Sunday, July 27, 2014

Feral Cat Statisitcs

How to deal with feral cats in your neighborhood is a very controversial issue. It often elicits fights amongst neighbors, because if affects the whole neighborhood. In fact, it affects a lot more than just your neighborhood, it's an ecological problem. It In this post, I am going to give you a few statistics and websites for educational purposes. I am an animal lover, I have two cats of my own. As a cat owner, I feel it is my responsibility to educate myself about how my actions as well as my pet's actions affect the environment and others. As a side note: This post mostly refers to cats in an urban setting. I realize that on a farm in the country, cats serve an entirely different purpose and some rules/ stats don't necessarily apply to all scenarios. 

Cat Stats: 

First, I need to clarify the difference between a feral, stray and free-roaming house cat. A feral cat is a wild cat. They are scared of humans. A stray is a cat that is not scared of humans, but is lost or has been abandoned. A free-roaming house cat is a cat that has a home, but it's humans let it go outside.
  •  Cats are very territorial and often live in colonies.
  • A cat can become pregnant at 5-months-old.
  • A pair of breeding feral cats and their offspring can produce 420, 000 kittens over a 7-year period. 75% of the feral kittens will die by 6-months of age.
  • Outdoor feral cats can transmit diseases to other wildlife as well as humans. These diseases include rabies, toxoplasmosis, fleas and other viral and parasitic diseases.
  • Deadly diseases that feral cats can transmit to your house cat are: Felin Leukemia Virus, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Kidney Disease/ renal failure, Feline Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper) and Feline Rabies. To read a bit more in depth about these diseases, click here.
  • Each year 9-million dogs and cats are euthanized a year. Approximately 25,000 healthy, adoptable cats die in shelters each day. 
  • Cats kill wildlife at amazingly high rates. In a recent report, cats are the single greatest human linked threat to wildlife in the nation. They are killing machines. They can kill 1.3- 4 BILLION birds and 6.3-22.3 BILLION mammals ANNUALLY. Birds help pollinate plants, distribute plant seeds and control insect populations. They are a vital gear in our environmental machine.

So, what can you do?


  • If you have a house cat that is driving you crazy by constantly bolting out the door or yowling to be let out, there are ways to provide a more stimulating house through "Catification". You can also try a pheromone plug-in or leash walking (I know, it sounds kind of "Crazy Cat Lady-ish"). Please do not just let your cat roam the neighborhood. It is very unsafe. Your cat could get injured by another animal, vehicle, poisoned or bring the above diseases home.
  • For Feral cats, find out if your community has a Trap and Release program (TNR). These programs will humanely trap a feral cat, fix/ neuter it and then release it back into it's territory. This at lease will cut back on the amount of reproduction and overpopulation. TNR programs cost about $50/ cat as opposed to $100/ cat for euthanizing. If you are feeding a feral cat, please be responsible and have it spayed/ neutered.  

Extra Reading and Where I got my Info:

No comments:

Post a Comment