National Feral Cat Day, Oct. 16
More than 70 percent of all cats who enter pounds and shelters are killed there. That number jumps to virtually 100 percent for feral cats.
National Feral Cat Day is all about bringing attention to the unnecessary killing of cats in animal control pounds and shelters, the leading documented cause of death for cats in the United States.
Feral cats are the same species as pet cats, but they live outdoors and can’t be socialized to people. Most animal shelters across the United
States kill virtually all feral cat who come through their doors because they can’t be adopted. We’re honoring National Feral Cat Day by urging shelters and pounds to adopt a new approach to feral cats that saves lives and improves communities.”
Trap-Neuter-Return is the humane and effective method of care that improves their lives. Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for feral and stray cats and the foremost authority on Trap-Neuter-Return launched National Feral Cat Day in 2001.
Through Trap-Neuter-Return, outdoor cats are humanely trapped and brought to a veterinarian to be evaluated, spayed or neutered and vaccinated. While under anesthesia, the cats are eartipped — a small portion of the left ear is painlessly removed for identification. After they recover from the sterilization surgery, they are returned to their outdoor home.
The benefit of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is that the cycle is stopped, the population of feral cats controlled and stopped from growing to proportions that would be unsustainable, unhealthy and a possible nuisance. The cat’s health is improved through the attention from a vet, and vaccinations. Shelters no longer have to expend resources on feral cats as they take care of themselves, and thus are able to better care for socialized and pet cats. But the biggest benefit is that thousands upon thousands of feral cats don’t die unnecessarily!
“We are calling for a revolutionary change in shelter practice and policy,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “We already know we have the support of hundreds of thousands of citizens and groups nationwide. National Feral Cat Day is our collective call-to-action for this movement.”
Hundreds of local governments nationwide now have ordinances endorsing Trap-Neuter-Return which is rapidly becoming the predominant approach to feral cats, because in addition to being humane, it works. But in many communities and shelters, feral cats continue to be killed.
“More cats are killed in our nation’s animal control pounds and shelters than die from any other documented cause,” said Robinson. “This National Feral Cat Day, we’re challenging cat lovers to partner with their local shelters to launch Trap-Neuter-Return efforts and other programs that will save cats’ lives. ”
More than 70 percent of all cats who enter pounds and shelters are killed there. That number jumps to virtually 100 percent for feral cats. A national survey conducted for Alley Cat Allies by Harris Interactive found that an overwhelming number—81 percent—of Americans prefer to let outdoor cats live out their lives than have themcaught and killed.
For more information about National Feral Cat Day, see www.alleycat.org/NFCD.