Feral Cats

unwanted cats
Feral cats – photo ©Feral Indeed! – published under creative commons license

 

 

Our Problem

This problem is ours. Sometimes you read stories about people complaining about cats that are feral. Or, when reading blogs or comments on blogs, you notice people making derogatory remarks about these cats and how they spread disease and upset the neighborhood etc. There is no point moaning about feral cats as if we are blaming the cats for the problem. The problem is ours in the same way as is obesity or bad debt or any other human condition. The difference with these cats is we are hurting them instead of ourselves. If we fail to take full responsibility for our feline companions they more often than not end up being destroyed by us – Shooting Feral Cats. Or this: Local Feral Cats in Pennsylvania, USA. These are just two examples.

For the sake of clarity — definitions:

Feral cats: originating from the domestic cat — no or little contact with people and born outside of human society. They are wild domestic cats. The domestic cat is a domesticated European wildcat.

Wildcats: 36 species (or is it 37?) ranging widely in size and appearance. Entirely wild. No connection with people except in terms of people persecuting them over centuries.

Stray cats: domestic cats that were once living in a human’s home and which are now homeless or possibly time share cats of some sort. Difference between stray and feral cats [link].

feral cat sign
photo ©Feral Indeed! – published under creative commons license. See No Kill Shelters. No Kill Cat Shelters.

It is fundamentally wrong (as the Wikipedia authors have or had done – Wikipedia is constantly amended) to write about cats that have become feral in the same vein as say rats or other animals that have evolved without humankind’s intervention. But for us there would be no feral cats. At a fundamental level, they are created from abandoned unneutered domestic cats that were once with a human family. Of course they then breed on their own but we started the process. We should not shirk our responsibilities towards them. Unfortunately we do and we do it over and over again by the millions. I criticise and animal control officers approach to feral cats on this page.

Yet, there are a good number of fine people who take responsibility and who act with kindliness towards them. These people like feral cats and I am pleased and proud to say that over 100 (and counting) have contributed to this site in sharing their experiences (Click here to see visitors’ submissions)

About Feral Cats

Feral cats may and frequently do live in colonies. Colonies congregate in an area because it provides protection and food. Such places might be at the rear of hospitals or restaurants as just two examples.

The lifespan of a feral cat is far shorter, unsurprisingly, than that of a domestic cat, at about 2 years if solitary and 10 years if there is a human caretaker1. Domestic cat live to 15 years plus to a max of about 25 years (some live longer).

The greatest debate about cats becoming feral is their impact on native species upon which they sometimes prey, if not feeding off waste human food. A lot of people make claims about the devastation of certain wild species (e.g. bird populations). This has rarely happened and when it does it could be because the domestic cat has been introduced deliberately onto a small island to say deal with rats to then prey on a species that is unique to an island and which is naive (meaning no predator response as it had no predator)4. That, once again, would be our fault. The cat acts naturally. There is cause for concern but there are too many wild assertions and unsubstantiated “facts” bandied around on the internet in my opinion. See: How Feral Cats Affect Wildlife [link].  In Australia, New Zealand and certain areas of North America they are considered as pests due to their threat to endangered species. As a consequence desperate and controversial measures are sometimes taken to exterminate them (Ground Shooting of Feral Cats- link in Australia). On occasions there seems be a war between people who should share the same goals.

Back in 2006, I was feeding 19 homeless cats. In March 2007 I trapped these cat’s took them to the humane society payed to have them fixed of which one of the chocolate point Siamese died at the age of 10 months while in recovery. I have been haunted by his death needless to say.

I placed everyone except 5 cats up for adoption and they all found forever homes one of the cats I kept was the other chocolate point Siamese brother.
 
Today I have taken in more feral cats and I am back up to 17 cats that I care for. I just wish there were more people out there that could give these cats a home once the cat is fixed that will be less homeless kitties and maybe by working together we can end the unwanted population of cats not by killing them but by doing something good for the cats so they can lead normal lives and happy ones…Carolyn Minor (housewife, Seffner, FL, USA)

The “battle” between people sensitive to the plight of feral cats (and that as you can tell includes me) and those who dislike them has been fought for almost a century or more. It was recognised in a 1916 report in Massachusetts, USA for instance7 (see the full PDF file for this). A recent battle of this type took place in Beverly Hills. A kindly old lady was participating in TNR and feeding the feral cats. There was dissent and a prosecution, which through the great good sense of the council members (the communities leaders and legislators) turned into a chance to create new city legislation on how to deal with cats that had become feral. Common sense reigned (see the full story).

1916 report for the Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture titled The Domestic Cat: Bird Killer, Mouser and Destroyer of Wildlife,

Feral cats are adaptable (so are domestic cats) and can accept hot and cold conditions.

Their diet varies depending on the environment in which they find themselves. In Australia they prey on European rabbits and/or mice in arid areas, marsupials (mammals, that have a pouch (called the marsupium), in which females carry their young through early infancy) in forests and urban areas. Birds and reptiles form a relatively small part of their diet6. Feral cats favour ground dwelling animals over birds10.

Yet there are many estimates (by so called experts) of the number of songbirds killed by cats generally and they are large numbers. Exact numbers are not known and estimates made (a dangerous way of doing things I would suggest). Some say that domestic and feral cats in the USA kill hundreds of millions of birds annually9. There would seem to be a war going on between bird conservationists and cat lovers.

In California, USA Ron Jurek, a wildlife biologist for the California Department of Fish and Game, says that the population of cats that are feral in urban areas is greater than that which nature can support9. The fallacy in that argument is that nature does not support ferals in urban areas or not wholly so. It is the rubbish of humans or the kindness of humans. Perhaps something needs to be done about how rubbish is dealt with.

In urban areas, he said, there are hundreds of cats per square mile (1.6 square kilometers)—more cats than nature can support.

Feral cats are preyed upon by dogs and coyotes for example (in the USA). In other parts of the world it might be: humans, feral dogs, wolves, bears, cougars, bobcats, foxes, feral pigs, crocodilians, snakes, and birds of prey (see for example: loss of a dwarf cat on a balcony)

The history of feral cats must parallel the history of the domestication of the wildcat. As soon as a cat is domesticated there is the prospect of it being abandoned back from whence it came: the wild and becoming feral.

In Australia, where they consider the feral cat a major problem (it seems) it is thought that they “arrived” on the scene in 18242. Other than that assessment they have been there since the European settlers arrived (my preference). They may even have arrived before the Europeans. It is possible that they arrive with Dutch shipwrecks (1600s) or Indonesian fishermen3.

There are too many speculative and inaccurate studies on feral cats published on the internet. Here is one example: Feral Cats and their Management - LINK

Updates:

If you use this search box to search for “feral cats” you will find many pages on this subject:

Steve Wozniak

What prompted me to build this page was a news item (via Business Wire) about Steve Wozniak (Apple founder with Steve Jobs) who has teamed up with Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) to heighten awareness of the this problem in the Santa Clara county. He did this by presenting a video now on YouTube. It’s very good. Here it is……

“Thank you Steve Wozniak.  Every time I see homeless, helpless animals, I wish I had millions to save them all.  I will be trapping, neutering and releasing 4 feral cats next week.  I’m glad I can do my part.  They are sweethearts.”(Neighborhood Cat Lady).

Trap, neuter, return

Of course the problem is nationwide and indeed worldwide. It has been said by people wiser than me that the measure of how civilized we are is how we treat the vulnerable and less fortunate than ourselves. The vulnerable includes animals and that includes cats and cats includes abandoned cats (they were once companion cats or their parents or grandparents were as I said). It has been found that the most humane way to deal with them is to trap-neuter-return (TNR). {This could be refined by this: TTVARM: trap, test, vaccinate, alter, release, maintain5}. Taming wild feral cats and kittens [link] is possible. “Return” in this context means to rehome kittens/cats that can be tamed (re-domesticated) and to return the remaining ferals to the wild of the urban jungle. Click on this link to see how to catch a stray cat.  TNR can be effective. But some people see things differently.

TNR is the only humane way to deal with feral cats as at 2010, it could be argued. Simply killing them (the objective of many people) does not work (see vacuum phenomenon) unless the entire population of cats can be extirpated as may be the case on a small island for example. However, I stress that TNR deals with the cats and not with the root cause of the problem, the irresponsible people who fail to take care for their cat companions in a proper manner. There may (must?) be others, but I only know of one city, Beverly Hills, in the USA where city laws have been recently enacted to deal with the feral cats humanely and sensibly by tackling human behavior not cat behavior.

The above said, there are arguments that TNR simply does not work. Indeed some argue it encourages the expansion of the feral cat as for example feral cats come to the site of TNR from outside the area. In Australia there is an argument that says very large feral cats are evolving and more drastic steps must be taken8.

I argue that they should or could be put to use in the way that they were used by farmers long ago. One visitor Jan has done this, relocating a group of her ferals to a farm. Yet others argue that the relocationing of ferals is problematic.

Hate them? Care For Them? Feel For Them? Want Rid of Them?

Please tell us your views, stories, tragedies and successes here. And if you have any ideas to solve the problem we’d like to hear them. Please scroll down to see the submissions by visitors or myself.

Here is an example from a visitor, Susie Bearder, who has cared for a good number of cats: A cat in a box and other tails. Update to Susie’s eBook 23rd Sept 2010: Cat in the Box Tikka is no more — She went down fast over the last few days, putting herself in a corner of a room. ‘You just know when time has come’ a vet once told me.  My mum had to come back with her second baby to be put alongside her brother.

Sylvia Ann has her own views on how to deal with feral cats and cat caretaking. This is an essay demonstrating her personal flavour of prose and argument: Can Education Succeed Without Funding?

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…You can add your views to the submissions by making a comment; just click on the link at the base of the article.

Managing the Source of Feral Cats – It is about managing ourselves.

Feral Cat Den in my Backyard – Need Advice!   I live on a river in Michigan and there is a “den” in the yard. I have seen cats run into and out of it on several occasions. I don’t know if it is …

Care 4 Cats Neutering and Spaying in Ibiza  Care 4 Cats is a non profit making charity that has been working to neuter and spay as many feral cats as they can in Ibiza. They rely on donations and …

Pondersoa Glenn MHP resident Star Valley, AZ  Carolyn and I feed two…if not three generations of feral cats in this park…….most have been abandoned by residents who come and go from this place….

Prevent Lives To Save Lives  Despite all the fantastic work carried out by volunteers, we are told that in the United States only 3 percent of feral cats are spayed and neutered. I …

Trapping feral cats advice please  I’d like some advice on trapping the few remaining canny feral cats of one of my feral cat colonies. Several months ago, I posted that my Florida county …

I love my little family of feral cats  We moved into a house with 3 babies and a mommy feral cat. I happen to love cats and have a domestic one in the house. I feed these babies and their …

Jackson County Animal Control Shelter euthanises 80% of cats  The figure in the title relates to 2010. It is an extraordinarily high figure but probably not exceptional. I suppose if we look on the bright side …

Feral cat problem is ours!!  There are millions of feral cats within society. What is a feral cat people ask? A feral cat is a formerly domesticated loving cat that has been abandoned …

Furry Friends Animal Rescue  Here is an animal shelter doing something about the feral cat problem. It takes co-operation and perseverance but something can be done to reduce the …

The Cats Came With The Farm  In 2006 We purchased a small farm (Serenity Farm) along with the farm were 6 ” barn ” cats. Wild as March hares they were and ready to fight any one or …

Tennessee’s laws on shooting cats for sport….  I know a gentleman I met online who claims to have shot and killed many cats in Rhea County Tn. He claims to enjoy it. He also claims they are not licensed …

Walmart Cat  I thought this story would be appreciated by you and your blog readers. Some years ago, One evening we were shopping at our local Walmart Store. We …

Advice needed please on caring for farm cats  I had five pregnant cats dropped on me in 2001. I called the shelter and humane center who told me they would pick them up but they would only keep them …

Who`s that looking out the window?  We get many feral and stray cats where I live, we live by forestry. One day there was a lean tall and narrow faced grey tabby Cat eating out of the outdoor …

Miss B smuggles feral cats into communal garden  This idiot I know, lets call her Miss B, she lives in a project apartment with a nice garden. She decided to smuggle onto the garden altogether 16 stray …

Consequences of Killing Feral Cats   What are the consequences of killing feral cats in large numbers? Many people want to eradicate them entirely from North America. They say they are an …

The Gassing of Feral Cats  It seems that the gassing of feral cats still goes on in North America. I thought euthanasia had moved on to more humane methods. The gassing of unwanted …

Living with domestic and semi-feral cats  I have three cats. One was abandoned when I adopted him. He was neutered when I got him. His previous owner threw him out to fend for himself when she …

New Laws Regarding Feral Cats Columbia, Missouri  I wonder if the new laws – the word “ordinance” is used for local USA laws – concerning feral cats that will come into force in Columbia, Missouri, are …

Good news for Florida’s feral cat colony caretakers   GOOD NEWS FOR FERAL CAT COLONY CARETAKERS!!! Sheltering Hands, a local cat rescue organization, is in the process of launching Marion County’s first …

Former Animal Control Officer USA  I worked for a shelter in West Tennessee for about four years. I became an Animal Control Officer because I was at a point in my life 39 years old where …

The “Al Kitta” Rescue  A few months back I was at my job at GM in Indianapolis when I noticed some kittens that had been born inside of a material rack. Now these racks are quite …

Neighborhood Feral Caretaker  I moved to my neighborhood almost five years ago. I took ten feral cats to a local spay/neuter clinic and had them all fixed and vaccinated for rabies …

Darkangel  The family of my friend’s boyfriend found some kittens in a paddock. They would have been bout 3 weeks old and their mother was nowhere to be seen. So …

Befriending a Stray Cat  Since I moved here in September of 2009, I have been feeding some stray cats (2 or 3) that have been hanging around our apartment complex and the surrounding …

Making decisions based on how you feel rather then based on what is right  The epidemic we have with cats domesticated and feral, comes from having no laws that hold irresponsible cat owners responsible and accountable for their …

Free Mother’s Day Cards by Furby  Hi everybody! It’s Furby! I just wanted to tell everybody mama’s at it again with the Mother’s Day cards. This year we’re gonna call them Free Mother’s …

ADELE: A FERAL CAT STORY  For a number of years now I’ve been taking care of the feral cats around the neighborhood and by using lots of food and patience, I had a few tamed, some …

Allotment feral cat is so friendly now  Wanda is one of the four feral cats I feed on my plot every day. She was neutered last month (so were all the others) and since then her confidence seems …

RSPB UK  March 22nd 2011: The RSPB in the UK is making careless statements about the domestic cat and its impact on birds in the UK. I don’t like it. This sort …

Feral Cats Serve A Useful Purpose  Feral cats serve a useful purpose and have been in the Americas for as long as 400 years. In fact, feral cats have been on the scene as long as Europeans …

Local Feral Cats in Pennsylvania, USA  Shouldn’t taxes pay for TNR in communities, instead of paying for new light poles or parks or community swimming pools?? Why don’t they do group organizational …

Great BIG Feral Cat  Here is a cat I trapped accidentally while I was working on spaying/neutering some “favorites” of mine. The picture doesn’t show it, but this thing had …

Success – all our allotment cats have been neutered!  I wanted to tell you that we have finally managed to get all six of our feral allotment cats neutered now. The North Birmingham branch of the Cats …

In the rubbish bins we found one female kitten and more  We emigrated to another part of Europe for the country life and next to a nature reserve that is pretty much unmanaged and very soon found that people …

I’m A Cat Mom  We have feral cats in our area.. A few of my neighbors take care of them and feed them. My husband and I feed 2 ferals…There were 3 not to long ago,…

Our Cats  Some years ago, my roommate and I were befriended by some semi-feral cats…

Our Cats

Well–they weren’t really our cats.  They just lived under …

Does a Cat have Nine Lives?  Careless throwing of poisoned rodent carcass in the open takes away the life of feral kittens.

This human negligence killed a hungry black male feral …

Catsnip  In Georgia we have a huge over population problem with ferals. I recently started TNR with the feral colony in my area. I went through several animal …

I Took Her Away From All That!  It was a blistering cold & windy day in Junction, TX, Christmas Day 2008, about 14:30. I was heading back to Truth or Consequences, NM from Tallahassee,…

Utah Bill Encourages the Shooting of Feral Cats  Date: 27th January 2011: The USA is desperate to deal with “the feral cat problem” but does it have the will, means, courage or imagination to do it properly …

If I could only catch the feral cats I feed  I’ve been feeding a litter of four cats for the last few months. Two calicos and two yellow and white tabbies (see tabby and white coats ). I must admit …

My Friend With the Big Green Eyes  I have a friend with big green eyes,
Who knows when I’m happy or sad,
She’s always there by my side,
And for that I’m so very glad. When I’m upset …

PETA Exterminates Feral Cats  I had been a caretaker of six homeless cats in my neighborhood in Northern Washington for 7 years. When I had to move to Eugene, Oregon, I arranged for …

I Got Married! by Furby  This has been an absolutely awesome week everybody. You see, I just got married. It kind/sorta happened by accident. Mama got up Tuesday morning to raid …

Smokey!  We live in rural upper Westchester county NY. It was late September when we first saw this little wisp of a cat. Our land backs up against a forest preserve …

Where can I get a feral cat ribbon for my car? I love feral cats and would like to buy a ribbin for my car that you have on this page. Please let me know how to do so. Thank you.

Dorothy

I look after one feral and one abused stray cat  I have two cats now that I look after. One’s a grey tabby with green eyes. She’s very small and has a short tail. Another is an old cat that sort of looks …

I’m Sick! by Furby  Hi everybody! It’s Furby! I’m sick and I don’t like it one little bit. I had all of my vaccinations so these must be some mean little germ critters to …

Tortured By Feral Cats  We moved 100 miles from Toronto to a lovely town home to retire with our little dog. One neighbour started to feed a couple of cats and they had a litter …

Feral Cats and their Management  These are my critical observations on the document, “Feral Cats and their Management” written by Aaron M. Hildreth, Project Technician—School of Natural …

Feral Cat Colony  It all started with the ignorance of a neighbor. I’m sure he had good ‘reasons’ not to spay and neuter the cats he has. Well, this one particular female …

Love Our Feral Cats  We have one indoor kitty, almost 3 years old, that was found on the side of the road in a bag, almost dead. his brothers and sisters already were. About …

Feeding Feral Cats  I used to go to work via the back roads of New Hampshire. I spotted quite a few little kittens & their mothers sitting outside sunning themselves in the …

The Argument For Euthanising Feral Cats  I respect all points of view. All points of view should be listened to and if we disagree we should state our case. I am sure that our fine family of cat …

My Advice On Helping Feral Cats in London, UK  I have been feeding and helping a group of feral cats for two years now. I have had some success, surprisingly, because they were adults, and have successfully …

I’m shocked! You profess to be a cat lover–rescuer, even?   You profess to be a cat lover–rescuer, even?

DON’T BREED OR BUY WHILE MILLIONS–BILLIONS–OF HOMELESS AND SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!

Kat

[Hi ...

A question about a feral cat's aggressive behavior  I have had many strays. This particular cat was hiding in our shed and wood pile as a kitten all last winter. Now it is coming right up to the house meowing ...

I Helped a Man and Lost my Cats  In 2002, I adopted two big cats they were brother and sister. Their names were Snoops and Casey.

They were big sweethearts. My cats and I really loved ...

The Cat Network--Doing the Impossible in West Allis  Dealing with the over population of cats, including the plight of feral cats, can seem like an insurmountable task. This is the story of a no-kill shelter ...

Semi-feral  'Semi-feral' reads the tag on the cage holding these two beauties. (Actually, there were three cats in the cage, but as soon as I decided to take a photo ...

Beautiful Maltese Calico Kitten Needs a Loving Home  Maltese Calico Rescued Cat click on image to see large version - photo: Michael @ PoC Oct 13th 2010: This gorgeous, little, shy and vulnerable ...

Martha Kane’s Kitty Appeal  8th October 2010 - Sliema, Malta: Some visitors might have seen the earlier posts about Martha’s heroic efforts to rescue cats in Malta . My favourite,...

The Human Race is Inhumane  This is what I know. A long time ago, cats were wild. We made them domestic, dependent on us for our pleasure to have a pet. We cared not enough for them ...

Jade  We moved into a house in rural Duncan, Oklahoma in 1993, bringing with us 2 cats and 2 dogs. Shortly after we moved in (within a few weeks), we began ...

Martha Kane Educating Children  Malta 7th October 2010: This is one of the most important subjects you can discuss on this website. Many, perhaps all, problems regarding the treatment ...

Introducing Martha Kane's Cats  6th Oct 2010. Yesterday I posted an overview of Martha Kane's Kitty Appeal rescue cat operation in Malta. Today I would like to show visitors a few ...

The Rescue and Feral Cats of Martha Kane  It's Tuesday October 5th 2010 and it's been a hot night in Malta. I arrived on Monday and I went out to dinner with Martha Kane and her partner Richard ...

Timmie, a Street Cat in the City of Amsterdam  I am not sure if the situation in the Netherlands is the same as is described on your feral cat page , I think not. One of the sweetest cats that lived ...

The Vacancy Sign was Left On!  Well dear long lost friends, it's been a terribly long time as I know all our lives are quite busy. As most of you know the original " Wild Bunch " were ...

How do I help my feral cat?  I moved into an apartment a few months ago and one day, I noticed that a black cat was hanging out in my backyard. He (or she, but for the sake of ...

Monty's Paradise  Monty, my little ex-feral cat and I have been having a lot of fun outside, now that the weather has cooled off. He wanted to go out in summer, but ...

Allotments - our family is growing  We have another cat at our allotments - but he isn't a feral. Felix has been re-homed to us by the Cats Protection (CP) and we have had him for about ...

The Yearly Cull of Cats in Greece  Our local cat protection society used to trap pregnant feral cats and then allow them to have their kittens in captivity before spaying them and returning ...

Help Please. How do I catch and neuter feral cats that I am feeding?  As you can see, I live in Yuba City, CA. In July of this year (2010), after a large family barbeque we were surprised to find a mama cat and her four kittens ...

Growling, Spirits, an Urn and Two Mice by Furby  Hi everybody! It's Furby! I've been a bad kitty and haven't written in awhile so I have a LOT to catch up on. It's been a VERY busy (and strange) month ...

My Feral Babies  I have a feral colony of cats that my husband and I have been caring for, for 2 years. It started with a litter of 4 kittens, about 6 months old. The ...

My Straybies (stray babies!)  I have five cats of my own (four male, one female, all neutered) so a few years ago when I realised there was a female feral cat living in the field across ...

Fab four: my emotional difficulties in caring for feral cats  A handsome Siamese cat frequented my back yard, (I named him Jonah). My two indoor cats enjoy watching him through the windows (my indoor cats never go ...

Sympathy for Feral Cats  I do my absolute best to feed and supply shelter from harm when it comes to feral cats. A mother cat recently had 6 kittens but sadly, before I had ...

Advice needed on moving with my indoor/outdoor stray cat  Last winter, I noticed a couple of "feral" cats eating the suet I had put out for the large birds. I felt sorry for these two hungry kitties, and bought ...

Another Busy Week by Furby  Hi everybody! It's Furby! We've had a really busy week and I want to tell everybody about it. I've spent the first part of the week laying around being ...

Tanith, a feral cat that became a best friend  When I was about 15, my mom had started dating a man who would later become my step father. He and her went on a drive and discovered a stray cat, with ...

Feeding Four Feral Cats  This is not my story, this is the story of a lady who has been like a grandmother to me. Her name is Louise. Louise lived in a small house her whole ...

Cat Situation in India  When a peaceful residential colony in fast developing urban areas eventually turn into a ghetto, the sanitation, living conditions, hygiene-standards and ...

Help Needed for My Feral and Stray Cats  I have one feral cat which has adopted us. I say feral because he was a malnutritous kitten that came out of the woods with no other cats/parents in sight ...

Cheap neutering is needed to contain stray cat problem  We have a feral male in my neighborhood that I call 'scary cat'. I feel so bad for him, but he is the top cat right now. The poor guy is scared and ...

Allotment Cat Is Getting Really Brave  This is an update about 'my' second allotment cat. Today, while I was working on my plot I noticed that she was sitting nearby, watching me. I pretended ...

Am I Famous Yet? by Furby  Hi everybody! It's Furby! I know I haven't been keeping everybody updated like I should and I'm sorry. I'm trying to stay out of trouble. Really I am. Today ...

Mama Cat And Her Little Girl  My Grandmother is the definition of a 'crazy cat lady'.

She loves cats, and sometimes I think she cares more for them than me! Well, she lives ...

Feral Cats Can Become Domestic Cats  I don't have feral cats in my neighborhood, but my cat Falcor was a feral cat. Falcor is a 12lb orange and white male. His mother was virtually a feral ...

Skidaway Island's Kittie Ghetto  I love cats and I go to Armstrong Atlantic University in Savannah. We have many feral cats on campus, but one day I went driving out to skidaway island ...

Shadow Cats Rescue (SCR)  What caught my eye about Shadow Cat Rescue was the statement by the founder of SCR (with her husband), Sheila Smith who says this in relation to FeLV cats....

Now there are three at the allotment!  Earlier in the year I wrote about a feral cat which I had been feeding at the allotment , then a few weeks ago I wrote about a second one which had ...

Cats In Marion County Florida  My name is Tom. I live in the Ocala National Forest. I own 8 (now 11) cats that are all, as I label them, "rescue kitties". My oldest is 15, my youngest ...

Mid Cheshire Animal Welfare Snowshoe Feral Cat  Jo sent me some more pictures of her feral cat colony.. They are impressive looking cats, particularly the one in the center of the frame in the photo ...

Mid Cheshire Animal Welfare  At Mid Cheshire Animal Welfare in the UK we have been working - I, personally, for 25yrs - looking after feral colonies. If we don't bother they have ...

In Memory of Stormy ='(  We met this starving cat near one of our neighbors houses. We could see her ribs, so we would drop by every day and feed her. We fed her for a while,...

There are so many stray and feral cats where I live  There are sooo many stray and feral cats where I live. I wish There was a way I could help them more. There are at least 12 that come up to my house every ...

Another Feral Cat at the Allotments  A few months ago I wrote about a cat I fed at my allotment . Well now I am feeding two! The other started coming for food a couple of weeks ago. The ...

The RSPCA Stole My Cats  I live in the UK and I have spent the the last decade devoting my life to unwanted cats and kittens and feeding the hungry and unwell semi-feral cats in ...

My New Father's Day Cards by Furby  Hi Everybody! It's Furby. I'm having to write this real quick before mama gets back to the computer. She's been working on the free Father's Day cards ...

Secrets To My Cat Success  I've had a lot of people question me on how I get cats to trust me so soon into a relationship. So I decided to write a few quick paragraphs on the secrets ...

Three Spanish Feral Cats  We rented an apartment in Benalmadena Pueblo, Spain. There are loads of feral cats around and we seem to have adopted 3 of these feral cats.

They came ...

Long Beach Cat Lover  My husband and I lost our cat about three years ago and haven't been home enough to take care of a new cat. Since we moved to a new location that has loads ...

We've Been Busy by Furby  Hi everybody! It's Furby again! Me and mama have had a really busy week and there's almost too much to show you. I've been such a good little man this ...

We Care
for a Feral Cat and Her Kittens
  We had a moma feral cat who had three kittens who we have fed and watered over the past year. Then Moma had another little calico kitten, who of course ...

We Own A Feral Cat  A few years back, my family and I were living in an outback Australian town, in North Queensland. Our old cat was suffering from cancer, which had ...

Pipkin  I wouldn't have an issue with feral cats in the neighborhood. I often see cats, but believe them to be strays that were once pets. They are not human ...

How Many Lives Do I Get by Furby  Hi everybody! It's Furby! I'm sorry I'm so behind in keeping up with myself. I've had a hard time protecting the rest of my nine lives. Sometimes I'm an ...

Blind Fuzzy Is The Joy Of My Life  Fuzzy was about 5 weeks old when I found him. I was taking a walk with my Dad and we saw something running in the ditch and my Dad scooped him up.

He ...

I Am The Cat Lady On My Street  Hello, I have two cats of my own and we just recently moved into a new neighborhood. Because my cats are both females....we seem to have inherited 8 additional ...

Mother's Day Cat Photography  Furby's photo shoot was so easy and turned out so well that I wanted to pass along a few tips on how I accomplished it. It was really easy and something ...

Happy Mother's Day From Furby  Hi everybody! It's Furby! I hope everybody had a good week, and to all the mama's Happy Mother's Day! Here's my card site in case any of you haven't seen ...

Last Supper for March Babies  Evening all. Am sitting here with a bit of a sad and happy mix of heart. This evening was the last time I will be feeding the ferals. First, Teensy, the ...

'Curiosity' murdered the cats  We've all heard the saying 'curiosity killed the cat', it's a simple saying which describes our curious companions. But you would never have expected this ...

Free Mother's Day Cards by Furby  I finally got the first batch online. I'll add more during the week. Also added the original templates in case anyone wants to make their own cards using ...

Furby Gets A Bath!  Hi everybody! It's Furby! I'm madder than a cat without catnip! Well everybody-not REALLY mad. I thought my MOO-vie contract called for one full MOO-vie ...

How To Pick A Fight by Furby  Hi everybody! It's Furby! I know it's late and I'm still awake but I have a reason. Several reasons. First of all I wanted to tell everyone I had a good ...

My Newest Moo-vies by Furby  I'm not gonna say much because it's past my bedtime. I just wanted everyone to see my beautiful claws and what Laura does to keep them beautiful. See ...

Return of the "Wild Bunch"  Howdy folks....been awhile and these little beasties have certainly kept me on my toes. We actually ended up with eight babies from three mamas. Thanks ...

Feral Cats Under My Porch  Well we had started to see a cat wonder around my backyard for a few weeks. We assumed it was the neighbor's cat. We were wrong. We soon saw that the female ...

We've Had A Bad Week by Furby  Hi everybody! It's Furby! I hope you have all had a better week than we have. Laura was gone for a LONG time and came home Wednesday. Lola had stayed ...

Saving Feral and Stray Cats in Florida; Please Help  At work I have taken care of feral/stray cats for 26 years. It was never a problem and our patrons enjoyed the cats. Some of the people even helped with ...

Feral Cats of Los Angeles  The feral cats of Los Angeles are going to have it harder, at least for a while. I am sure you have heard. A group of wildlife conservation organisations ...

God’s Creatures: What Happened?  Most of us are familiar with the command God gave to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish ...

No Kill Animal Shelters  I am a great admirer of animal shelters but I am confused about no kill animal shelters. I am referring to the ones in the United States but I would be ...

Feral and Stray Cats are Killed not Euthanised  I have been led to make this post by Lori Smith, who has written an essay that I hope to publish on this site. She pointed me in the direction of the excellent ...

Effective Trap, Neuter, Return Programs  Effective trap, neuter, return programs need to be wide ranging and not localized. And for them to be long-lasting the root cause of the supply needs to ...

I cannot stand to see a stray dog or cat  Feral cats can be tamed once they get the love and attention and not be scared. I have six cats and they were once feral and now they are loving animals....

Bad Experience With No Kill Cat Shelter  My story is heart breaking. I am very allergic to cats and I am poor. There is a cat that lives in my yard that is obviously very young and not feral. She ...

I Love Mama by Furby  Hi Everybody! It's Furby again. I sure do love my mama. She plays with me and cooks for me and everything. Laura's been gone and left Lola with mama ...

Abandoned Kitten Loves Our Rabbit  We have a feral cat in our neighborhood. I can't get animal control out here and just recently (December 09) I heard baby kittens mewing. For the life ...

The Story of Butch and Zack  This is the only story I've written where I don't have any pictures to share. It happened during a time in my life when I had slipped on my love of photography....

Bella the Babysitter  Yesterday morning, just at dawn, as is routine, I am out on deck feeding the new "wild bunch" when Bella comes trotting over, paws my leg and starts crying ...

Angels travel to Rainbow Bridge  Our mama is a very young kitty, no more then a kitten herself. People adopted her for their young daughter. We heard they had a boy kitty there too. Our ...

Hi Everybody! I'm In The MOO-vies!  Mama woke me up just so I can tell everybody she finally got the MOO-vies right. Check me out!! Nite Nite everyone. I'm sleeping in my cat house and behaving....

Sometimes I'm a Handful by Furby  Hi everybody! It's Furby. I want to tell everyone a BIG secret. Sometimes I'm not as sweet as I look. Mama calls me a "handful." Is that bad? Let me tell ...

I Love Ferals  I have been feeding the cats who wander around my neighborhood for years. I am not sure whether they wander because they are feral or whether they are ...

They Had Me at Meow: Tails of Love from the Homeless Cats of Buster Hollow  Here's the preface from my award-winning book, They Had Me at Meow: Tails of Love from the Homeless Cats of Buster Hollow which lets the reader know ...

Furby Fan Club  It's done. I'm still adding pictures to the site. I have a lot of them that remain unpublished. Then I have to see if I can link all of the Furby stories ...

I've been caring for a colony of homeless cats
for 15 years!
  I've found meaning and joy in caring for a colony of homeless cats for the past 15 years. Most of them are now fixed, but occasionally a newcomer wanders ...

Furby Project Finished  His kids storybook can be found at Furby The Feral Feline . The only page I'm not happy with is the title page where I give the cast of characters and ...

A Little Princess  Princess started hanging around my house in December of 2005. My guess is that she was around two months old. I believe she was abandoned here from somewhere ...

Little Angels  Hello everyone.It's me, Jan Plant, been awhile I know. Wanted to bring everyone up to speed and share some bittersweet happiness with all my wonderful ...

Life Is Good by Furby  I have a very confused but happy Furby. Lola too for that matter. I'll let Furby go first then I'll clear things up at the end. Hi everybody! It's Furby!...

The Furby Project  I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm in the process of putting together a children's book. I started Furby a page at what I hope will be a great ...

Joey and Willie  These are two feral cats adopted by my friend Gigi. Her first two, Frank Sinatra and Nunu weren't truly feral. Willie and Joey were. They came bounding ...

Why So Many Feral Cats in America?  There is an out of control problem with feral cats in America. I'm going to throw my personal opinion into this one a lot and hopefully offer a few solutions....

Nuisance or Neglected?  This story is about a cat who made me see how some people don't realize that cats are sentient creatures and have thoughts and feelings. It happened about ...

Confused about feral cats  I am confused about feral cats. I am talking about feral cats in the USA as I almost never see them in the UK. Sure, I see stray cats but these cats have ...

My Dog Dreyfuss Loves Cats  I confess! I love dogs as much as I love cats. Today I want to tell you about my dog Dreyfuss. He's part Boxer and part something else. He's also the ...

Where Do Feral Cats Sleep?  I have seen Feral Cats in my Grandma's neighborhood. In fact, the mother was almost blind and Rene fed her and she produced 3 litters. It was compassion ...

My feral yellow cat comes home to feed  I posted the story of Yellow Cat a while back and he continues to be our personal feral cat (see the post here: Yellow Cat ). He’s very ‘spooky’ still,...

I Got Neutered By Furby  Hi everybody! It's Furby again. I've had a REALLY busy week and I wanted to tell everyone about it.

I've been recovering and taking it easy this ...

Marvellous Miss Mae  Mae is a beautiful Silver Spotted Tabby, and I'm just going to share a little bit about her. Around January (2010) I was at my mother's house with my two ...

I really love cats but this is too much  In May of 2009 our little Benji died. He was 13 and very ill. Our home felt empty so we tried to replace him with a new kitten that we found on Craigslist....

Lottie The Allotment Kitten  Lottie was the only survivor from a litter of kittens born last year on our allotments. We never found out what happened to the other five, but little ...

Another Mouth To Feed!  Yesterday, my husband Rich was cutting some trim on our carport when he noticed some movement near the patio. (It is 26 degrees here and covered in snow)...

A Cat's Valentine's Day Poem  This Valentine's day we show warmth For the humans that we admire, We give them our complete love and trust, With all our heart's desire! We remember ...

My Cat Sensed Forthcoming Illinois Earthquake  11-2-2010: I'm sure everyone has heard about the earthquake we had in Illinois yesterday morning. Well about 1:00 AM my cat Lia starting Mewing in ...

Feral Cats at Allotments in Birmingham, UK  I am the site manager of a fairly large allotment site in Birmingham, UK. We have some feral cats which nobody objects to. I put food down every day ...

She was only the cat that wanted to be chosen  She lays there quiet and silent
Those emerald eyes dilated and gone
The person that hit her was out of sight --
Not caring for the life withdrawn A ...

A Path to Follow  This is a picture of a female feral cat who has lived in our neighborhood for about 3 years. Unspayed she has had a couple of litters of kittens one of ...

Furby: Anyone Else Have a Crazy Cat Week?  Hi everybody! It's me again. I guess there are just weeks when it's tough to be a cat. Do you humans ever feel the same way? The trouble started Monday ...

The Feral Wal-Mart Cat  About 15 years ago I was going full force as a traveling photographer. This was back in the day prior to Wal-Mart having permanent studios in their stores....

Cat Photography and Self Gratification  This article gets more into the subject of cat photography and why we all have different ways of doing it. This article applies to everyone who enjoys ...

Our feral cat went from a Little Piggy to a Little Angel  Seven years ago, around Christmas, a feral kitten followed my Labrador Shelby into the house. I fed her and let her out, but the next day in she came again....

Cat Sanctuary
This is a collage of two photographs of a cat sanctuary in Foz do Iguaçu , Brazil. This town is at the intersection of the borders of Brazil, Argentina ...

My Feral Cat Experience  I have been trapping, spaying/neutering and returning feral cats in my neighborhood for several years - I am a volunteer with an all-foster animal rescue ...

I Became Friendly with a Black and White Cat  My neighbor has had several feral cats for quite some time. One day I thought I would put out some food and see if any of these cats would come by me....

I love those cats!!!  My mother lived in an apartment complex in Arkansas. There are so many cats just abandoned there. There was a gray feral cat, blind in his left eye...my ...

The Mummy  BB was so sick when we first got her. The first thing we did was take her to the vet. She was so thin. She had swallowed a beetle and they had to surgically ...

Peanut: The Cat That Adopted Us  One fall night my husband and I walked around our apt.complex. I was always looking to see what I could find. I love cats!!!!!! God i love cats. Anyways ...

Yellow Cat  This is "Yellow Cat". We call him/her our "outside" cat. Bigfoot seems to know him. He watches him eat through the window. Yellow cat must be truly ...

Calico Feral Cat And Bombay Cat Are Buddies  One day there was a family of six feral cats. I wanted to help them but realized quickly how this could multiply. We became cat wranglers and had them ...

I've Helped Ferals Since I Was A Child  I believe I’ve dealt with feral cats for most of my life. When I was a child and a stray cat showed up on the doorstep I would run inside and ask mama ...

Care For Feral Cats In Cold Temperatures  Is there anything we can do to care for feral cats in cold temperatures? Of course, not everyone wants to help, but a lot of people care for feral cats ...

A Stranger Amongst Us  This huge boy has recently been coming around. I left the photo uncropped enough so you can see how big he is by comparison. The microwave is one of those ...

My landlady Is A Cat Hater  A year and a half ago I moved to a small desert town. One of the first things I noticed is the local people didn't seem to care for their pets. I saw ...

Taz the Reincarnated Cat  I’ll never forget the little white kitten who came to my mama’s to eat twice a day. She would be there first thing in the morning as I dressed for work ...

A Feral Cat's Tale Part 2  Writing the original submission was very important for me. So many people are under the mistaken assumption that cats are somehow supposed to be outdoors,...

Smokey: My Personal Guardian Angel  I still remember the day Smokey came into my life in 1981. Our property line had an old barbed wire fence around three sides and Smokey was on the other ...

Feral Kitten Abuse  The owner of this kitten got her for their 3 year old children to keep them occupied and to stop them from annoying their parents. Princess was one of ...

In memory of Wilson Who Only Wanted A Home  Wilson was a beautiful Tabby cat. I assume he was just a moggie, but there's the chance that he had a bit of Bengal in him.

On the 28th of May 2009 ...

Feral Cat Rescue Awards  Many fine people working in feral cat rescue, either organised or ad hoc, deserve to be recognised for their unstinting efforts. But, and for me this is ...

The Beautiful Walmart Cat  There is something very appropriate about this photograph by Joyce Sammons of the now well known Furby in a Walmart bag. A feral cat who initially thought ...

Tramp:The Only Rescue I Couldn't Save  The night my 10 year old daughter Laura came thru the door carrying a tiny gray long haired kitten I knew I was in trouble from the beginning. She had ...

I Removed A Tick From My Cat Leaving The Head In  I just removed a tick from Tiggly that was on her neck. It was nearly half an inch in size! Poor kitty -- She loved it though. She relaxed and stayed on ...

Old Ugly and Tabby Were Always Together  Back in the early 1980’s I lived behind my mother and would walk down to her house every night to check on her. She was in her 70’s at this time and still ...

I've Learned a Lot This Week by Furby  It’s Furby again. Right now mama is a little upset with me because she’s been writing again and I just stepped on the keyboard and erased everything. I’...

Gone But Not Forgotten  Just wanted to update you folks who know of my "wild bunch". My farmer friends have returned and, as promised taken five of the "wild bunch" to their new ...

A Feral Cat's Tale  Last year 2 cats began visiting my porch looking for food. I started feeding and caring for them. A few months later one kitten appeared with them. I guess ...

Cat Lady  I currently have 6 feral cats of all ages. I have been taking care of them for years. Every summer I catch the babies and find them good homes. This year ...

Topaz My Feral Polydactyl Cat  Topaz was found in East St.Louis along the railroad tracks down by the Stockyards in 1972. He had been shot with a .22 rifle. We took him to the vet ...

Pet Abandonment Poem  I was once home cuddled in your arms
Where no one could induce me harm
Shy and knelt in acclaim --
With my home that has been reclaimed....

Short Autobiography of Zachariah Atteberry  This is a short Autobiography of Zachariah Atteberry as requested by Michael (PoC Admin) - I didn't realise how interesting it would be when I asked....

Farms and Ferals  We own a horse farm in the Snohomish Valley in WA State. We have been here for 7 years and have handled close to a hundred ferals, strays and drop offs....

The Invisable Rare Fine Malise Cat  My first experience with a feral cat was in 1963. I was four. My parents bought some land and we lived in a basement while they were building the house....

BB and Freya  This is a follow up from an earlier post I made about BB my feral cat . I would like to send pictures of BB and Freya (update: now arrived see below)...

I Love My Feral Cat BB  I love my feral cat BB. My niece found her half starved and sick. My husband and I took her to the vet. She had swallowed a beetle and we had to have it ...

Animal Control Officers Deserve An Apology  I think it is great to say that we want to save all the cats even the feral ones. But reality is the economy is terrible and the money to spend on the ...

A Small Stray Cat Poem  Here are some more Zach Poems:

Two Reasons To Stop Unwanted Breeding

Stray Cat Poem

Hope - is the thing with claws!

The tree sparkles ...

A Feral Queen's Story  Christmas has come, and almost passed again. It's so nice, curled up here in the warm sun out of the cold wind. This spot is my favorite place to warm ...

The Feral Cat Family  I wanted to share with you all a picture of the feral cat family I had taken care of. The kittens here, born in May, 2003, are a little over a year and ...

Domestic Cats Do Not Decimate Bird Populations  Some time ago I wrote a short article on the subject of false or unsubstantiated statements made by individuals who claimed that the domestic cat and ...

Two Reasons To Stop Unwanted Breeding  Written in memory of the black and white cat, that died from a seizure. This is due to back yard breeders. She was a kitten of 5 weeks, her mother ran ...

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!  Hi! My name is Sadie and my Mommie and I wish all of you a wonderful and safe holiday. Mom has written a lot about me. First, she told you about how she ...

Merry Christmas to All of You From All of Us  The boss, Caps, decided we needed to send holiday wishes to all. No one else was dressed for pictures I guess. But as always, Caps, is a big HAM! Merry ...

Caring For a Feral Cat Family  We moved to the Northern California area where feral cats are abundant. One cat, about a year old, came close to my family as we were relaxing in our spa ...

Stray Cat Poem  The cat in the picture, is a cat one of my friends rescued. She was found in a ditch in a trash can (that's really what its coming to these days!). Well ...

New Home and New Cat Companions  I moved into a new home about three months ago and this sweetheart was sleeping on my back deck for days on end and finally I let her in. I still have ...

Cat Trouble With A Capital T  "Hello everyone. My name is Bully T....My caretakers named me that cuz they say I'm always picking on the others in my colony and the T, well, I guess ...

Merlin the Magician  This is Merlin, our feral cat colony magician. He's Mauve's brother and really fairly mellow. He's also one of the best and constant hunters. I usually ...

Reclining Feral Kitty   A friend that frequents this site suggested that I post this photo that was taken approximately five years ago. It’s of a feral cat that inhabited ...

The Old Feral Tom Cat  I'm not sure where this old warrior came from. He looks fairly good here. When he first showed up he was very thin and would only come to feed in the ...

A Beautiful White Feral Cat  Out of all the 11 cats in the "Wild Bunch", this beauty really stands out. I know cats groom themselves but even with all the mud and rain we've been having,...

The Runts  These two are the smallest of the "wild bunch". As you can see Spats is related to "The Boss" and Mauve (formally Marvin cuz we couldn't tell) is from ...

Put Feral Cats To Use  Is it time that we put feral cats to use rather than simply rounding them up and killing them? Well, that is not quite true as there are some wonderful ...

Feral Cat Friend and Protector Jan Plant  When I became my mate's 24/7 care provider in June, I moved in with him. He owns a small trailer park in a rural area of Texas. One day I noticed, while ...

My Miracle Cat and Best Friend  My Maine Coon cat Whiskers was a kitten when we found him. Well, I guess you could say he found us. He came up from the ditch we live by and we were ...

Feral Cat Has Four Houses  Five years ago I moved into my house and Mama came with it. She is an all black feral cat. I can't touch her but I can talk to her and she comes to ...

Strange Feral Cat Behavior?  When I moved to my home over a year ago, there were a lot of "stray" cats here. I later discovered that one was truly a homeless cat. The others were ...

Monty Update  Since Monty's page has been very popular, I thought readers of this site might enjoy an update on his progress. I don't think anyone meeting Monty would ...

Feral Mama Cat and Her Four Kittens  Mama cat and four kittens set up house in our shed. Realizing that mama cat could have more kittens in the future we set out to "catch" them. Mama was ...

Feral Cats  There was a feral cat near my neighbourhood. She was a was a beautiful tawny coloured cat. I have seen someone throwing objects at her. I was very upset ...

Feral Cats of North Hills, Ca  After seeing a bunch of kittens watered to death, after I told the woman who hates cats to stop, I decided to trap every cat I could on a HUD property ...

My Feral Cat Khloe  Back this summer while at work this little malnourished kitten showed up out of nowhere. She wasn't aggressive or afraid of people, she walked right up ...

My Feral Cat Was Saved From A Compactor  ..A long story so I'm going to shorten it, so a long, short story!

My sister's boyfriend works at a tip. They have a compacter machine and after they ...

Istanbul Feral Cats or Wild Cat Hybrids?  Hi, I received an email from Bart Cotton the founder of Data Power Monitoring Corp (see link below) about some feral cats he noticed when he was visiting ...

Our Feral Cats  Well, we (my husband, mother & I) live on the same property in Springtown, Tx, which is 10 acres. We started out feeding 4 feral cats, 1 female and 3 ...

Flower My Feral Cat  I have already posted the story of Flower, however I do have other questions. She will follow me around the whole house all the time and lay near me but ...

I Love My Feral Cat Aslan  My cat came to me as a beat up feral living in a forest with other abandoned cats I was rescuing..incluing a litter he may have fathered. He was very hurt ...

Monty  I live in West Allis, Wisconsin. There is a feral cat problem in my neighborhood. It was brought to my attention that there were kittens living under ...

Sucker for My Feral Cats  Here's my story, one day as I was rounding the corner of the building where I work, I noticed a cat with baby kittens behind her. Good thing I was driving ...

My partner and I support our feral cat population here in Richland, Georgia  My partner and I support our feral cat population here in Richland, Georgia. We have worked with Allied Cats in Columbus, Georgia who graciously supplied ...

Socializing Feral Cats  I took in a feral black and white 2 yr old. My friend fed her and her family for the first two years. She came up on her deck one night and gave birth ...

My Lovely Little Man  I found this little guy on the corner of my neighborhood one winter night. He was anemic from all the fleas on him and he was no more than a week old. He ...

Cat Without a Nose  I was never really was a cat person. Then about 8 yrs ago we moved to National City....Feral CAT Capital of the world. I'd never seen so many kittens. It ...

My Stray Cat  I would like to tell you about my stray cat. I found her on the street a long time ago. At the time I was married and we had 2 other cats. Despite that ...

9 Lives Lanzarote  I moved to Lanzarote 6 years ago and it soon became apparent to people living here that I was an ardent cat lover. I was so alarmed at the number of people ...

3 Little Angels  Last year we noticed a stray cat hanging around our house, the next thing we know there is also three small kittens following her around in our yard and ...

My Feral Kitten From Heaven  For 58 years, I have been a dog lover/owner. I had just lost my beloved Morgan Amy Jo of 13 years on April Fool's Day - no joke. Since I knew her time ...

Help Find Mama Kitty Please  Help Find Mama Kitty Please - We rescued Mama Kitty over 4 years ago. She just went missing last week during a bad thunderstorm. Does anyone have any advice ...

The Welfare of Domestic Cats  For the Love of Cats has a plethora of information on how to do TNR, feral cat management, dealing with stray cats, and socialization of stray and feral ...

Blanca.. the ex-feral cat  After moving to my new, rustic home in the country, I soon noticed several long hair cats, all either solid black or solid white, living in the woods. They ...

Caring for Feral Cats with FeLV and FIV  Some of you will be horrified by my account of how things are with me, some of you may be sympathetic. Five years ago we lived in a tower block/apartment ...

Director, Unchain Cumberland County (NC)  Animal rescue is my purpose; my life's work. I will do whatever it takes to ease the suffering of the animals I love so much. My greatest effort is for ...

Angel Our Feral Cat Companion  In December 2008 my fiance was cooking chicken on the BBQ outside. We live on a couple of acres on a big hill with forests behind us and the Columbia ...

Advice Please on Our Feral Cat.  Advice Please on Our Feral Cat : Over the last 7 months we have tamed a feral siamese cross cat from a pack, he is now very friendly, he stays around ...

Feral Cats Are Special  We have 6 rescued cats. One of which arrived and was feral. He was estimated to be around 10 months old. On arriving, we took the smelly, dirty greasy ...

The Story of Smores!  There are many stray cats in the area where me and my roommate live. Unfortunately, when people move out of their apartments, they are usually broke and ...

Sh'rae- My Little Feral Cat Friend  I worked at a local hospital which had may feral cats living on the grounds. Quite often you could see litters of kittens following their mother in search ...

Feral Cats can be tamed and they are just shy and scared!  Feral Cats can be tamed and they are just shy and scared! After trapping and spay/neutering 5 kittens and 1 mother...with patience and one on one contact,...

In Memory of My Albino Siamese Mix Trixie  This is in memory of my albino Siamese mix Trixie. Trixie’s entry into our house-hold was pure "DESTINY". Normally, whenever I visited South Mumbai, I ...

Feral Cat No More.  It's been six years since the three litters of feral cats were born in various spots in our neighborhood. Being completely naive about "alley cats," I ...

I will call him Spook  About a year ago i saw this beautiful cat with blue eyes, at my door steps. So i fed him he kept coming back meowing at the door boy that cat could eat....

Boo My Domesticated Feral Cat  My cat, Boo, was a wild cat when he began to start living under our porch. Winter was coming in Chicago and if he stayed there much longer he would of ...

Missy Taming Feral Cats  Missy - taming feral cats..We started feeding a pack of ferals several winters ago. Our 5 year-old cat was the kitten of a young feral who wandered into ...

How Feral Cats Affect Wildlife  We simply don’t know how feral cats affect wildlife except on the rare occasions where feral cats have inhabited small islands. There is a lot on this ...

Australia does have a problem with Cats Dom and Feral  I love Cats, I prefer a cat over a dog any day. However in Australia the cat is the perfect killing machine. It is in their nature to kill. In Australia ...

All cats whether feral or nonferal are precious  My cat was once a stray cat.

Payson Friends of Ferals, Payson Arizona  Payson Friends of Ferals is an arm of Payson Humane Society in Payson Arizona. Payson is a small city in central Az. With a population of about 17,000 ...

Curiosity Comes With All Cats!  Hi folks, my name is Crouger the tabby, I live my days outdoors as a feral cat, my life was once pretty normal; I had a loving caring home and family. That ...

Australian Vet Says Keep Cats In  An Australian vet, Max Fargher, who was the only vet who agreed to operate on a cat (Possum - who survived) that had been shot by an airgun 27 times has ...

Stray Cat Dilemma Advice Please  I have a stray cat dilemma. What should I do? I bought 2 nice American Shorthair cats about 8 years ago. In the meantime, I have taken in 3 stray cats....

HELP FIGHT BEVERLY HILLS MUNICIPAL CODE   I have overwritten the last submission entitled, HELP FIGHT BEVERLY HILLS MUNICIPAL CODE , with what follows as some of the comments were too personal ...

White Wolf - My Feral Cat  My young kitten, Felix, ran away in August last year. I still think someone took him. I got a call one afternoon from a neighbour saying that they had ...

Crouger My Feral Cat  I often saw a stripey tabby cat sitting on the garden wall waiting patiently, listening for movement from the odd mouse or twittering bird. One day I ...

Solutions To Cat Overpopulation  No need for solutions to cat overpopulation as there is no problem. There is underpopulation, in fact. The argument goes that animal rights extremists ...

Furby's First Toy By Furby  Hi Everybody! It's Furby again. I really don't have much time to write this but I'm doing it as a special favor to mama and Michael. Today is my best day ...

Farm Feral Cats  We live on a farm 4km from a town in Central Alberta, Canada. We have many feral cats here. It is so heartbreaking. At this time we have built 4 different ...

Feral Cats Love My Loveseat  There are some feral cats living outside of the apartment building where I live. I feel for them as sometimes they have no dry places to hide when it rains....

Please adopt a stray or feral cat...you will never regret it  We have 4 feral cats that we have saved & tamed slowly. They have changed our lives...maybe they saved our lives. They are so very thankful for everything ...

Advertiser Colony  I have raised money to get a large colony TNR'd in Lafayette, LA. Through the Wild Cat Foundation LA , we have Spayed/neutered 31 as of today. We are ...

Some Feral Cats Disappear  OH yes I have feral cats - it isn't just cities, I live in the country. I have tried to catch / befriend as many as I can and get them spayed or neutered ...

My Feral Cats  I love your site, really good and informative. Here is a little feral cat info that I have learned over the past few years. They can be tamed and turned ...

Will Ferrell  He was found in the woods by my daughter. Very timid at first, after about a couple weeks he came closer and she was able catch to him and take him home....

Stray Cats  The author states that it is our problem, we caused stray cats or feral, which I cannot believe that society has gotten so twisted with this politically ...

My Cat In a Box  Well my next storenaigbor loves cats she has two of them and there a family of cats that live around my naigborhood and a babby kitten love me and my family ...

Making a Stray Cat  Making a stray cat in the modern grab it, want it, need it now world is easy peasy lemon squeezy. This is how you do it: Start by getting a big mortgage ...

Should Hotels Allow Feral Cats on Premises?  This is a tasty debate. For me the answer is an unequivocal, yes, of course, because it is probably the only sensible and fair way forward. But for Universal ...

She Won Us Over  About 5 months or so my husband and I looked to find a cat at a few places. Later that week we walked down the trash and a cat followed us. We went down ...

Two adorable partly tamed feral kittens for adoption in Marietta, GA.  There is a small feral community at the end of my street and a lady feeds the community. About twice a year, kittens are discovered -- most of them die....

Socializing Feral Cats  I love feral cats. My first feral was "Josie," a tiny kitten, so young she crawled. My daughter found her on the campus of a local college and brought ...

Eve The Halloween Kitty  My 9 year old son was out in front of the house with me on Halloween. We were waiting for the trick or treaters to start coming by. While we waited on ...

My Sweet Feral Cats  I was not a cat lover. After finding "Chato" at my work site I feel in love with him. He was about 6 weeks when I found him under a tree, dirty and ...

Darwin, Australia, has loads of unwanted stray cats  Unfortunately Darwin (Australia) has loads of unwanted stray cats and many are dumped in the bush to die horrible deaths.

Many more hang around housing ...

Feral cat with hole in neck and maggots  My son rescued a kitten...had a hole in his neck with several grubs embedded and maggots ...sheeesh.

I gave him my credit card number and told him ...

Furby's Mother's Day Project  The above is a picture of Furby Christmas of 2009. He's grown a lot and I have a MUCH better camera and backgrounds now. The new camera gives me more control ...

Devine Feline Rocky Mountain Feral Cat Project  Dr. Erica Rambus is a friend of mine. She is a veterinarian who commits herself to spaying and neutering and treating ferals with her little mobile clinic....

True Story of Two Ferals I Saved From The Wild  This is a true story of two Ferals I saved from the wild. Kitty came to me all by himself, he was born in the wild, her mama was vicious so I could not ...

Thanks to Everyone From Julie, BB and Freya  I would like to thank everyone. It's so good to find people who share their love of cats. I believe BB was dreaming of snakes when she attacked my ...

Looking for an Angel for My 6 Sweet Feral Cats.......  Looking for an angel for my 6 sweet feral (stray) cats.... I'm posting this on July 5, 2009.....I'm taking a chance that maybe there is some kind soul ...

Euthanasia of Feral Cats  My mind just turned to the euthanasia of feral cats and why it is not a crime. There is no such crime as cat murder or "felocide". But there are extensive ...

Feline Rabies  Feline rabies may be the savior of the feral cat in Asia at least in respect of the cat meat and fur market, although I doubt it. There will still be ...

Relocating Feral Cats  There is a thought that Relocating Feral Cats is one viable way of managing feral cat colonies. It is an alternative or an addition to the classic trap ...

Proactivity

Proactive measures are better than reacting to the problem, which is what is happening. If each cat keeper acted in a fully responsible way it would be the end of cats that have become feral in the West. Even if you look at these cats from a commercial standpoint (the standpoint that seems to carry the most weight) it pays to carry out the TNR policy as it is apparently more expensive to euthanize them. On the issue of money.................

Behind the scenes business

I have not seen anyone talk about this except on Yahoo Answers. And I am simply thinking aloud. We know that over 2 million cats are destroyed each year by shelters (not much sheltering really is it?). If a shelter is employing the classic TNR program (ostensibly a no kill shelter) then all the stray cats should be released to where they came from. In other words these cats should not need to be killed unless they have a disease. Cats that are not truly feral but strays that could be rehomed but aren't would seem to be the kind of cat that is destroyed, therefore. It is probably that a large number of these cats are destroyed rather than returned in the majority of shelters.

We also know that businesses use cat fur in a wide range of products. This happens in Europe (Switzerland) and to a large extent in China and the East (where they eat cats). There is always a demand for animal products to supply a wide range of businesses. Here are some possible outlets for dead cats:

  • cat (and dog) fur. The Chinese like cats to be hardly dead before they are skinned but maybe we are just a little less brutal in the West but still need cat fur. Cat fur is found on a miriad of products from key fobs to items of clothing.
  • pet food or livestock food
  • animal glue (this is still used for example in the violin manufacture industry)
  • cat fur to ease rheumatism (some people believe this)

These are simply some possibilities. I am sure that there are many more. Is big business a barrier to resolving this problem? I don't know what happens to the 2 or more million dead cats coming out of "shelters"; maybe the cost of running some shelters is being offset by selling the bodies to businesses? This seems very possible as dead livestock is used not only to feed humans but supply many other businesses. The whole animal is used. Why waste a good dead cat? Can someone enlighten us? Just found this video (25-7-09):

Cat Breeders

This problem begs the question of whether cat breeders are to blame or partly to blame for the "crisis". Certainly a substantial number of people think so, including it seems the owners of the website business Craigslist (it is a business even though it's a .org website) who forbid cat breeder classified adverts. I can see the argument. Cat breeders produce a desirable "product". Consumer society responds and buys. More cats are breed. Irresponsible owners abandon or neglect their "purchase". Abandoned and stray cats are the results. But the Humane Society Silicon Valley's work with cats turned wild tells us that the problem is one of neutering and neglect. In other words it is not the cat breeder (the seller) who is causing the problem, but the "buyer", the customer and pet owner. In fact all responsible cat breeders spay and neuter before selling. Further most feral cats are not purebred cats and cat breeders only breed purebred. So the Graiglist policy seems wrong except on an emotional level as it does feel wrong to produce more cats at one end of the chain and kill more at the other end of the line. Almost 75% of shelter cats are euthanized (or killed), which amounts to about 2.2. million in the USA alone, every year.

feral cat japan
Photo of stray cat © MAR (this photo is strictly copyright MAR)

MAR is the best stray cat photographer. You can see his pictures on his website: www.noranekosyashin.com 

Education

So, to tackle the problem from the other end means education and more education and this article is one very tiny effort in that direction. Visit: Humane Society Silicon Valley (new window) to learn more. This is a really worthy organization that has been around for 78 years, well before Silicon valley became perhaps one of the richest places on earth. Is there a connection with the wealth of Silicon Valley and the 125,000 feral cat population there? I really don't think so. You probably see more feral cats in poor areas due to lack of education and the difficulties in the humans managing their own lives leaving little time, effort and knowledge to care for a cat.

feral cat Japan
Photo of stray cat © MAR (this photo is strictly copyright MAR)

What other people say about feral cats

The purpose of reviewing a number of websites that write about feral cats is to see what the general feeling about them is across a wide selection of sources. This, I hope, will tell us whether there is commitment and enough enlightenment to resolving this problem. I mark each article as for, against or neutral in their views on this problem. When I say "for" I mean a sympathetic approach. When I say "against" I mean an unsympathetic and unenlightened approach. These are my views of course.

My views are clear but many people have almost opposite views. And the Wikipedia author (who seems to be an Australian - I'm guessing) has a view which is, I think it fair to say, on balance more hostile to the cat turned wild.

{Note: Having read 7 of the top websites I decided to select rather than review each one in the top 50 to avoid repetition. I stopped at 12 because all more or less said the same thing - use TNR, trap neuter return}

feral cat Japan
Photo of stray cat © MAR (this photo is strictly copyright MAR)

Wikipedia (against)
This is the top webpage as found by Google and I'm disappointed (update Feb 2010 - it seems that is has been moderated somewhat since I last read it when it was frankly biased). This says something about this problem. In the Wikipedia article the author describes how damaging the feral cat is to other wildlife. He refers mainly to the feral cats of Australia, where there is a subsantial feral cat problem. He refers to the transmission of illness from feral cat to human as an example of the negative impact of feral cats (Zoonotic risk). He refers to toxoplasmosis (see cat feces and pregnancy) as one example. It is extremely rare for this disease to be transmitted from a cat living with a human never mind a feral cat who we will rarely see. In addition the jury is definitely out on whether feral cats destroy wildlife in Australia to anything but a very small extent. Certainly it is not in any way significant. Most importantly he totally ignores the causes of feral cat populations. There is not one mention of human involvement. The cause is the single most important topic of discussion in relation to this problem as it is the answer to prevention.

the-piedpiper (neutral)
This site presents a balanced view. It says that these cats can cause problems when they congregate around or near hospitals and this I can understand. The author says that the most common illnesses suffered by these cats are upper respiratory infections. Lifespan is short at about 2 years she/he says. There is no mention of the root causes or suggestions
for a solution however.

Cat Action Trust (for)
This is a charity dedicated to helping cats turned feral and is therefore very much in tune with how to deal with the problem namely trap, neuter and either re-home or return (if impossible to rehome). They say one unneutered female can produce 120 kittens in her lifetime. They deal with mopping up the consequences of irresponsible cat keeping but do not, as far as I could see, propose anything in respect of long term resolution of the problem. There will never be enough volunteers to trap and neuter. If there were there would be less feral cats and that is not the case. So, we need to look deeper and longer.

feral cat Japan
Stray cat photo © MAR (this photo is strictly copyright MAR)

Celia Hammond Animal Trust - CHAT (for)
This is a truly excellent charity run by a resourceful person that we can only admire. She is doing something. There are few who actually do something and she is doing a lot. I would like to see this charity try to change some of the causes of feral cat populations that remain very high in the world, the USA and in the UK, where Celia Hammond estimates that at least 2 million feral cats survive on the streets. As Celia Hammond is a high profile person maybe she can educate more. The charity does mention the power of education. Perhaps we need to get the politicians involved too? This website donates to this charity and a number of other cat charities.

Feral Cat Sanctuary (neutral)
This is a fine project that was started around 1999 and which appears to have failed to secure enough funding. It is based in Guernsey. The idea was to build a feral cat sanctuary from a derelict vineyard. Such cats were already at the vineyard. Well, sadly I think the concept was flawed. However a good point the author of the site makes about these cats is that they are very sociable and live in colonies. It would seem that the members of the colony support each other and cats form relationships.

driftersreach (for)
This is a cat shelter in the UK. The provide a valuable service in helping these cats but offer no long term solutions.

Cat Protection (neutral)
This is a well known cat charity in the UK. They have a leaflet on feral cats. It says little (I know I am being a bit critical but I'd expect more). They do say that these cats are no risk to sheep that are not pregnant and are therefore not detrimental to farmers in that area of their operation. Stray cats provide a service to farmers as mousers. They offer no long term solutions but mention neutering.



www.feralcatcare.org.uk (neutral)

This site is on the first page of a Google search (ranked 9 on page 1). It is a site that consists of one page, a missing photo and it is frankly dead (last updated 3 years ago!). No criticism of Google at all but this demonstrates how stale and unimaginative the feral cats problem is in the West. There needs to be new initiatives and government needs to be involved.



www.feralcat.com (for)
This is a much more lively and interesting website about this subject. It contains links to articles by Sarah Hartwell for instance. Her articles point to these conclusions (this is far from a summary):

  • these cats are often scapegoats for loss of wildlife due to some other cause.
  • these cats are used to support political argument making surveys invalid as they are tainted by political objectives.
  • there is insufficient hard data on the issue of stray cats killing wildlife and this applies to Australia and America but the indications are that traffic kills a lot more wildlife than these cats (i.e. humans kill more wildlife than these cats and this is what I would expect).
  • the call should be to "kill the problem not the cats"
  • these cats live off introduced species to Australia rather than native animals.
  • high levels of neutering seem to be taking place by cat keepers but not all do it, which seems to be enough to cause the rise in numbers of these cats due to a cats ability to breed quickly.

The classic methods for dealing with these cats are explored (trap, neuter, return or rehome) but no attempt is made to propose root solutions although Harwell does discuss some ideas one of which is compulsory registration. The problem with all compulsory schemes is enforcement, which will not take place to a sufficient extent to make legislation work or that is the argument against it. This is a false argument in my opinion although enforcement is a problem.

The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (for)
On their home page they advocate that cats should spayed and neutered and be kept indoors and/or confined to enclosures and kept on a lead if going out. This would be good for the cats (less road deaths etc.) and for wildlife (less wild birds killed), they say. They say that free-roaming cats (not necessarily feral cats) kill tens of thousands of birds each year. Despite not supporting this statement with hard facts this organisation has the right approach in my opinion. I really think that cats are not the main reasons for wildlife depletion. It is nearly always due to direct human activity such as loss of habitat, pollution and pesticides. If it is due to stray cats it is still due to indirect human activity (abondoning cats and not neutering cats). Above all else what is good about this organization is that they promote tackling the root cause of the feral cat problem by responsible ownership. This is the first site I have come across that stresses this funadamental starting point.

National Geographic (neutral)
Their article presents the polarized views of anti-feral cat people who think that they kill a lot of wildlife and transmit disease and those who say that killing feral cats cannot be the solution. There is simply no data to support the statment that these cats kill significant numbers of wildlife and as
for disease this is simply nonsense. The article written in 2004 stated that there were 70,000,000 of these cats in the US and that there were hundreds of them per square km. The article made no attemmpt to propose real long term solutions.

HSUS (for)
HSUSis a big organization with a voice but they simply support TNR (trap, neuter, return) and explain that. Bigger more wide ranging ideas and themes are needed and organizations like HSUS should lead the way.

Australia

Feral cats of Australia have become a bit of an issue for the Australian government (2008 2010). There are supposedly 12 million feral cats in Australia. Research claims that feral cats kill and have a large and negative impact on native wildlife. Some people have argued that the research is biased. It is my view on looking at the feral cats of Australia problem that the authorities are encouraging inhumane treatment of feral cats to get rid of them. The problem has affected the importation of the Savannah cat into the country.


Here are some more links to posts that have been added over time:

China

The feral cats of China are some of the worst treated animals in the world. Animals of China have no protection under the law. Feral cats are turned into cat meat sometimes for human consumption (this might change – I hope so) and cat fur
for trinkets (some of possibly finds its way to the

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