They are not a new phenomenon. Feral and stray cats live and thrive in every landscape, from the inner city to rural farmland.
Feral cats’ needs are not met by the current animal control and shelter system, where animals who are not adoptable are killed. Feral cats live full, healthy lives outdoors—but are killed in shelters. Even no-kill shelters can’t place feral cats in homes.
Feral kittens can often be adopted into homes, but they must be socialized at an early age. There is a crucial window, and if they aren’t handled in time, they will remain feral and therefore unadoptable. Learn more.
Feral cats are just as healthy as pet cats—with equally low rates of disease. They have the same lifespans, too.
Community cats can be considered as working cats. Why? Because they help get rid of rodents, mice, and rats, which are in your yard and will get in your garbage, garage, sheds and sometimes your house. In Chicago which has been plagued by an explosion of the rat population, there is a 3 months waiting list for community cats.
Having a colony of community cats in your backyard is a win-win for you and for them. You give them food and water and provide them with a shelter and in exchange, they will be the guardians of your yard. And no not all the neighborhood cats will end up on your property. Cats are very territorial and will keep away other cats from staying on their turf.