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Have you ever seen feral cats roaming near your home?

Feral cats are found all over America, and it’s important to learn what you can do to help these wild cats. National Feral Cat Day takes place each year on October 16th, providing the perfect opportunity to learn more about feral cats.

Keep reading as we discuss more about feral cats and how you can help cats in your local community.

What Are Feral Cats?

A feral cat is a non-domestic cat that lives outside, often in a colony of other cats. Feral cats are not socialized with humans; they survive through hunting small animals and seeking out scraps of food.

Feral cats are different from stray cats. Stray cats used to have a home, but then got lost or wandered away. Feral cats, however, were completely born and raised in the wild with no human contact. Whereas many stray cats will come to a human, feral cats may be scared of humans. 

Stray cats can sometimes become feral cats if they’re on their own in the wild for long enough. On the other hand, if a feral kitten is rescued and socialized, it can sometimes be adopted out to a family and live the rest of its life as a domestic cat. 

How to Help Feral Cats In Your Neighborhood 

You might not think there are any feral cats who live near you. But just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Trap, Neuter, Release 

If you do see feral cats in your neighborhood, there are measures you can take to help those cats live healthy and safe lives.

Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) is a popular program used with feral cats. In a TNR program, feral cats are humanely trapped and taken to a local veterinarian. The veterinarian spays or neuters each cat (and often vaccinates them as well). Then the cats are returned to their home. 

This program is effective because it doesn’t harm the cats — but it also doesn’t add to the problem. Feral cats can cause issues in a community ranging from giving parasites to humans to killing entire species of birds. So when feral cats aren’t able to reproduce, a community’s cat population will go down over time and these problems will naturally resolve.

Ask around your community (your local Humane Society is a good place to start) to see if there are any TNR programs near you. Once you find a TNR program, consider supportingor volunteering. 

Do Not Approach or Trap

If you see a feral cat, don’t approach it or try to catch it by yourself. Remember, feral cats are not socialized with humans, meaning they’ll probably be scared or aggressive. Notify a TNR program and let them professionally and humanely trap the cat.  

Use this information to take action when you see feral cats near your home. Both the cats and your local community will thank you for helping them coexist in harmony!

Keeping Your Cat Safe and Healthy

Keeping up with your cat’s well-being regularly will help keep your furry friend safe.

Spaying and neutering your own pet cats is essential so you don’t contribute to the problem. Also keeping up with your furry friends’ vaccinations and vet visits will allow you to be sure your pet is healthy year-round.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.