October 16th 2012 9:24 am
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Dear Furs and Folks,
Today we celebrat our Feral Friends-our kin, our friends, our 'Community Cats'.
Last week when Daddy was trapping the small family of 'feral' cats in back of the old apartment building, the former Super asked Daddy worridly
'You're bringing them back?" Daddy stated of course. The man was relieved. He said 'Good. They keep away mice. We have not had mice in this building since we had cats around." He allows Daddy to bring them food and water.
Here are some Q and A about Feral Cats:
Q) I have heard that Feral Cats carry disease that can be given to other animals.
A) It's always a good idea to keep your cat or dog or other animal inside, and if you walk your dog, to make sure it's vaccinated. HOWEVER....many 'feral' cats are no more likely to transmit a disease to your pet, you, your child than any other animal.
Q) I feel badly for the Feral Cats that live outside, but I don't have room for them in my house. If I trap them and bring them to a shelter, they will help them find a home-but a crazy cat lady has told me to 'leave them alone'. Why?
A) Ah-the sad truth. Many animal shelters euthanize-kill-feral cats. There aren't enough homes for healthy, human social cats. A Feral Cat simply doesn't stand a chance. Truly feral cats aren't socialized to people enough for most people to be willing to have them inside...and the feral cat may not want to be with humans without much exposure and patience. In some places, feral cats are cared for by 'Colony Caretakers'. You can google Alley Cat Allies or The Urban Cat League to find out more.
Q) Is a feral cat an owner abandoned cat?
A) Usually not. Most Ferals are born outside, and raised by a 'tribe' who look after the young communially. Mom, auntie, sister, cousin,daughters, grandmoms and the male Tom and his brothers or sub males will help guard and protect and train the kittens. Kittens trapped young can be socialized with patience. While, very sady, 'Owner Abandoned' cats are left at colonies-usually by misguided people who see that a colony is being tended and fed, 'feral' cats are not owner abandoned cats. They may have lived in a place for awhile and know their 'feeders' but they aren't tame cats.
Q) I've heard feral cats referred to as 'community cats'. Why?
A) They are Community workers! They keep down the rodent population, and they work hard doing it. They ask for so little, too-clean fresh water, cat food (don't worry, they still keep down the rodent population), a warm shelter and not to be harassed or harmed.
Q) Will feral cats help a former housecat to survive?
A) It depends, but the Tribe may not welcome an 'outsider' and treat them as such. Many former housecats don't do too well outside. (I'm a good example!)
Q) Why is T and R important, and what does it stand for?
A) It stands for Trap and release. It goes like this: Rescuers will bait a humane cat trap (it doesnt' hurt the cat!) with food. They catch the cat, bring it to a vet or clinic or low cost spay and neuter van, and the cat is neutered. The cat will usually be held a day or two, then, when it is eating and the neuter site is healing, they are re-released back into their colony.
When they are under for the neuter, they are usually given a quick exam. They may be vaccinated against Rabies, or other things, and most are 'eartipped' to mark thema s being neutered so if they are trapped again they are re released back into the colony.
Q) I've heard some poeple trap cats and bring them to shelters-isn't that better?
A) No, the cat will probably be euthanaized. Some people think if there are no feral cats that they won't have to worry about them, but a resideent colony keeps down the rodent population and if a resident colony is removed, it leaves space for more to occupy the area-neutering and releasing is the way to go.
Q) Do feral cats eat birds-I've heard they are decimating the songbird population?
A)Nope. This is a vicious rumor that has no basis in truth. Go to Alley Cat Allies site and check out the truth.
Q) How to I learn more?
A) Go ot Alley Cat Allies or Urban Cat League or just google T & R or National Feral Cat Day!
Q) How do I say Hello to a feral cat?
A) 1) Drop hands to your sides. 2) If you can, drop to a kneeling posture. 3) Keep head down. 4) Close your eyes. 5) Very slowly raise your head. 6) Very slowly, open your eyes and blink slowly. Repeat. You may see the cats relax slightly, and if they close their eyes even halfway, you've been given the gift of conditional acceptancce...welcome to the Tribe!
Happy Feral Cat Day! Do something good for a Feral today! Donate food, help, or $. Lots of purrs...
love and light,
Leave A Comment | 3 people already have
Sending purrs out to all our feral brothers and sisters today. May you all find yourself in the care of some wonderful human like Ruffy's dad.
Thanks so much for posting this important information. I was heartened to read in your last post about how the building manager wanted the cats back for rodent control. An enlightened human for sure.
We were wondering if they allow feral in the national parks where they are having the Hanta Virus Problem? Curious minds want to know!
Love ya Dood!
In a Man-Cat way of course!