National Feral Cat Day and Why We Need More “Crazy Cat People”

October 16, 2016 (Sunday) is National Feral Cat Day. This is the 16th year in a row that Alley Cat Allies has designated October 16 as National Feral Cat Day.  It was started to raise awareness of feral cats, to promote Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) and empower the millions of compassionate people who care for feral cats.  It is a daunting task that seems never ending.  Yet by spreading the word and awareness of feral cats, you too can help.

Do you ever wonder how you can help all the millions of feral/stray cats that are living outside on their own? Here are some ideas.

  1. If you see feral/stray cats living in your area you can be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. The first step would be to TNR (Trap Neuter Return) the cat(s). Next, provide shelter and food for the cats. This does require time and commitment. Once you decide to feed and take care of the feral/stray cats it becomes your responsibility. They will depend on you for food, water and shelter.

  1. Join a rescue group who helps individuals and communities in the effort to TNR, feed colonies and provide shelters. You can help with daily feedings of feral colonies or even just provide food. There are also fostering opportunities to help care for feral kittens as well as socialization of feral kittens and stray cats. Check your local area for listings.

  1. Volunteer your time at a shelter. Here you can help with socialization of kittens and cats waiting for a home. You also can donate food, blankets, feral cat shelters and of course monetary donations.

  1. If you are handy, you may want to build feral cat shelters for rescue groups, humane societies or other shelters in your area. Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and/or boys working towards their Eagle Scout Award often take a weekend and build numerous feral cat shelters.

  1. Donate to Alley Cat Allies. Your donation will be used to protect and improve the lives of cats by educating caregivers, advocates, and cat lovers across the nation and advocating for policies in the best interests of cats.

  1. Most importantly, please spay and neuter your cats. Many well intended pet owners do not take the time to spay/neuter their cats. They either cannot afford the cost or feel it is unnecessary. These cats often make their way outside where the breeding process begins. The cat population multiples right before your very eyes. If you feel you cannot afford the cost, seek out low cost spay/neuter clinics, humane societies or talk with your veterinarian and see if a payment plan can be worked out. Bob Barker ended each episode of The Price is Right with the following phrase, “Bob Barker reminding you to help control the pet population. Have your pet spayed or neutered.”  Please do your part and spay/neuter your animals.

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I was alerted to this fantastic article this week entitled “Why We Need More Crazy Cat People”.  It sums up what so many rescuers and caregivers feel.  It can be funny to be labeled the “crazy cat lady/man”, but inside many of us feel hurt and sad by the accusation.  The task of caring for feral, stray, rescued, abused and socialized domestic cats is daunting and never ending.  The countless hours that go into the care and well being of these animals is tiring, difficult, heart breaking and even back breaking.  Yet the rewards, tears of joy, and genuine love of these animals far outweighs the difficulties.

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