According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, feral and stray cats live a difficult life and often die young due to contracting diseases, parasite infection, and catfights that occur due to food and territory disputes. If their population is not controlled, they can cause problems such as giving birth to more stray cats, causing noisy fights, urinating or leaving feces on the doorstep, or even trying to breed with your home cats.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few tips you can follow to help feral cats:
- Be aware of the risk – Feral cats are often unapproachable since they are afraid of humans and can behave unpredictably or even try to scratch or bite you when you try to approach them. Thus, your first responsibility is to protect yourself when you try to help them in order to prevent the spreading of diseases such as rabies.
Thus, ensure you wear long sleeves, pants, and gloves when approaching them. However, if you notice signs of aggression, lethargy, restlessness, or seizures, it is best not to approach them and report the animal to local animal control officers instead.
- Gain their trust – One of the best ways to help timid feral cats is to set a bowl of fresh water and wet food outside your home. Ensure you keep your distance so that they feel comfortable eating the food and you can develop a sense of connection with them.
Furthermore, ensure you put the food in a location that prevents other animals such as raccoons or dogs from accessing it. After a few days, try to touch the cat gently if they allow it but be sure to check for signs of aggression.
- Take them to a veterinarian – When the feral cat trusts you completely, you can take them to a veterinarian to treat any injuries or address other health concerns such as parasites, and more. However, ensure that you inform your veterinarian that the cat is feral so that they can take the appropriate measures.
A veterinarian will also test for feline leukemia, and administer vaccines to keep them safe from diseases such as rabies and distemper.
- Consider Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs – The Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs help to keep the cat population in the neighborhood under control. The members of such organizations trap feral and stray cats, get them spayed or neutered and then release the back.
It also prevents health problems for cats such as testicular cancer, breast cancer, and uterine cancer. Plus, it reduces the risk of cat fights in the area.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests you consider adopting feral or stray cats if they show signs of affection and respond well to your verbal cues. It is often a sign that they have been domesticated before. For instance, some pet owners release their pet cats, and sometimes, pet cats tend to get lost. If you believe that to be the case, you can call your local animal shelter or veterinarian to check for any reports of lost cats that match the description of the cat. However, if there is no such report, they can make a good pet since they are likely to have been around a human before.