National Feral Cat Day marks its 15th anniversary on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. Inspired by this year’s theme, Evolution of the Cat Revolution, supporters are committing to make their own evolution in working toward animal control and sheltering practices that protect the lives of all cats with over 700 events worldwide.
In a press release, Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies, the advocacy organization that established National Feral Cat Day, said, ‘Our incredible success in promoting Trap-Neuter-Return for feral cats as a mainstream practice has saved countless lives, but there’s more to be done. We encourage cat advocates to continue with their own local evolution by taking the next step. It could be neutering a cat, speaking at a community meeting or spearheading a campaign for a local Trap-Neuter-Return ordinance. There’s always room to grow.’
Despite all the research supporting how effective TNR programs are, many municipalities scorn its effectiveness, and look at controversial means like eradicating feral cat colonies, by moving them, or worse, euthanizing them. That’s why Paws for Reflection wants to focus on this all important day. It’s not a day, it’s a movement that needs to stay front and center.
Community cats are in trouble. Cat overpopulation is a huge problem not only in the United States, but worldwide.
We are happy to highlight this all important day. More than 1,500 events have taken place on this day since 2011. Volunteers are organizing spay/neuter clinics, arranging educational sessions, encouraging official governmental proclamations, and raising funds to support local Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs. Hundreds of these local, volunteer-driven events are listed on nationalferalcatday.org, which also has ideas that people can use to celebrate in their own communities.
Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, established National Feral Cat Day as a call to action to raise awareness about feral (or community) cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and empower and mobilize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them.
Community cats are the same species as pet cats, but they live outdoors and are unowned and not socialized to people. Through Trap-Neuter-Return, community cats are humanely trapped and brought to a veterinarian to be evaluated, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated. While under anesthesia, the cats are eartipped – a small portion of the left ear is painlessly removed for identification. After they recover from the sterilization surgery, they are returned to their outdoor home.
Trap-Neuter-Return is the only effective method of stabilizing cat colony populations. In the last decade, the number of local governments with official policies endorsing TNR has increased tenfold, with hundreds of cities and towns successfully carrying out TNR programs.
Follow all the activities for National Feral Cat Day on social media with the #feralcatday hashtag.
Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 600,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.
Does your community participate in National Feral Cat Day? Do you help community cats? What do you think is the best way to help curb the overpopulation issue with not only feral cats, but all cats? Please share your thoughts on this very important issue.