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Sabtu, 02 Februari 2013

Feral Cats: What Is a Feral Cat?

Feral cats make up approximately half of the population of felines in the United States. Because these felines live on the street they must find food and shelter anywhere that they can, including abandoned buildings, alleyways, and beneath dumpsters. Most people are aware that these homeless cats exist, though many people do not know the true story behind these feral felines.
Feral cats have been living among humans for over 10,000 years. These felines are the offspring of other homeless cats, which is why they spend their lives on the street. Feral cats live in colonies with other homeless cats, and these felines work together to find shelter and food.
Feral felines have never been properly socialized with humans, which causes them to be wary of human contact. Because of this, homeless cats will often run away or act aggressively if a human tries to approach them. Feral cats are different from your pet cat, and without years of work to socialize them they will never be interested in trusting, or even playing with a human.
Feral cats are not spayed or neutered, which is a main reason why the homeless cat population continues to grow. In fact, a pair of breeding cats and their offspring can collectively give birth to 420,000 kittens in only 7 years.

Organizations have been implementing Trap Neuter Return programs to reduce these homeless cat population numbers. Trap Neuter Return is a program where volunteers humanely trap feral cats, take them to a Veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, and then return them back to their home colony. These felines are often given ear tips to make it apparent to other volunteers that a cat has been spayed or neutered. Ear tips are created when a small portion of a cat's ear is surgically removed by a Veterinarian. Learn more about Trap Neuter Return and ear tips in this Alley Cat Allies video.

Although some communities have devoted volunteers and organizations working to help homeless cats, most feral cats have a tough time living on the street. This is due to a lack of food, harsh living conditions, the threat of animal cruelty, and viruses such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia.

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