What is the best food for feral cats?

There is only one choice. It has to be dry cat food which is not ideal as a sole cat food but the practicalities and expense of feeding feral cats dictates that dry cat food is the food of choice. Although in the video below Richard feeds dry and some wet to Malta’s feral cats. Nice to see. And sometimes a trader has some left over meat or something which they may use to feed commnity cats so the dry cat food formula is not a hard and fast method. There is another possibility: left over wet domestic cat food provided it is not old. But this won’t be a major part of the overall provision of food for feral cats.

Whenever you see any photographs of feral cats being fed by the volunteers who look after them under TNR programs you almost ivariably see dry cat food. And of course you have to put out some water as well because dry cat food without water is unfair on a feral cat. They need to supplement the dryness of the food with some water.

Richard Vella feeds the feral cats of Malta with wet and dry cat food.
Richard Vella feeds the feral cats of Malta with wet and dry cat food.. Screenshot from video by Michael.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Highest quality dry cat food available under the budget

The highest quality dry food that can be bought under the budget of the people feeding the cat should be used. That of course is commonsense. Budgets are often tight but the quality of the food is important. Some of the poorer quality dry cat foods really are quite poor and you won’t be doing the cat any favours if you feed them with it.

But there again, feral cats are lucky to be fed at all and to be part of a TNR program. As they say, beggars aren’t choosers, so I would expect some quite poor quality dry cat food to be given to feral cats but it keeps them alive although it may cause health issues such as cystitis i.e. urinary tract issues.

Video from Malta made by MikeB

The video below shows a person I admire, Richard Vella, feeding feral cats in Malta. He was either the partner or the husband of Martha Kane who is now deceased, sadly, but while alive she was passionate about cat rescue and caring for feral cats. I still have a link on the homepage of this website to her website which is called “Kitty Appeal”. Richard regularly did the rounds feeding and caring for the feral cats of Malta while holding down a full-time job.

Martha Kane's Kitty Appeal

Dry cat food is robust!

Dry cat food is pretty robust. It doesn’t go off quickly like wet cat food. It doesn’t freeze or is at least resistant to freezing in cold weather. It can be left out for quite a while and still be edible at the end of it.

Feral cats feeding on dry cat food
Feral cats feeding on dry cat food. Photo in the public domain.

Feeding at set times and removing the food

There is a strong argument for feeding feral cats in a colony at a certain time of the day and then taking up the food afterwards. This is good neighbourliness. If you leave food lying around day and night when feeling feral cats, the people who don’t like cats (of which there are quite a number) argue that you attract wildlife. Some of the wildlife will be considered pests or nuisance animals. That’s why you get the odd conflict in neighbourhoods when volunteers look after feral cats. I guess everybody knows that by now. Some feral cat caregivers look after the cats in secret to avoid arguments.

Fined for feeding feral cats. Video screenshot from wbng.com.
Fined for feeding feral cats. Video screenshot from wbng.com.

People have sharply divided viewpoints about the right of existence of feral cats. A lot of people think they should be exterminated while at the other end of the spectrum the kinder sort of person and the one who is more decent believes that they should be cared for, at lease to a certain extent, to make their lives more bearable. Although part of the process of feeding feral cats is being concerned about the societal implications of feeding feral cats in the neighbourhood.

There’s not much more to say and I’ve waffled for long enough. People who are concerned about feral cats provide the best dry cat food that they can within their budget which is often tight. That’s the only conclusion that one can make.

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