Saturday, October 15, 2011

National Feral Cat Day - October 16

As many of you already know, all but two of us cats are rescued ferals from when Mom and Pop moved to North Carolina 13 years ago.  They got us all spayed and neutered and released most of us back outdoors where they had built a shelter for us.  When they moved to another county three years back, they moved all of us with them, keeping some us us older ones in the house and building a shelter to house the rest of us.  You can read that story here from last year's post here.

Two Spot and Only as kittens before we moved them indoors.
Fifty percent of feral kittens die withing their first year.

All those years ago there was very little information available about TNR or ferals for that matter.  When Mom called the local humane shelter for assistance they told her they would only put us down if she brought us in.  (In most shelters, 70% of the cats brought in never make it out alive.  This rate goes up to 100% for feral cats.) She found Alley Cat Allies online and they gave her all the tips and advice she needed to trap, neuter and release us, care for us and finally tame us.
Big Guy at the original food station at our old house.

National Feral Cat Day was launched on 10th anniversary of Alley Cat Allies in 2001 to raise awareness about feral cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them. Things are a lot different now, thank COD.  Every year, people in communities across the country hold hundreds of events on National Feral Cat Day to draw attention to the cause and make a difference in the lives of cats.

The screen porch of the new shelter at our house now.
Even if you are not caring for a colony of feral cats, there are a lot of things you can do to help them live out their lives with respect and care.  Here are some things:
* Get involved in getting bills passed in your state that will protect feral cats or stop the ones that are being passed that work against ferals.  Join Alley Cat Allies Feral Power network and stay on top of feral cat legistlation.
* Donate to Alley Cat Allies or a local group near you that assits ferals and their caretakers.  Humane Society of US puts out a great list of feral cat organizations but don't donate to HSUS - they use most of their donations for salaries and media.
* Donate your time or traps, food or shelters to a local group that cares for ferals.  See the link above for a list of feral groups.
* Get educated - learn about ferals, how to care for them and do TNR.  A great book is Neighborhood Cats TNR put out by a NYC feral group.  They also have lots of info on their website

* Educate others about feral cats.  Join Alley Cat Allies or your local feral cat group  - Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter.  Spread the word about what they are doing and how to help to all of your family and friends.

Feral kittens up for adoptions are Freiend2Ferals in Asheville NC.

* Adopt a feral kitten.  If they are caught while they are still kittens, feral cats can be tamed and will be a loving addition to your home.  (Mom has tamed all of us - some still are very skittish and others took to indoor life like flies to butter!)  They still may take extra work to get them used to being in a home but it is so worthwhile. A good resource for taming kittens is from Save a Cat web site.

Mamacita has been indoors six years and enjoys her life.

See, there are lots of way to help out us feral cats!  Just pick one and get to it.  We are cool critters who deserve love, respect and to live in dignity.


Deb said...

It's wonderful what you have done for these cats. My heart aches for all the feral cats in our area. Many are being fed but there is no TNR at this time. Our local shelter knows about them but they are so full all the time that they turn a blind eye. Hopefully, it will change soon. Deb

Karen Jo said...

That's a wonderful post. I hope that lots of people join in helping feral cats.

Angel Prancer Pie said...

What a pawsome post! We luf ferals! They make purrfect pets!

Sparkle said...

This is an awesome post! You guys have done so much to help your family of kitties - you really walk your talk. I will be having a commenthon on my blog to benefit one of the local feral and stray cat groups here.

Fuzzy Tales said...

You all are very blessed to have great humans--and we know you're a blessing to them too! And hurrah for Alley Cat Allies!

We were lucky, the shelter that found both of us is a no-kill one (not our city's shelter), so even though Nicki was a feral kitten, he was fostered until ready for adoption. Ditto for Derry and his siblings, though they were found younger and probably not feral.

We wonder if Canada participates in National Feral Cat Day...When the mom Googled, she could only find US sites.

Kjelle Bus aka Charlie Rascal said...

Lovely National Feral Cat Day post !
Sure there are many things you can do for feral cat´s !
Here in Sweden they have started some TNR-projects in bigger towns and that is GOOD !

Brian's Home Blog said...

That was such a great post! I purrsonally think it should be required reading for every human!!!

Old Kitty said...

Awww - me and Charlie hope all feral cats will be as lucky and as loved and cared for as you beautiful former ferals of Wildcat Woods! Take care

The Island Cats said...

Excellent post!! Thanks for sharing all this great info on how to help feral cats. You sure have done your part!!

Cat said...

Your efforts on behalf of feral cats are amazing!!!

meowmeowmans said...

GREAT post for National Feral Cat Day. You guys are such great spokescats for T-N-R. It really does work! :)

Hugs to you all!

Katnip Lounge said...

We are all formerly feral here at The Lounge. Humans need to get us spayed and neutered!
It warms our hearts to see that you have such a wonderful refuge for kitties...and all the WHITESTERS!!!

Marg said...

What a wonderful post that is. It is so great seeing so many people writing about the feral cats. Maybe people will start listening and figure out that they are really nice cats. Loved seeing the picture of your shelter. Also I didn't know there was a feral kitty place in Ashville. I will have to check that out. Hope all is well at your house. Take care.

SquirrelQueen said...

Great post.
All of my kitties are former ferals, it was concern for them that led me to volunteer to work with our local Cat Management Coalition. I trap and also work during the spay/neuter clinics.

TNR works but it takes volunteers to make it happen.

Angel Gracie=^o.o^= said...

So sad that many kitties don't get the chance to find that furever home. So nice that good folks out there will help to feed and shelter those wanting a home.
Oh, I just visited the Halloween contest and boy is your mom scary. If you need to get away from her once in a while please feel free to head over to my place.
I'll pass on the cake receipe thanks anyway.

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

What an awesome post. Thank you so much for spreading the word about such a worthy cause. xx



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