Stray Cats

Stray CatsSTRAY CATS AND FERAL CATS HAVE BECOME A GROWING PROBLEM….now vastly outnumbering the domesticated cat population. Stray cats are cats that have become separated from their owners, and feral cats are cats that were born in the wild – and are often wary of humans. You may have seen them wandering through our streets or languishing behind restaurants. At first, these cats look domesticated. But they're really wild animals. Feral cats are the offspring of stray or abandoned household pets. Raised without human contact, they quickly revert to a wild state and form colonies wherever food and shelter are available. Many city and county animal control agencies are mandated only to deal with dogs—not cats. So for decades feral cats have remained untouchable. Some feline experts now estimate 70 million feral cats live in the United States, the consequence of little effort to control the population and of the cat's ability to reproduce quickly. In urban areas, there are hundreds of cats per square mile (1.6 square kilometers)—more cats than nature can support. Some believe feral felines should be removed permanently from the environment and taken to shelters. The majority of wild cats, though, cannot be domesticated. Consequently shelters kill them, sometimes minutes after the cats are dropped off.

Spay and Neuter

P.A.W.S. located in Wheatland has suggested the answer to permanently reducing wild cat populations is through the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method, in which entire colonies of cats are trapped, vaccinated, and sterilized by a veterinarian. Homes are found for young kittens, which can be tamed. Healthy adults are returned outdoors, where volunteers feed and look after them for the remainder of their lives. The method, though, is neither quick nor simple. In a study conducted over an 11-year period, it was discovered that the cats lived an average of 7 years after being spayed and brought back to their territory. It's become a double-edged sword, because we're happy for the cats that they're living life and in good health. But it also means that we can't expect our neuter programs to work really quickly.

WHAT CAN WE DO AS A TOWN TO REDUCE THE POPULATION OF STRAY CATS?

CONTACT US AND LET US KNOW…..

(307) 836-2335

lynne@togwy.us