Trap Neuter Return (TNR): From the Alley to Main Street should be every day, not only on Oct. 16’s National Feral Cat Day.
National Feral Cat Day is one of the more important days to bring recognition to an ever present situation – the plight of feral cats.
Paws loves all cats, of all colors and flavors, regardless of where they live. Many of the ferals once lived with humans. Others are descendents of cats that were discarded by their people for one reason or another.
While some ferals are actually strays and can learn to live with humans again. It takes years for the truly feral cat to adjust to the humans that abandoned them. After all, would you trust a human if they had thrown you out into the wild to live out the rest of your days.
While Paws thinks cats are just the best, that thought is not shared by all. Many hate cats. Others tolerate them, and find them a nuisance. They spray, yawl and get into cat fights. They walk on their new cars, and defecate in their gardens. They find them a nuisance.
This anti-cat feeling is fueled by the fact that left in-tact, cats reproduce at a very high rate. They can have up to four litters a year. With multiple litters, they also have multiple kittens in each litter.
Many of these little ones perish from malnutrition or predators. While the charts are misleading about how many cats come from one cat, there’s no doubt if not spayed and neutered, cats have a lot of cats. It is estimated, there are more feral cats in the United States than domestic cats.
That’s why Trap Neuter Programs are so important. If there are less cats, there will be less nuisance.
TNR addresses the vacuum effect – if the cats are removed from the area, another group will move in. There’s food and water and shelter. So why not make it their home.
If the cats do not reproduce, they can live out their years, and mark their territory. Another group won’t show up to take their place, and the numbers of feral cats will slowly be reduced.
These colonies usually have caregivers, who make sure the cats have shelter, food and water, all necessary for their survival.
TNR is not a quick fix, and in today’s society of instantaneous communication, humans expect to have everything fixed yesterday. That’s not going to happen with the feral cat issue. However, slow, persistent work will pay off. It’s good for the cats, and good for the humans.
National Feral Cat Day also draws attention to the problem of ferals in shelters, and promotes setting up barn cat programs. If the ferals can be re-homed to live in barns, they can do their part for rodent control, while being moved from an area where they are not wanted.
Re-homing is more humane than extermination.
Here we cite some facts from the national feral cat organization, Alley Cat Allies, which states they are the only national organization dedicated to the protection of cats., with more than 500,000 supporters nationwide in the movement to protect and improve cats’ lives.
- ‘Alley Cat Allies launched National Feral Cat Day® on our 10th anniversary in 2001 to raise awareness about feral cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them.
- National Feral Cat Day® is observed on October 16 every year.
More and more people celebrate National Feral Cat Day® each year. Since 2011, more than 1,000 National Feral Cat Day events have taken place—spreading the word and helping feral cats all over the country and abroad.
- Feral cats have lived alongside humans for more than 10,000 years. They are the same species as pet cats. Feral cats, also called community or outdoor cats, live in groups called colonies and can thrive in every landscape. They are just as healthy as pet cats, but they are not socialized to humans and are therefore unadoptable.
- Trap-Neuter-Return—a humane approach to managing and caring for feral cats—is the only effective method of stabilizing feral cat colonies. In the last decade, the number of local governments with official policies endorsing TNR for feral cats has increased tenfold, with hundreds of cities and towns successfully carrying out TNR.
- However, in the majority of cities, feral cats are still caught and brought to animal pounds and shelters where they are killed. The shelter system is the number one cause of death for cats in the United States. About 70 percent of cats who enter shelters are euthanized.’
Did you do something for your community cats on National Feral Cat Day? Do you help feral cats? Why do you think people hate the ferals so much? Please share your thoughts and weigh in on the discussion.
Wordless Wednesday: Here we celebrate the community or feral cats through photos.
At Paws, we love all cats, and we thought it would be appropriate to share these photos of the ferals in celebration of National Feral Cat Day, Oct. 16. Paws will post why it’s so important to take pause, and work to change the perception about these cats. Today, we celebrate through pictures.
What’s your opinion of feral cats? Do you participate in TNR (Trap Neuter Return) programs? Do you try to advocate in their behalf? Please share your comments and stories.
Do you ever feel like is a vacuum, when one thing gets fixed, another breaks. One project is completed, and another stressful thing replaces it.
Why does it seem that when one problem ends, another happens? How many times have you heard someone say, it’s one thing after another. That’s life.
The car decides not to start. You get it fixed. The cat gets sick. You spend a fortune at the vet’s office. Then, the furnace goes out, and there’s no heat. You have to find the time to not just call, but be home for a repairman – only your full-time job doesn’t give you allowances for time to accommodate them.
A shed collapses, and you spend 6 months waiting for the insurance settlement. The agent left the policy listed in mom’s name, and you had notified them that she’d died 3 months earlier. Do you rebuild and hope the compensation is sufficient to cover the costs. A sick parent requires you to become more and more involved in their life.
Just when one thing is settled, another happens. A friend of mine told me, it’s the vacuum effect. When one thing is resolved, another happens. At Paws, we hope it’s all for the good.
My sister tells me I have the worst luck. That’s not really true. All of these nuisances get resolved. Some take more time than others. But they always, always get fixed.
Other than Yellow’s heath issues (and I should say he’s gotten much better, but he gets stressed really easy), the shed gets fixed, the insurance claim gets settled, the car gets fixed from the latest debacle.
Last night, I came home from work to hear a beep, beep, beep – no, the monitor wasn’t working. Thank goodness it isn’t sub-zero and February. The repair man may show up tomorrow, or the following day. We’d just cleaned up the garden spot this past weekend, and thought we were catching up. No way, says the vacuum.
Is this bad luck? It could have happened when I was on deadline working on a magazine article. I spend the month of September completing two pretty rigorous articles – but they sure did turn out good. Paws will let you know when they hit the news stand early next year. The monitor waited till that project was complete. There were no car problems while working on that project.
I call that some pretty good luck. Life happens. Except for Yellow, all 4 felines and me are healthy. It seems like money doesn’t go even half as far as 5 years ago. We push along and hope the vacuum is filled with good things, and less of the bad. And as Paws tries to post this blog post, it’s taking 3 times as long to connect to the server? Why? We’re in a hurry. Well, we know that answer, when you are in a hurry, Murphy’s Law (things will go wrong) will always drop by for a visit.
Do you often feel like it’s one thing after another? Do you believe in the vacuum effect? Please share your thoughts and your stories.
Wordless Wednesday: Cats are just being cats
Not much to be said, these cats are just doing what cats do. What do your cats do that’s just cats being cats? Please leave your comments and weigh in
on a fun discussion.
Here are 10 of my favorites that I thought I’d share, and maybe it will bring a smile to your face. We all need a little more levity in our lives.
1) Lenny races back and forth through the house, stops short, and goes careening across the hard wood floors until he finally stops.
2) When I put my shoes on every morning, I have a kitty trying to help me as he plays with the shoelaces.
3) When I get ready to take my shower, I have to scoop one or two kitties out of the bathtub.
4) I get home late at night to find my kitties anxiously waiting for me, and meowing at me until they get their midnight snack.
5) There are unplanned wrestling matches among the cats, and the contestants differ. They stand on their hind legs, and do body throws onto the floor till they tire of it, and move on to something else.
6) I have two, three, sometimes all five gather around me on the sofa when I’m having my morning coffee.
7) Did I mention, how they all seem to follow me into the bathroom every morning when I first get out of bed.
8) When I try to read a book or magazine, felines tend to take over and want my undivided attention.
9) When I make coffee, kitties are telling me, I want my breakfast first.
10) After breakfast, they retire to their various nap places. I’m jealous, but smiling, cause they look soooo comfortable.
Share your stories about how your cats make you smile. For me, I smile several times a day, thanks to the feline entertainment around the house. Please weigh in and share your stories.