Chances are if you reside in a rural or even suburban environment, you live near feral cats – skittish, roughened wild cats that may look like they need some human assistance, only to run away when approached. These cats are not tame and in no way willing to become a house cat and are perfectly capable of living out independently, whether it damages some of the ecosystems or not.
If you find yourself surrounded by those untamed creatures, you have many options. One, you could leave them be and claim they are just not your problem. This is a favored option for many but by no means a good one. There are over 70 million feral cats in the U.S.A. alone and scientists blame the extinction of thirty-three species of bird on such huge variety of cats: cats that hunt, kill and eat a number of birds, rodents and reptiles. This overpopulation could quickly lead to the extinction of other birds and maybe even some prey mammals. Plus, who would like the reek of a feral cat spraying its land underneath and around their carport? Yuck.
The second choice would be to start feeding them. This is a better alternative, but still not ideal as your third choice, which we will discuss in a moment. Feeding these cats at set times during the mornings or evenings and setting out a homemade shelter for them is a fantastic idea – cats that are not hungry will pounce half-heartedly and are a lot more likely to wind up empty-pawed after the hunt. But this also results in several different issues: spreading diseases and overpopulation. Subsequently, diseases can be spread into the unsuspecting owners when they are animal interacts with them. The illnesses can cause death in some events, and despair follows after a creature’s death on account of the sicknesses. This means that the disease could be spread to your outdoor cats and possibly to you and your loved ones!
This increases the population, increasing the risk factor of the previously mentioned points. As the cats’ caretaker, you’d also have to increase the food you put out for the animals daily due to the extra mouths to feed. You would also be given the task of taming and adopting the kittens out – and just given a specific window of time to do this.
This involved trapping the cats using humane, catch-and-release traps prior to getting them releasing them . This eliminates almost all the issues with having feral cats around your lawn. Now that there are neutered, they won’t be needing any more kittens, they will be vaccinated and dewormed so they won’t spread diseases or parasites, and they won’t feel the need to spray their land as much.
Do not be afraid to get your local shelter or the community involved! They may also ear-tip (remove the top bit of the ear) the cat so that they won’t be caught and trapped by other well-meaning people and rescue groups.
That’s where you begin feeding the cats. Keeping them fed once or twice a day ensures that they are well-fed. This boosts their immune system as well, making them less likely to contract possible sicknesses that aren’t eliminated by vaccines or deworming. And now they are feeding daily, they are less likely to bother so much with hunting.
Feral cats aren’t bad. They help keep mice away from your barn, are interesting to watch and all they require is a bowl of food daily and space to be wild, free-roaming cats. All you’ve got to do is give them that opportunity and dont treat them like Squirrel Poop