Sunday, October 16, 2011

National Feral Cat Day


So today is National Feral Cat day... well OK someone (well Ally Cat Allies) decided today to bring attention to the nation's feral cats.. It's not an official holiday, but it is a good idea..

One thing about the word feral bugs me... and that is the ubiquitous use of that word for ANY cat that doesn't have a home.. or should I be a little more accurate in that any cat that once lived outside for any length of time..

The official definition of feral is "of or characteristic of wild animals; ferocious; brutal."  Or not domesticated.  

A feral cat is a cat that is not friendly.  A cat that would rather take your arm off then take a treat from it.  A kitty who would much prefer it if you would not interact with them.



There are stray cats, domesticated cats who are living outside, that are not feral.  These kitties can live in homes.  Ferals often can not - I know of a few that are in homes, but it took a lot of work to win every ounce of trust and even still they are wary.  They are not your typical house pet and it takes a very special owner to even try to work with it. Sometimes feral cats are domesticated, at which point they are no longer feral - which is easier to do when they are younger.  As a general rule feral cats are NOT cats you can pat, they are not cats that have been your pet for years (save for the rare exception), and  feral cats are also NOT cats that have been living in your home for months or years that you no longer want so you bring it to the shelter and say it is feral. 


But they are living feeling beings who deserve to live long healthy lives.  It really hurts when I hear of communities that want to just kill them and  hope that ends the problem (often it does not, other cats move in when the first set is removed) 


There is no absolute when it comes to the best way to deal with feral cats.  TNR does help control the population and keeps kittens from dying due to lack of food.  Feeding can help keep them healthier.. 


But until we get the over population under control and cats are no longer considered disposable pets, there isn't a whole heck of a lot we can do to prevent the continuation of feral cats.  Wouldn't it be nice if even your most commonly bred cat had a monetary value to the world?

5 comments:

  1. Yes, there certainly is a difference between "feral" and "stray" or "abandoned."

    But I'm glad there are organizations that are drawing attention to the issue and that are trying to help.

    I can't see human nature ever changing, though--and that means too many will continue to regard other Beings (four-legged and even two) as disposable.

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  2. I hope my post didn't imply that the organizations out there trying to help aren't a wonderful thing..

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  3. We are all formerly feral here at The Lounge. Humans need to get us spayed and neutered.
    Our feral guy Henry really likes his new Hut, and of course his dinner!

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  4. There is a BIG difference between stray cats and feral cats (although the cat before me seemed to be a little bit of both)! Sometimes friendly stray cats are mistaken for ferals when they wind up in animal control because they are so scared. In any case, it's a no-win situation for a homeless cat, feral or otherwise, unless caring humans step in to help.

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  5. Yes, there are definitely strays and ferals. We have had both, strays are so much easier to deal with than ferals! On our blog today we have 3 ferals. Two we took in as kittens (Toby & Minnie Pumpkin), and one as an adult, Mica Moo. Mica has been and is still, a lot of work. The funny thing is, none of our strays or ferals have ever wanted to go outside again, after finding a home.

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