There are an estimated 70 million stray and feral cats roaming throughout the United States.
Late spring into summer is when humane society volunteers see an increase of cats entering into animal shelters as feral cats birth kittens. And, they aren't the only ones noticing the influx of cats. Homeowners are seeing more cats wandering onto properties in search of food leading to fights and the spread of diseases with domestic breeds.
What can be done to reduce the homeless cat population?
There are two main strategies: Beginning a TNR Program and advocating for cat adoption from local animal shelters and cat rescue groups.
What Is TNR?
To reduce the number of stray cats, animal foster care and/or assistance with lost or abandoned cats is needed. Therefore, starting a Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) Program for cats is a a great opportunity for cat lovers who want to get involved for the love of kitties! Cat TNR Programs are not only humane, but they help reduce the number of cats that are sent to shelters and euthanized.
To start a community cats program, new cat foster parents will need the support from local animal lovers who want to volunteer to help protect homeless cats and get them off the street. To get volunteers, offer free cat toys, cat food and outdoor cat enclosures so cats can remain comfortable in their natural environment while staying safely enclosed during the process. These cat enclosures are not like normal cages; but instead allow cats to interact with one another while staying safe from external predators including homeless dogs.
Once you have a fond support group of cat group volunteers, you will need to be able to spay/neuter animals to reduce the birth rates of homeless cats. You will need to encourage cat adoption during the time of your TNR Program. Offer cat care classes to interested pet owners, free resources and information about how to become a responsible cat owner.
Cats require basic needs such as:
- Shelter (a warm, dry place away from car fumes, wildlife and other things that may harm them);
- Fresh water and nutritious cat food;
- Socialization with other cats and animals;
- A fence for cat security;
Cats make wonderful pets, especially for the active on-the-go type personality. Cats are self-sufficient and do not ask for the bathroom stops that a dog requires. They play well with other animals and can live to be close to 20 years old!
Feral Cats deserve a second chance at living; and you can help control cat homelessness in your area by starting a cat foster program or adopting from a local cat rescue today.