HomeFeral CatsPercentage of Stray to Feral Cats


Percentage of Stray to Feral Cats — 8 Comments

  1. Unfortunately not many cats in the USA are allowed to live their lives peacefully outside as some people think they are a nuiscance and they don’t want them around, sometimes they are even shot.
    People here in the UK are more tolerant and our TNR works very well in that once neutered, feral cats can be returned to the gardens of people willing to feed them. Our local Animal Rescue Sanctuary has a feral unit for those with nowhere safe to go.
    The people of Turkey are obviously compassionate like most of the people in our country.

  2. ”The whole cat shelter, animal control, humane society businesses are just that, they are businesses. There are a lot of jobs based on stray cats…”

    Completely agree with you. Those cats which were pets of someone should be returned to their houses; so identification should be important. But why imprison those in shelters which don’t have any owners? Leave them alone. They would be far happier in the street. Many shelters simply will kill the cats which did not find a house. Yes, killing – is it a nice solution?

    There are aggressive neutering programs, actually propaganda, where activists push an idea ”have to neuter every cat”. They talk about animal rights, but cat can not say ”no”, you catch her and neuter against its will. If you try to do this on humans, they would say ”trying to control my reproduction is a crime”. Double standard.

  3. Well written, Michael!

    First of all ferals and strays definition is very problematic. As I understand feral cats had less or almost no socialization with humans, so they are ”wild” and strays are cats abandoned by people.
    How about cats which were never owned by someone but still appear very domesticated? Let me give you an example from my country, Turkey. Only recently people started to get pets, cats were on the streets from hundreds or even thousand years and living next to people gave them numerous advantages. Smart animals. Nobody owned them and still they don’t have owners. So are they feral? I suppose these are feral, because they don’t belong to someone, at the same time you can call it ”stray cat” because they are friendly to people.

    Why we need to find a house for every cat? Cat can sufficiently survive on its own, without humans it will turn to it’s natural wild state…

    Cats are not really domesticated like you believe.

    • Nice comment. Yes, in Turkey and the Mediterranean countries (warmer places) the domestic cat has a different status and life. They seems to share households and be street cats at the same time. It is a loose relationship. It is almost the way it was 9,000 years ago. Not much has changed. But these cats are semi-domestic and socialised to humans. But in America the domestic cat often lives indoors permanently and the relationship is different. Cats are owned not shared between different people. I think in Turkey your cats are not possessed by people as chattels such as a car or a house. They are not owned at all. And I like that. I would be pleased to hear what the law is in Turkey in respect of the domestic cat. I guess some people do consider that they own their cat and keep a cat in the same way as in Europe and America.

      • Yes, Michael, a responsible ownership of the cat is encouraged here. We have animal protection laws and some people have pets in the same way as in Europe or USA.

        Many cats still don’t have houses, but people feed and care them very well. It is like an old tradition, cats always had exceptional love compared to the dogs here. In many big cities, wherever we go there is left fresh water and lots of cat food untouched by cats – they don’t seem to starve and many look very healthy!
        I got some kittens from the streets before surprisingly they were free of illnesses, healthy and strong!

        However I agree, the situation of cats in America is a different matter.

  4. ps
    Some people also still believe old wives tales such as an old cat ‘goes away to die’
    A ‘friends’ old cat has gone missing and she had barely bothered to try to find her as someone told her that!
    Or that ‘cats find another home if they don’t like the one they have’ etc etc
    Lack of education and these old wives tales cause some people to add to the problem of homeless cats and overcrowded shelters by not bothering to try to get their pet back home.

  5. A very good article Michael, I’d only add that a percentage of cats living rough outdoors and classed as feral or strays, have probably been abandoned by their owners at some point. I say owners because people who do this are certainly not caretakers, they don’t care in the least! They move house and take the dog but leave the cat behind to fend for himself. Along come new people to live in the house and if the poor cat is still hanging around, they shoo him away.
    In my opinion most feral cats are descended from abandoned un-neutered cats generations back who have bred and their litters gradually become feral, born with thicker coats and the ability to survive outdoors in all weathers. Feral kittens can be tamed if caught young enough but it’s much harder and sometimes impossible to tame an adult feral cat, I think the ones who can be tamed haven’t been feral for many generations yet.
    What happens in this world is always down to the human race, animals are often the casualties.
    The people who ‘own’ cats wouldn’t bother to have them identified by a tattoo or whatever, they don’t bother with microchips, so they can just deny ownership if necessary.
    There is a long way to go yet before there are laws protecting all cats as not enough people care about them as they should be cared about!

    • Yes, Ruth, there is a long way to go before we get the relationship right. The domestic cat is just not respected enough by enough people. And I reluctantly believe that we have to regulate things a bit more because people need some regulating, sadly. I don’t like laws and regulations but humankind is badly behaved quite often and in relation to the cat it means the cat suffers. I believe that putting some rigor and management into keeping cats through regulations (at perhaps local authority level) will force people to think a bit more about the responsibilities of keeping a cat to the cat’s benefit.

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