Helping Feral Cats

Did you know that there are as many as 70 million feral cats in the United States? Sadly, many of these kitties lead a very tough life. While some were born feral, others were once pets who were lost or abandoned, and became feral after learning to fend for themselves. In honor of Feral Cat Day, which is coming up tomorrow, October 16th, a Pickerington, OH vet discusses feral kitties below.

Feral Vs. Domestic

There is actually no physical difference between feral, stray, and domestic cats. Domestic cats are house pets, and are typically well-socialized. Strays are kitties that have been around people before, and, though they are homeless, can be quite friendly and trusting. Feral cats were either born wild or have become wild. That said, there is one interesting behavioral difference between the three: only domestic kitties walk with their tails up.

Adopting A Feral Cat

While some feral cats are simply too wild to make suitable indoor pets, sometimes they can be tamed, especially when they find someone kindly offering them food and shelter. It very much depends on the cat’s individual personality and history. That said, even friendly feral cats do not always adapt well to using litterboxes, which can of course be a serious problem. If you want to adopt a feral cat, ask your vet for advice.

Barn Cats

While feral kitties may not always make good pets, they can make absolutely wonderful barn cats. After all, our feline friends are excellent hunters! If you have a farm or barn, consider adopting a feral cat. Fluffy will need food, shelter, and basic veterinary care, but she may be more than willing to earn her keep by catching rodents.

Other Ways To Help

If you don’t have a barn, you can still help homeless kitties. One of the best things you can do is to make sure that your own cats are spayed or neutered. One pair of kitties can have 11, 606, 077 descendants in just 9 years! Another thing you can do is support local TNR programs. Even just spreading the word about feral kitties can help. When it comes to helping our animal companions, every little bit counts!

Do you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care? Please feel free to contact us anytime! As your Pickerington, OH pet hospital, we’re dedicated to providing excellent care.


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