Who are our outdoor cats?
Learn some brief facts about outdoor cats and how to keep them safe with trap, neuter, (vaccinate) and return (TNR) from a trusted resource: Alley Cat Allies.
Outdoor cats have existed alongside humans for 10,000 years
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 are not socialized to people
And therefore, they are not adoptable. Feral cats don’t belong indoors and are typically wary of us. However, as members of the domestic cat species (just like pet cats), they are protected under state anti-cruelty laws.
See also: Who is a feral cat
Feral cats should not be taken to pounds and shelters
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 be adopted
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.
Feral cats live healthy lives in their outdoor homes
Feral cats are just as healthy as pet cats—with equally low rates of disease. They have the same lifespans, too.
People are the cause of wildlife depletion
Studies show that the overwhelming causes of wildlife and bird death are habitat loss, urbanization, pollution, and environmental degradation—all caused by humans, not feral cats.
NOTE: more information about Cats and Wildlife from Alley Cat.
Catch and kill doesn’t work
Animal control’s traditional approach for feral cats— catching and killing—is endless and cruel. Cats choose to reside in locations for two reasons: there is a food source (intended or not) and shelter. When cats are removed from a location, new cats move in or survivors breed to capacity. This vacuum-effect is well-documented.