Today is National Feral Cat Day, a day revered by cat rescuers across the country.
National Feral Cat Day was established by Alley Cay Allies in 2001 to raise awareness about feral cats, to promote Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), and to recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for feral cats.
The promotion has evolved into a month long event with rescue groups in communities across the country holding hundreds of events to draw attention to the cause and make a difference in the lives of outdoor cats and the communities they live in.
About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the national advocate for stray and feral cats. They are the foremost authority on TNR, a humane method of care that improves the lives of cats living outdoors.
In the 20 years they have been in existence, they have established and promoted standards of care and have brought humane treatment of cats into the national spotlight. These concepts are now embraced by major cities and animal protection organizations across America.
With TNR, outdoor cats are humanely trapped and brought to a veterinarian to be evaluated, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated.
Cats that have undergone the procedure are ear tipped for easy identification. In ear tipping, while the cat is under anesthesia a small portion of the left ear is painlessly removed.
TNR improves the lives of cats and stabilizes cat populations by ending the cycle of breeding. It also ends the stresses and behaviors associated with mating, such as yowling and fighting, making the cats better neighbors.
TNR is recognized throughout the United States and other countries as the humane and responsible way to care for feral cats.
What is a feral cat?
The fact is that there are no native feral cats. They are a species bred by people who do not spay and neuter their cats and kittens. Un-spayed and un-neutered cats and kittens are abandoned or lost and they meet up with other un-spayed and un-neutered cats and give birth to more kittens.
Thus “feral” cats are the “wild” offspring of domestic cats. Feral cat “colonies” can be found behind shopping areas or businesses, in alleys, parks, abandoned buildings, and rural areas. These cats are elusive and do not trust humans.
Studies have proven that TNR is the single most successful method of stabilizing and maintaining healthy feral cat colonies with the least possible cost to local governments and residents, while providing the best life for the animals themselves.
The voice of TNR in San Diego
The Feral Cat Coalition (FCC) of San Diego was established in 1992 by Sally Mackler and Rochelle Brinton, DVM. The FCC is an organization that traps and spays/neuters feral cats, then returns them to their caretakers at a rate of over 2,000 cats per year.
This service is provided to the community at no cost by licensed veterinarians and volunteers with one goal in mind: reducing the enormous number of homeless, unwanted cats.
Since their inception, San Diego Animal Control has seen a 50% decrease in the number of cats impounded and killed. Prior to the formation of the FCC, the number was increasing at a rate of 15% per year.
What you can do
One of the most important things you can do is to spay and neuter your own cats and kittens and tell your family and friends to do the same.
For your community, become a volunteer with FCC or with a local cat rescue group.
If you know of someone caring for stray, unowned cats, let them know about TNR and FCC.
Spread the word and encourage other cat lovers to become involved.
Visit the FCC website for other ways you can become involved and make a difference in the lives of homeless cats and kittens.