Today is National Feral Cat Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about the community cats living throughout the country and how we can humanely care for them. “Community cat” is a term used to describe unowned cats, which includes stray, abandoned, and feral cats. Believe it or not, there are many people who consider stray or unowned cats to be essentially pests, not giving them a second thought or caring about their livelihood. Well, I disagree completely. I believe that there is no difference between the cat sleeping on your bed and the cat sleeping under a dumpster. They’ve just been given different opportunities in this lifetime. All domestic cats, owned and unowned, are social and complex creatures, and it’s our fault that there is such an overpopulation problem. Irresponsible pet owners who do not spay and neuter their cats and who allow them to roam freely have caused the shocking numbers of unowned cats. With the appropriate awareness of how to reduce these numbers and humanely care for community cats, we can begin to reverse the cycle.
There are two outstanding resources for learning about community — or feral — cats and how to humanely care for them. First, Alley Cat Allies is the national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Alley Cat Allies created National Feral Cat Day to share resources and raise awareness. Visit their website alleycat.org to learn more about them and be sure to visit the National Feral Cat Day website at nationalferalcatday.org to download information and participate in this year’s events.
Another extremely important resource is Vox Felina, written by cat advocate Peter J. Wolf. Peter spends countless hours researching bogus scientific claims made against feral cats, debunking illogical arguments calling for their destruction. Peter’s writing is thorough, well-crafted and heartfelt. He is truly one of the most important voices for the cats. Please visit VoxFelina.com to read his work.
There are many, many other wonderful organizations throughout the country working to help community cats. If you are involved in any of these organizations, if you participate in TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return), or if you help care for a feral cat colony, THANK YOU for what you’re doing to help the cats. Happy National Feral Cat Day!