Feral Cats are cats that have not been socialized to humans; they are descendants of a domesticated cat. The term "feral" means, not domesticated or wild. Feral cats are fearful and avoid human contact and usually cannot be socialized. Feral kittens if captured at an early age can be socialized and adopted to a human home. Feral adult cats trapped and taken to a shelter are not adoptable animals and are usually euthanized.
Don't mistake a stray cat for a feral cat. A stray cat is a domesticated cat that is lost from home or has been abandoned by the owner. Stray cats are likely to approach humans where a feral cat is very cautious around people. Stray cats can usually be re-socialized and placed back into their home or adopted through a shelter.
Feral cats living outdoors without owners form colonies around a food source. The cats breed over and over again if the colony is not managed. An unaltered female with a lifespan of 2-8 years can become pregnant as early as four to five months old and produce 2 to 3 litters each year during her life span. Without spay/neuter programs for feral cats each female can produce up to 200 kittens during her lifetime.
A proven method of managing overpopulation of feral cats is the (TNR) Trap-Neuter-Return program. Feral cat colonies are humanly trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and then returned to the outdoor colony. Feral kittens that can be socialized are adopted and placed into human homes. The feral cats returned to the colonies are "ear tipped" to identify them as spayed or neutered. The Trap-Neuter-Return TNR programs provide services at a low cost to the public.
Any questions regarding feral cats can be directed to the Community Services Team at 303-235-2926.