October 16th is National Feral Cat Day. A day to celebrate all the feral cats in the world.
What is a Feral Cat?
Before we start talking about feral cat’s day, I want to talk about feral cats. I have an entire article where I talk about feral cats, which can be found here. In short, a feral cat is basically a cat who has not been around humans. This means they are usually un-trusting of humans.
Feral cats live their lives outside and have not been around humans usually their entire lives. They usually have little groups or packs in which feral cats stay in. Roughly half of the 146 million cats in the United States are feral or un-owned. Considering 10,000 humans are born every day in America, but nearly 70,000 kittens and puppies are born every day, there will never be enough homes to take in the number of feral cats
If you have read my feral cats article, then you know that just because they are initially un-trusting of humans, doesn’t mean they can become indoor, happy cats. They just require time and patience. I know a lot of people, my parents included, who have saved feral cats. These cats are now very loving and trusting of humans.
So if you see a feral cat, don’t think that they can never become domesticated pets. They can. Just do time and patience.
How You Can Celebrate Feral Cat Day?
Back to National Feral Cat Day! If you are affected or know someone who has rescued or cares for feral cats, then this day should be a celebration for you.
If you have rescued a feral cat, give them a little extra care and love today. And think about caring for or rescuing a feral cat if you haven’t already. There are so many out there that need help…and you can help!
What you can do to help feral cats
If there are not any feral cats that you can rescue or can for this day, fear not! There are still many ways in which you can help out feral cats! Two ways in which you can help out feral cats are
1. Trap and Release
If you have not heard, you can do a technique called the trap and release technique. This technique involved people trapping feral cats, getting them spayed or neutered, and releasing them back into the wild.
This allows the feral cats to be spayed or neutered and help prevent the feral population from growing even larger than it already is. They can recover from their surgery in peace and it allows them to continue on in the wild without running the risk of injuring themselves after surgery. You can learn about this process, or see how you can get involved in the TNR process in honor of National Feral Cat Day
2. Volunteer, Adopt, Foster
If this process seems like something you are not really interested in. Or want to be more hands-on, you can get more involved at shelters. A lot of the animals that come into shelters are those who are either strays or feral cats that have been found and taken to the shelter for a second chance at life.
There are so many ways in which you can get involved in shelters. You can volunteer your time there. Socializing animals, keeping their cages clean and any ad-hoc requests they have. You can also donate goods to the shelters to help keeps the cats comfortable. I know some people who make blankets for shelters and donate them so cats have comfy warms beds to sleep on.
If volunteering doesn’t seem like something you want to do, there are still other options. You could adopt a cat from the shelter. Not only does this save the life of a possible feral cat, or a least a homeless cat, this gives the shelter more space to take in the millions of other cats on the street that they would otherwise not have room for.
And if that idea seems amazing to you, but you cannot commit to adopting forever, you can always foster. We have fostered one cat and are wanting to start fostering others. It is the most difficult and rewarding thing out there.
Fostering basically provides a safe home for the cat until a new home is found for them. This also frees up shelter spaces for an animal that may come to them. The more people who can foster animals, the more animals go home to a warm, safe house at night, rather than a shelter cage.
So whether you own a cat that used to be feral, have seen stray/feral cats walking around or want to help them out, celebrate National Feral Cats Day. It is a day to celebrate how far we have come and to remember that there is also something that we can do to help.
You, yes you, can help save feral cats’ lives. And that is something to think about on this day.