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Feral Cats

Feral cats derive their title from the Latin word "ferus", meaning wild animal. Feral cats were either born in the wild, on the streets or have escaped their domestic lives and become strays.

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Feral cats sometimes live in a colony and have little to no human contact. They are not socialized to the ways of humans and this gives them the inclination to be frightened of people, resulting in anti-human behavior.

Taming a feral cat that has lived on the streets as a stray may require a long introduction and trust-building scenario with a potential caretaker over a period of time, in order to feel comfortable around humans.

There are myths surrounding the idea of the feral cat. Many people are under the impression that feral cats are a menace to humans and will attack them. This is not the case as feral cats are frightened and skittish by nature, since they live unstable lives with few human interactions.

Myth Gone Wild ...

A feral cat, like any other cat when cornered, will bite or scratch as a defense. Another myth is that feral cats will spread rabies or other diseases to humans. According to a recent study by the US Center for Disease Control, within the last 25 years, there have been no cases of rabies being spread to a human from feral cats.

Feral cats exist due to irresponsible cat owners allowing their unaltered cats to reproduce and the resulting offspring are then left to fend for themselves, out in the "wild" of the streets.

When people do not take responsibility for their companion felines by getting them spayed or neutered, they are contributing to the feral cat problem that exists. Many feral cats are killed each year in animal shelters because of careless owners. By not spaying or neutering your pet, owners create millions of unwanted cats that end up starved or dying in the streets.

Colonies of Cats?

Feral colonies of cats are eliminated by eradication programs, when not adopted or taken in by kind humans and animal shelters. These methods to reduce the population of feral cats are not always effective.

Eradication programs remove the feral cats from their lairs, thus reducing the competition for food amongst other strays. The feral cats that remain on the streets will quickly replace the removed felines by breeding a few times a year. This quickly brings the colony back to its original number and the problem starts all over again.

A Humane Society program that has seen some beneficial results in controlling the population of feral cats is the Trap, Neuter & Return (TNR) policy. When veterinarians capture feral cats within a colony, they are taken to a clinic and spayed or neutered and given a health evaluation.

When necessary, the very ill among the feral colony are humanely euthanized and the healthier animals are given necessary shots for diseases, treatment for parasites and ear-tipped for identification.

TNR Is TLC ...

These felines are then returned to their colony, thus limiting the amount of reproducing that occurs and lessening typical annoying behaviors such as spraying, urine odor, mating yowls and fighting. In the United Kingdom, Denmark and South Africa, the TNR approach has been employed with feral cats since the 1970s with positive results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

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