: spreading diseases and overpopulation. Diseases like toxoplasmosis, parasites, Squirrels in attic removal cost and rabies can spread through a bite or scratch when a neighborhood pet mingles with a feral. Subsequently, diseases can be spread to the unsuspecting owners when they are animal interacts with them. The illnesses can cause death in some events, and despair follows after a creature’s death on account of the sicknesses. This means that the disease could be spread to your outdoor cats and possibly to you and your loved ones!
Along with this, cats are like rabbits when it comes to replicating and if none of the cats are sterilized, there will be kittens. This increases the population, increasing the risk factor of the earlier mentioned points. As the cats’ caretaker, you would also need to raise the food you put out for the animals daily due to the additional mouths to feed. You would also be given the task of taming and adopting the kittens out – and just given a certain window of time to do this.
This involved trapping the cats using humane, catch-and-release traps prior to getting them sterilized and releasing them again. This eliminates almost all of the difficulties with having feral cats around your lawn. Now that there are neutered, they won’t be needing any more kittens, they will be vaccinated and dewormed so that they won’t spread parasites or diseases, and they won’t feel the need to spray their territory as much.
Do not be afraid to receive your local shelter or the community involved!
That is where you begin feeding the cats. Keeping them fed once or twice a day ensures they are well-fed. This boosts their immune system also, making them less likely to contract potential sicknesses that are not eliminated by vaccines or deworming. And now that they are feeding daily, they are less inclined to bother so much with searching.
Feral cats are not bad. They help keep mice away from the barn, are interesting to watch and all they need is a bowl of food daily and space to be crazy, free-roaming cats. All you have to do is give them that opportunity!