As cat lovers, we love our feline companions and it breaks our hearts to see a cat roaming the streets without a home or knowing what it feels like to be loved. Feral cats do not have a soft bed to sleep on, they are often hiding from predators, fighting over territory, and eating out of the trash to stay alive. Here is how you can help these unfortunate felines.
Feral cats can rarely be tamed, especially if a life on the streets is all that they know. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of cats roaming the streets and they multiply by the day. Because of this, feral cats can hardly be adopted. The best way to help a feral cat is to trap them and take them into a spay or neuter clinic or veterinarian.
Use a live trap and food to trap a feral cat. Then once taken to a veterinarian, they can be sedated so it is safe for all involved and they can be properly examined. Feral cats should be tested for Feline leukemia (FeLV) and Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). These diseases are spread from cat to cat by bites, bodily fluids, and passed from mother to offspring. Both diseases can cause greater health problems for the cat. If the feral cat is positive, it may be best for the cat and other feral cats to put the infected cat to sleep. Vaccinating for rabies can also help the health of the cat and keep it protected.
If the cat is tested negative for both diseases, the cat can then be spayed or neutered. Because a female cat can start reproducing at such an early age and gestation periods are only 58 to 67 days, an unspayed feral female cat will spend her life giving birth. Spaying and neutering a feral cat is really the best thing for them and everyone in the neighborhood while controlling the population over time. This also prevents testicular cancer and uterine infections such as pyometra which is painful and deadly. After the procedure and once recovered, the cat can be returned to its home.
Another way to help feral cats is to help manage the colony by helping with TNR and watching out for new cats and if any appear sick. Because the disease can spread so quickly, being an advocate and stepping in when no one else will makes you a hero. You can also feed the cats where they tend to hang out. However, to avoid a feral cat spraying or marking near your home, it is best to not feed them on your doorstep.
Gain Community Support
If you really want to help the feral cats, try getting everyone in the community involved. Maybe take donations to provide shelter for these cats and help with TNR. Work with or donate to the local shelter to help them. Even volunteer to help with a spay/neuter clinic.
Feral cats can live a happy life when we step in to help. Have you ever taken care of a feral cat before?