|So what the heck is this page all about? It's about Feral Cats and what I am doing about them!
What is a Feral Cat you ask?
A Feral Cat is the offspring of unaltered domestic cat (maybe one of yours) that have reverted back to their instinctive wariness towards humans. They are primarily the result of pet owners' abandonment or failure to spay/neuter their animals allowing them to breed uncontrolled. They are elusive, sometimes abused and do not trust humans. Feral Cats often form colonies that reside behind shopping centers, restaurants, alleys, parks, storm drains, college campuses and reproduce at alarming rates. They live a life of starvation, sickness, dog attacks, car accidents and have a high mortality rate for their offspring.
Ok so now you say So what, Why whould I care?
My city has animal control, that's their problem!
The truth is two fold. First, these guys are elusive (hint, first paragraph), crafty, cunning and reproducing at alarming rates (hint, first paragraph again). Animal control simply can't locate and catch them all, For every one they catch 6 more are off reproducing. Findings of Veterinary Organizations and several college campuses concludes, the animal control approach simply does not work. (Ok I will give you links to support the statement, click the resources button). Second (I saved this less you think I am just another bleeding heart SOB) unless you are lucky enough to live in a community with a no-kill shelter, if animal control catches these guys they are simply going to euthanize them (little cute baby kittens too). My personal belief is that these guys have as much right to live as any of God's other creatures. They are not going to hurt anybody unless cornered or provoked (walk away or give them an escape route is the message here), they keep the rodent populations down and do less damage to natural wildlife than our domestic pets who kill due to instinct Vs hunting for food (did I mention most food comes from dumpsters?). Another tip, put your trash in trash cans and the cats won't be able to spread it all over the neighborhood.
So what I am doing? Thanks for asking!
Recently I learned about this program, "TNRM" (trap, neuter, return, manage) and am putting it into action in my neighborhood. "TNRM" consists of humanely trapping the cats, transporting them to a friendly Vet (Family Pet Care in Ft Worth is highly recommended, resources link), where they are vaccinated against rabies and distemper (euthanizing based on Vet's recommendation), surgically sterilized, ear tipped for identification (don't want to do the same cat twice it's expensive enough) and then returning them to their original territory. ( I usually don't return the euthanized ones unless I know the person that abandoned the cat originally and then I return them to their doorstep), How is this any more successful than what animal control does? (You sure have a lot of questions) Well, in the first place, if you start feeding these little buggers, they begin to gain a little trust and if you feed them at the same time everyday you know where they will be and if they see their amigos come back and survive the "TNRM" ordeal, they keep coming back. This means I can catch what animal control can not, the population does not grow any and while the neighborhood still has Feral Cats, they are healthy and disease free. Go to the "Progress" page to see how I am progressing.