Feral Cats - the
sad story about them
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What's the answer to America's Feral Cat Population?
Prepared by: Alfred
A feral cat is literally a domestic cat that lives on its
own and perhaps hasn't been exposed to humans. These cats
are usually born in the wild or on the streets or they are
abandoned by careless owners. Feral cats are often a real
problem around the world, and often they live short, sad
Feral cats are shy of humans and because they aren't given
the immunization shots that tame pet cats are given often
they contract fatal diseases that are debilitating and
shorten their life expectancy. In some cases feral cats can
contract rabies, which is a serious disease that can be
passed to humans and results in death. There is no cure for
In many places when feral cats are caught they are taken to
an animal control facility and then destroyed. If a feral
cat is lucky enough to be taken in by an individual or a no-
kill shelter, even in the best cases it takes much time and
effort to tame and train it to do basic things like use a
litter box. Because of the poor prognosis for taming an
adult feral cat, most animal facilities just don't have the
time to try to tame these animals so they are destroyed.
In most cases feral cats have serious health problems and
they also are malnourished, unless there is an abundant
supply of small mammals such as rats and mice in the area,
or they are fed by someone. These cats usually end up eating
human refuse. In a study in California it was shown that
sixty percent of unaltered (unneutered/unspayed) cats are
abandoned within three years by their owners.
Feral cats often live in the parks, streets or alleys of
cities. They roam the areas looking for food and
reproducing. It has been estimated that in the United States
alone there are sixty million feral cats at any given time.
Worldwide they are a part of city ecology in every human
They will live in desert colonies or islands near Antarctica
so long as there are humans nearby. This is because humans
attract small mammals like rodents because of the food
supply that humans inevitably have around and near them.
Cats will be attracted because of the ready, abundant food
Feral cats often congregate and form colonies in order to
survive. These colonies will usually be located near a food
source like a dumpster where they can feed on the garbage
and on other pests that come to feed on that garbage. Most
feral cats don't live longer than two years on their own but
as a part of a colony or if they are picked up by a kind
person that retrains them they may live for five years.
But because of the harsh conditions of living on the streets
feral cats will often not live longer than five years even
if optimum conditions are achieved. The U.S. currently has a
population of about 100,000,000 feral cats, and shelters and
animal control facilities kill around 6,000,000 cats every
year. A feral female is capable of producing 24 to 30
kittens a year. These three facts add up to a very large
Some communities try to fight the overpopulation by enacting
strict laws covering licensing and breeding of all pets.
Some communities have done mass trapping and
feral cats, but often they find that in a short time they
have the same problem all over again.
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