A few quick facts on feral cats that you might be interested in.
1 Stray cats will often look disoriented not accustomed to life on the street and often quite vocal. A stray will come to the food as soon as you place it down. A feral cat is silent, will only approach a food source once you have moved away and often looks well groomed. A stray cat's presence can be seen through the day while most feral cats will only appear through the night (Although I care for feral cats that make their presence known throughout the day).
2: Strays can usually be resocialized and live with humans while the adult feral cat can often be untamable (Again, I have socialized adult feral cats through the years). Indoor life is not an option for feral cats.
3: Without proper colony management and TNR, sadly up to 50 to 60% of kittens born feral will not live to the age of a year (This is why colony management & TNR are of the utmost importance. Feeding bans, colony eradication, & TE (Trap/Eradication) do not solve the problem of over-population).
4: Trapped, stray cats can be re-adopted to new owners, feral cats trapped by animal control are euthanized with little to no chance of living their life to the fullest.
5: Feral cats are prone to the same illnesses as those of indoor domestics. They "do not" spread and carry disease like many believe or advocate. They avoid contact with humans. We have more chances of getting sick from a single other human being then the chance of getting sick from contact with a feral cat. Following in the next page is a chart based on a survey concerning disease, feral cats, and humans.
6: According to some (such as P.E.T.A. who stands behind trap and eradication), feral cats die of horrible deaths. This is beyond the truth concerning feral cats and life span normalcy. The life span of a feral cat can be the same as that of an indoor domestic.
7: Blame is often placed on feral cats for the depletion of wildlife and birds. In all aspects the reality is we, the human specie is to blame for such acts by the use of pesticides, pollution; the destruction of many natural habitats for our own greed.
8: Eradication of feral cat colonies does "not" stop breeding. More cats will move in causing a vacuum effect. Eradication in the end is a costly method to curbing over-population. TNR (Trap/neuter/return), colony management as well as public education helps them lead healthier lives.
9: Relocation of feral cat colonies can often result in a less then expected success. TNRed cats should be returned to their colonies unless situations differ. Relocation takes much energy, time, and patience of the care giver to ensure a successful plan.
10: Always use proper tools (such as humane live traps) when starting a TNR program. Never handle a trapped feral cat with your hands as he/she might strike out (You would to if someone cornered you and you felt threatened).
11: Socialization of feral kittens usually is best with kittens between 8 to 12 weeks of age (I don't believe or agree with removing kittens from their mother before 8 weeks of age). With patience and much TLC, you're new socialized kitten will be ready for adoption before long.
|Jean Boileau @ Loving the Feral Soul Inc.|