Help at last for feral cats

You see cats wandering around your yard and neighborhood. Is it somebody’s pet just out for a stroll, a stray, or a wild cat? How can you know the difference between a stray and a wild or feral cat? There are several physical and behavioral signs to look for.

Feral cats often walk around silently not vocalizing and not interacting with humans. As a means of protecting themselves feral cats will normally only be out between dusk and dawn unless they are extremely hungry. These cats will not approach food that is left out for them until the care taker is out of sight.

Feral cats look surprisingly well groomed. Most feral cats have lived their entire lives in the “wild” without human contact. They become accustomed to the living conditions and will most likely have the same life span as a pet cat.

Stray cats, on the other hand, are cats that have become separated from their families by accident or change of circumstances. Some cats become lost and others are just left behind when their owners move. Strays do not fair as well in the wild, therefore, they may appear ungroomed and scruffy. They will still remember their former bond with humans but will not trust the strangers that try to approach them.

Stray cats are often very vocal and may be seen at any time during the day or night. They will approach humans as food is put out for them but will keep enough distance to remain safe.

What should you do if you continue to see the same cats roaming around your neighborhood? If possible, try to determine if the cats are tame or feral. If you think the cat is tame, try to take a picture and make a “found cat” poster. Post the fliers around your neighborhood. You should also place an ad in your local newspaper giving a brief description and the area where the cat has been seen. Many shelters also keep logs of lost and found animals in case the owner calls looking for their pet.

If you cannot find the owner and are unable to keep the cat yourself, try to find somebody that is willing and able to take the cat on a permanent basis. As a last resort, you can take the cat to your local animal shelter.

If you determine the cat is feral, there are most likely other cats in the area. Feral cats live in groups or colonies located close to food sources and will most likely stay in the same are for their entire lives. Colonies of cats cannot be moved. It is also very difficult and expensive to destroy all of the cats in a colony because of

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