Posted October 16, 2016
I know that “feral” basically means wild. It usually hints at going wild after being in captivity, or going wild after being domesticated.
So I was all ready to cringe at the day being about cats-gone-wild, about alley cats that nobody loves or cares for, possibly even about the need to call the humane society if you spot an unknown cat in your yard.
Basically, I was kinda sorta afraid that the day was about the need to kill feral cats before there is a population explosion of the wild beasties. Almost all feral cats that are taken to animal shelters are killed – and shelter deaths are the Number 1 cause of death for U.S. cats.
But animal shelters and death is not what National Feral Cat Day is about at all! Instead, the Alley Cat Allies hold the special day in order to spread the word about their Trap-Neuter-Return project!
The Alley Cat Allies want you to know that feral cats live just about everywhere in groups called colonies. They are the same species as pet cats and, the Allies claim, they are just as healthy as pet cats. BUT they are not adoptable, because they are not socialized to living safely with humans.
However, a population explosion of feral cats isn't good for anyone – not good for people or the cats themselves. That's why they developed the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) system. Loads of local governments have passed official policies endorsing TNR, and National Feral Cat Day is an important step to raising consciousness about the TNR option and enlisting more city and local governments to adopting this option.
This year the theme of the day is “All Cats All Communities.” Apparently there are quite a few different events scattered across the U.S.
Check out the Poster Cats of the 2016 National Feral Cat Day poster.
By the way, other names for feral cats, in addition to alley cats, include community cats and outdoor cats.
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