Feral Cat Information

What is a Community/Feral Cat?

A domestic feline that has been abandoned, lost or neglected and forced to survive on its own is called a "stray." The offspring of these stray cats, raised without human contact, develop a natural fear of people and become "wild." The wild offspring of domestic animals are called feral.

What is a Feral Cat Colony?

Feral cats are members of the domestic cat species just like pet cats. They typically live in groups called colonies and have strong social bonds with their colony members. Feral cats make their home where they can find food and shelter, often in close proximity to people. Because feral cats are not socialized or adoptable, they do not belong in animal shelters. Instead, they should be spayed/neutered, vaccinated and returned to their outdoor home.

Why Do We Have Community/Feral Cats?

Human indifference is the root cause. This is most often attributed to uneducated pet guardians who do not spay or neuter their pets, allowing them to roam and breed freely. This, combined with those who abandon or neglect their pets, adds to the feral cat population.

Can the Community/Feral Cat Population Be Controlled Humanely?

YES! TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return) is a humane method of control that first began in England in the late 1970s. Studies have proven that TNVR is the single most effective method of stabilizing and maintaining feral cat colonies, with the least cost to government and residents. Pasco offers a low-cost TNVR option to all county residents!

The Vacuum Effect

Permanent removal of existing colonies — the traditional approach used by animal control agencies to manage the feral cat population —did not work. Instead, it created a vacuum. Once the established cats were removed, other cats moved in, taking advantage of the newly available resources and creating a new colony.  Check out this article from Alley Cat Allies for more information on The Vacuum Effect as related to community/feral cats.

Information on what community/feral cats are from Alley Cat Allies

Be Part of the Solution

  • Don't abandon your pets and report those who do to Animal Services.
  • Educate others on the benefits of spaying and neutering.
  • Participate in TNVR efforts in your area.
  • Spay and neuter your pets.

Solutions for Living with Community / Feral Cats

  1. Getting Into Trash
  2. Climbing on Vehicles
  3. Digging in Your Garden
  4. Yard / Porch
  • Ask your neighbors if they are feeding the cats. If they are, suggest they feed them on a regular schedule.
  • Make sure your trash can has a tight-fitting lid.
  • Start a colony feeding station. Feed the cats at set times, during daylight hours, in an out-of-the-way place. Feed reasonable quantities (what can be eaten within 30 minutes).
  1. Sleeping in Shed / Porch
  2. Fighting / Spraying / Reproducing
  • Block or seal the location with chicken wire or lattice. Check that the cats are NOT inside!
  • Provide a shelter, like an old doghouse, to encourage the cats to stay in one location

Humane Deterrents for Community Cats

Looking for information regarding humane deterrents for community/feral cats?  Check out this article from Best Friends Animal Society