Frequently Asked Questions

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A feral cat is an untamed cat. Some may refer to the cat as wild. The cat was either abandoned and has reverted to a more wild state, or the cat was born outdoors to a feral or stray mother and has had little or no human contact. Feral cats are frightened of people and avoid contact whenever possible. Feral kittens can be tamed, but usually adult feral cats are not able to be socialized.

There are many reasons: TNR (Trap, neuter, release) is the compassionate approach/solution. TNR teaches compassion and responsible cat care. While TNR actually reduces the number of cats breeding, education about the importance of spaying and neutering reaches out to the entire community. Trapping and killing teaches young and old that it is okay to create unwanted offspring and then kill the surplus leaving no room for education or compassion for life.

Trapping and killing does not solve the problem. Trapping and killing has been practiced for many years (as the only option available) and it hasn't worked. For all the years this approach was practiced, the cat population continued to explode. New cats replace those cats removed. When cats are trapped and removed from an area, new cats move in to take advantage of the food source.

Thousands of kind people feed and care for feral and stray cats. Most will not allow the cats they feed to be trapped and killed, but welcome the opportunity to have the cats trapped, neutered and returned. If their only choice is to have the cats killed, they will opt to do nothing and the cats will breed adding to the overpopulation problem.

As municipal funding declines so does the cleaning and maintenance of streets. This results in increased rat populations which feral cats help reduce. Feral, stray and homeless cats assist humans by naturally reducing rats and mice without the use of cruel poisons which have other negative results.

A stray cat is a cat who has strayed from home--often in search of a mate--and become lost, or was abandoned. Stray cats may be friendly or may have become wary of people. Their offspring may be feral. Because they have had human contact, they are less frightened of people than feral cats and can usually be socialized and adopted into a home.

They are the terms used for sterilizing cats. Female cats are spayed by removing their reproductive organs. Male cats are neutered or castrated. Both surgeries require general anesthetic and are performed by a veterinarian.

Humane or live traps do not cause any pain to the animal being trapped. The traps are metal wire boxes with a trip plate inside. When a cat enters the trap and steps on the plate, the wire door close behind the cat, trapping him / her inside.

Cats congregating together are called a colony. They typically form around a food source, or begin as offspring of a feral female.

Kittens can have kittens. A cat can have kittens at as young as 4 months of age.

Kittens can be spayed or neutered as young as 8-10 weeks of age if they weigh more than 1 kg and are healthy.

The average length of pregnancy is just 60 days.

Yes. There are no greater risks than the risks of the pregnancy and delivery.

Pretty much anytime - cats can become pregnant while nursing kittens.

Some cats are friendlier than others, even when they are feral. It is not unusual for cats to become friendlier toward their caregiver after being spayed or neutered. Patience and understanding are the key traits the person taming a cat will need. It can take weeks to years to socialize a cat, and some cats may never become tame.

For feral cats, often the most compassionate choice is to allow the cat to live in her own territory where food and shelter are provided of course, the cat must be spayed or neutered. To gain the trust of a feral cat you are feeding, slow movement, a soft voice and a regular feeding schedule will start the process of gaining the cat's trust. Move at the cat's pace. Don't rush to try to touch the cat. If he wants to be petted, he will let you know when he is ready for this step or more. Never try to grab the cat, or you will risk injury and any earned trust.

There are several approaches to taming a cat or kitten, and they depend on the individual cat. There are degrees to which a cat may be feral. Factors involved in determining this include:

  • Kittens up to 6-7 weeks of age are most easily tamed / socialized. With each passing week, socialization becomes more difficult.

  • The degree to which a cat is feral grows with each succeeding generation. An abandoned housecat will be less feral than her offspring.

  • The more contact a cat has with humans, the less feral she will be. Cats living in secluded or remote areas are more feral than those living near areas with a high level of human activity.