Definition: Feral Cat (provided by Catnippers)
The Problem (summary provided by Catnippers)
Feral cat colonies are the result of pet cats that are abandoned or allowed to reproduce by irresponsible pet owners. Neither pets nor wildlife, they often lead bleak and short lives without the protection of traditional animal welfare societies.
Feral cats arise from these "throw away" cats. They roam farms, alleys, parks, hospitals, restaurant dumpsters, schools, or any other sites that might provide a source of food and shelter. Raised without human contact, they avoid people and form colonies in which they reproduce further. It is estimated that up to 50% of cats euthanized at many shelters are feral or offspring of ferals. In addition to the misery of the cats living a subsistence life-style, they may also become a public nuisance and public health concern. Trying to control these cats by eradication can consume a significant portion of local animal control budgets. Even young feral cats are difficult to socialize enough to be adoptable, so they are usually euthanized at shelters. The traditional approach to controlling feral and stray cats is repeated extermination attempts. This is often a futile strategy, since other unaltered cats quickly replace the killed animals, moving in to take over the food source and to begin the cycle of reproduction again. Public support for lethal measures is often lacking, and caretakers may interfere with official trapping attempts.
Help is Needed
A fertile cat will produce an average of three litters a year! In just seven years a fertile cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats! These figures point to a need for a more aggressive spay/neuter program within the United States.
KNOW THE LANGUAGE! A stray cat is not a wild cat or feral cat! There is a difference. A stray is a domestic animal that was once a pet. And in order to survive, it becomes skittish and avoids human touch. A stray cat can bear young and they could be become feral because no one is handling the kittens.
THE MADDIES FUND has 200 million dollars available to spay/neuter feral cats. The fund EXPIRES IN JUNE 2002 There is no cost to people who want to help these wild cats. Also, OCSPCA, gives spay/neuter certificates to low income owners and for wild feral cats.
The Animal Medical Center, 16450 Harbor Blvd. Fountain Valley 714.551.1155 takes feral cats to spay/neuter in traps Monday - Thursday Their ears will be tipped to mark the cats that have been altered by the fund. Kindly, this hospital allows the cats stay one night for their incision to secure.
Feral cats are to be re-released back to their established territories and able to run under something to hide. Please ask about all the specifics at the hospital about releasing humanely. To find other hospitals call the Southern California Vet Medical Association in the 33area code.
| If You Are A Local Orange County CA Feral Cat Feeder or Rescuer and
Have A "Story From The Heart" e-mail DiAnna@animalnetwork.org
A FERAL CAT MY HEART CAME TO KNOW AND I ADOPTED... HER NAME IS "TUXIE"
By Karen Manning,Written December 19, 2001
rescuer, feeder and savior of feral cats
in Fountain Valley CA now moved to Arizona
"There are so many out there.....who can be touched and
Prelude: Everyone said they were too old to be tame...3-4 months old. It didn't look good. It was my very first trapping, these three. The thought of re-releasing my catch at the feeding station at my work made me cry.
After months of feeding, talking, playing at the work site feeding station with my group. Tuxie who was my first release, I took into my home, only to have her escape the very first night and live in a tree in a strip mall for a month near my home.
Now, I can't imagine my life without her. She is the funniest, smartest, bravest and best little friend I've ever had. She's such a personality...runs to the door to greet me, When I kneel down she rises and she licks my cheek. She is the cat that is always out and around, talking to me in her special but hardly audible darling little voice.
Tuxie does the funniest things such as drop kick and rolling on the floor with her stuffed animal (a beanie baby she carries around and wrestles with) I call her my dog cat. Sometimes she comes up and licks my cheek and then will give me a little love bite. I kiss her cheek then give her a little bite back. She turns and gives me a little bite and then a lick. It is a cute little banter that just endears me more and more.
Tuxie is there at every bath time, licking the water off my shoulder or face while I bathe. She talks to me, wanting me tell her to walk on water. She rules the house, too. She keeps the rest of the crew exercised and on their toes.
Knowing her and her story keeps me out there with the feral cats. Wondering always, how many more like her there are out there. I am bummed sometimes to see her tipped ear marking her as a feral, but it is forever a reminder that she chose me. And there is one in every litter, no matter the age....one that want's to be with people, one that wants to be tame. My hope is they all find me.
Photos on this page are courtesy of "Best Friends Catnippers"
Always spay, neuter, microchip, collar and tag your pets.