Maybe you have come across a cat while walking through town, only to have it bolt when you get too close. Most likely you have seen a feral cat. Feral cats are the wild offspring of domestic cats that are primarily the result of pet owners’ abandonment, failure to confine or failure to spay or neuter their animals allowing them to breed uncontrolled. Feral cats live in both the city and in rural areas. Colonies are found anywhere there is a source of food, water and shelter. You will find these feral, often starving cats in back allies, dumps, parks, ravines, and university grounds.
Feral cats are not a natural part of the local eco-system. They are not wildlife and do not have the necessary skills to survive. Most feral cats only live 2-3 years without assistance.
Feral cats have become an important issue in many towns and cities across Canada. Cats reproduce rapidly and can have up to three litters a year. There is not an easy solution to reducing the feral cat population humanely. Collecting cats and euthanizing them does not deal with the issue of kittens two or three times a year. The kittens keep coming.
Not All Cats Are Feral
Not all homeless cats are feral though. Some are strays, a cat that has been abandoned or lost it’s way home. These cats are scared and are afraid to approach any person. Often these cats are young, not fixed, and ready to breed. the first litter a stray mother cat has becomes feral very quickly.
New Hope Animal Rescue is initiating a more humane, long term solutions to the local feral cat issue. Our 50/50 Feral Cat Program focuses on the
model. This cat welfare based model focuses on stopping the cycle of kittens, and maintaining a baseline health of a feral cat colony to prevent disease. This program is a partnership. We ask that you raise half of the cost to spay/neuter and New Hope will cover the other half. Once a cat has been trapped it is brought in to us. We spay/neuter the animals, give it basic vaccinations, and give it an identifying mark so we know it has been to us before. New Hope will cover the other half. We then release the animal back to its orginal place of origin.
What We Are Doing
Dealing with such a large issue as feral cats is a slow and steady process. Even a small step is a step in the right direction. We have begun to create cold weather cat-houses for feral cats.
Do You Feed Feral Cats?
If you regularly feed “stray” or “feral” cats regularly then you are a Cat Caregiver. You are THE most important part of helping control and improve the lives of feral cats.