Today is an important day for my fellow felines who must live outside and who do not have a nice home to call their own. October 16 is National Feral Cat Day.
A feral cat is defined as “a domesticated cat that has returned to the wild, or the descendants of such an animal. It is distinguished from a stray cat, which is a pet cat that has been lost or abandoned, while feral cats have never been socialized.”
My furiends, I would not like to be a feral cat. Even though being a diabetic cat is not fun, it is far better than living outside without a consistent source of clean water and noms. Dealing with predators, of both the four legged and two legged kind, is another challenge that feral cats must contend with.
But feral cats are not the dangerous creatures that some misguided humans have portrayed them as. They have existed with humans for more than 10,000 years. It could be said that the first cats who associated with humans to prevent rodents from eating grain were feral cats.
Feral cats generally do not trust humans like Jacey, Marley, and I do. It is not their fault. They were raised without human interaction. So when they see you large two legged creatures, they think of you not as a source of noms and love but as potential predators.
But even though they do not trust you two legged creatures, feral cats help you. Just like their predecessors from thousands of years ago, feral cats kill rodents than can be harmful pests. And that is why feral cats should be allowed to stay in their colonies.
Through a humane trap, neuter, and return program, organizations like Love your Feral Felines and Aztec Cats have kept the colonies they care for from getting too large. Both humans and felines benefit from this because the feline population does not get so large that they do not have enough noms and humans benefit from having cats around to control the rodent population.
Sadly, in many communities, feral cats are trapped and taken to the animal control facilities. Because they are not adoptable, these animals are then euthanized.
Please take the time to learn more about feral cats and how you can help them, not just on National Feral Cat Day, but throughout the year.