Is it illegal to feed stray cats in Florida?

An attorney at law, David C Garner, says that he knows of no law that makes it illegal to feed feral or stray cats in Florida. Mr Garner is qualified in California. In my opinion he is absolutely correct.

Caring for feral cats requires acceptance, compassion and compromise.
Feeding stray and feral cats. Image: Public domain
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I know of no law that makes this practice illegal. I many instances city and county agencies will try and trap these cats for relocation/disposal, but the practice itself breaks no laws that I am aware of. I think it is something to be discouraged as it only increases the magnitude of the problem.- Attorney David Garner

I can, I believe, answer the question in a much wider context. To the best of my knowledge, there are no statewide laws in any of the 50 states of the USA which forbid the feeding of stray or feral cats.

That is not to say that there are not some restrictions on feeding feral cats in certain cities in America and often times this comes about because of volunteers feeding feral cats as part of a TNR program. There have been challenges to volunteers feeding feral cats. There are people who don’t like it. They argue that it attracts wildlife which can cause health problems for people. Therefore there may be some restrictions on TNR programs which incoporate feeding (the normal practice).

If there are some city laws forbidding the feeling of feral cats they will be few and far between. If you know of any laws please leave a comment. I am answering this question without reference to anything but I have read countless numbers of pages on the Internet and out of books about the feeding of feral cats and feral cats in general. I have studied many statutes and local laws about feral cats and I do not recall an across-the-board ban of any sort. But I do recall discussions about restricting the feeding of feral cats in certain cities hence my reference to that possibility.

I would argue that it is almost universally accepted that people can feed stray cats in any part of America including Florida but it would be wise to check with your local authority if you intend to do it on a regular and formal basis concerning a feral cat colony which obviously has a more pronounced impact upon the community than ad hoc feeding of stray cats.

Garner was answering a question on

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2 thoughts on “Is it illegal to feed stray cats in Florida?”

  1. I feed stray cat colonies. We have other people who do the trap and release program. We all work together. They cats are innocent . When we get them sprayed and neuters they get a rabies shot and they get wormed. If we can’t find new places for them we put them back where they lived . I am a feeder of them . I live in port Richey FL . There are some cat haters we encounter but if the law is on our side we keep up the good work. Every cat we get fixed stops more litters .


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