by Meaghan Pavel
Fuzzy little and big kitties are always a joy to have around! But not all of these special friends have a warm and loving home. According to Animal Control, there are roughly 70 million feral cats in the United States. But only about 3.2 million are given to shelters, out of that roughly 530,000 cats are euthanized (ASPCA, 2011).
So now you want to help but have no idea what to do and how to improve their life. Surely one person could house a million cats (although that would be messy yet fun!). Here is a list of 5 things you can do to help the feral fur babies in your local community!
LOOK FOR TAGS
If you see a new cat on your block, look to see if they have tags because they might be someone’s missing pet. If there are tags, try to get the cats attention with food or treats and contact the owner. If the cat does not have tags look to see if they have a clipped ear. A universal sign that a feral cat has been spray or neutered they will clip a small part of the ear, so they don’t attempt to recapture and the same cat. In the event that you don’t see either, take the cat to your local shelter and say you found a stray cat.
Most stray cats will have no issues coming up to you looking for food and attention. So if you have food, place a small amount down and let them come to you. Keep your pets away from the stray cat because of uncertainties with illness, unvaccinated, and probably not neutered.
LOOK FOR LOST CAT ADS
It's important to look online to see if anyone lost a pet that may match the cat you found.
Take the cat to your local shelter to see if the cat is microchipped and contact the owners.
If there are no lost cat ads that match the one you found, consider adopting the cat or assist with finding a home. Shelters are overrun with the pet overpopulation challenge so as a community we can assist these furbabies to find their new fur-ever home.
TALK WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
It takes a village to raise a cat! So, talk with your neighbors about the abandoned or homeless cat you found. Perhaps a neighbor has seen the cat previously and knows where he came from or if a neighbor is feeding him. The goal is to provide for the safety and welfare of this pet and to assistance the pet with a good future.
SHOW THEM SOME LOVE
While feral cats are very scared of humans you can still show them love by offering food and building a shelter. Stray cats are friendly and are probably abandoned, so these babies are easier to pet or even hold. Provide a shelter and food for these cats and kittens as seen in the photo below. This will help them until you can get them to your local shelter or find a home.
All in all, if you see a stray or feral cat it’s good to try and figure out if they have an owner first. If you are ever unsure, call your local animal shelter or human society to hopefully find them a new home!
“Pet Statistics.” ASPCA, www.aspca.org/helping-people-pets/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics.
“How Many Stray Cats Are in the United States.” How Many Stray Cats Are in the United States?, www.aaanimalcontrol.com/professional-trapper/howmanystraycats.html.