Feral cat colonies are taking residence in many communities around the world. In fact, of the approximately calico cats for sale in North America, about half of these felines are feral or homeless. Although these homeless felines may be able to survive on their own for a short period of time, they are always in need of help. If you want to help the feral cats in your community but you’re just not sure how to do this, consider the following options to help you get started.
Contact a Local Rescue Organization
You can help the homeless cats in your community by contacting a local feline rescue group to notify them that there are stray of feral cats in your neighbourhood. Make sure that the group you are contacting will in fact be willing to work with the feral cats that you are trying to help, unlike some humane societies or shelters who will immediately seize and euthanize any feral felines they bring in.
Unfortunately, many shelters and pounds in North America are forced to euthanize adoptable cats to make room for other cats in their shelter. Approximately 70% of all cats who enter shelters are killed there, with almost 100% of feral cats being euthanized immediately.
Spay/Neuter and Vaccinate
The number one cause of high homeless cat population numbers is a lack of spayed and neutered cats. In fact, a study by the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project has revealed that only 2% of free-roaming cats are spayed or neutered, which has led to 147 million kittens being born to free-roaming cats every year. To reduce these populations it’s important for cats to be altered, especially homeless cats. This is why many rescue groups are trying to implement Trap, Neuter, Return programs in their communities.
To ensure that your cat doesn’t contribute to the increase of homeless cat populations, be sure to have him or her spayed or neutered. You will also want to keep your cat safe from disease by making sure he/she is up to date on all vaccinations. Even if you own an indoor cat, there’s always the possibility of escape, so be sure to keep your kitty safe.
Volunteer Your Efforts
If you’re extremely dedicated to helping stray and feral cats, consider volunteering at your local feline rescue organization. Some organizations need help right in their shelters, whether you can clean the floors and walls, feed the cats in the shelter, or help to clip some claws, there’s always something to do.
In addition, many organizations are active all over their community, especially with feeding stations for the feral cats. These stations are often set up in a safe place where they allow the homeless cats to rest and eat. Volunteers may be asked to check on certain feeding stations throughout the week to ensure that the cats have enough food, water, warm beds and blankets.
Speak Out and Support Cat Groups Worldwide
Teach others about the value of cats whenever you get the chance. Cats, especially feral ones, have far too few advocates and far too many detractors. Educate yourself on the issues and add your voice to the conversation. The best way to inform yourself is to look into the work being done by other cat lovers and cat rescue organizations around the world. Check out their websites, studies, and social media websites to see what is going on in the cat rescue world.