Feral Cat Day is tomorrow, October 16th! While there’s no way to get an exact count, estimates put the number of feral kitties here in the US at up to 70 million. That’s a lot of kitties out there fending for themselves! A Sarasota, FL vet discusses feral cats.
Stray Or Feral
There’s no physical difference between stray, feral, and domestic cats, save one: only pet cats walk with their tails up. Stray and ferals let their tails droop. However, they are worlds apart mentally. Domestic cats are pets, and many of them have their humans trained to completely pamper them. Strays have been socialized, and are often quite friendly. Many are actually former pets. Feral cats, however, are completely wild. Kitties can move between these categories: for instance, a lost pet may become a stray, and, if left on their own long enough, could eventually become feral.
Part of the reason that there are so many homeless kitties out there is because cats can reproduce very quickly. A single pair of kitties can have 11,606,077 descendants in just nine years! It’s easy to see how difficult it is to really get this issue under control. This is also one reason it’s so important to get your own pets fixed.
In general, feral cats really don’t make great indoor pets. This is partly because they want to be outside. Plus, some of them never get the hang of using litterboxes. However, there are always exceptions. Some feral cats can successfully make the leap into living as a house cat. Others may do fine as a porch or barn kitty, provided they get food, shelter, and veterinary care. Ultimately, it depends on the cat.
How To Help
There’s no way for any one person to help every single feral cat out there. However, there are things you can do that will make a difference. First and foremost, help curb overpopulation by getting your own feline pal fixed. You can also help support charities and organizations that care for feral cats. Donations are always appreciated, but you can also lend a hand by dropping off supplies, or perhaps by volunteering. Another option would be to support local Trap/Neuter/Release organizations. Even sharing posts on social media can help!
Please contact us, your local Sarasota, FL animal clinic, anytime. We’re always here for you!