Benefits of Managed Feral Cat Colonies
COMMUNITY BENEFITS OF FERAL CATS AND MANAGED FERAL CAT COLONIES
Public opinions of Feral Cats vastly differ. There are many people who believe that Feral Cats are a public health concern: many even believe these animals are nuisances who have no value, and would be better off destroyed. On the other hand, there are those who believe that Feral Cats have just as much right to live as any other animal living in the wild. Whether you are a proponent or an opponent, lack of proper education is often to blame for our view of these beautiful creatures.
First and foremost, Feral Cats are a direct result of abandonment and lack of responsibility to sterilize. As opposed to addressing the issue of out of control Feral Cat populations, a quick solution such as trap-and-remove is often chosen. Trapping and removing populations of Feral Cats does not solve anything. It creates a “vacuum effect” which removes the current population and in turn, creates an open space into which other Feral Cats will move. Eradication of Feral Cat populations is inhumane and irresponsible. Secondly, in an age where acceptance of individual differences exists, it is far better to become educated than to be ignorant. Ignorance harbors hatred and stifles change. Change is brought forth only through education. We live in an ever-changing world of which Feral Catss are a living and breathing part.
Feral Cats did not choose their circumstances; they were born into them. The challenges these cats face are heightened because of those who choose to turn a “blind eye” to them. Though Feral Cats are not pet cats, they are no less valuable, just like those people who seem“different” to us. ALL living creatures deserve to have a voice and ALL deserve to live in a world where discrimination does not exist…even in the cat world. Therefore, here is a list of the benefits of Feral Cats and Managed Feral Cat Colonies:
Feral Cats control rodent populations without the use of harmful chemicals. Diseased mice and rats are eliminated and health risks are reduced. The presence of Feral Cats also discourages other rodents from moving into the territory.
CARING FOR FERAL CATS SAVES LIVES, TAX PAYER MONEY, AND RESOURCES
Most Feral Cats are unadoptable because of their frightened behavior and lack of socialization. Their fate is often euthanasia at shelters. Managed Feral Cat colonies allow the cats to live in their own territory as opposed to involving animal control. Tax Payer money used for intake, housing, handling, feeding, and euthanasia of Feral Cats can be used for adoptable animals.
PROTECTION FOR PET CATS
Feral Cats that are part of well-managed colonies are vaccinated against Feline Leukemia, Feline immunodeficiency Virus, and Rabies. Pet cats who encounter Feral Cats from managed colonies have little chance of contracting diseases. Caring about Feral Cats is actually an act of love for your pet cat.
PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERNS ARE ADDRESSED
Well-managed Feral Cat colonies are vaccinated, essentially creating a “safe zone” for the public by reducing the risk of contracting rabies and other diseases from wildlife.
COMMUNITIES ARE RELIEVED BECAUSE THERE IS NO MORE SUFFERING
Most people do not want to see starving, diseased, and suffering animals. Management of Feral Cat colonies produces healthy cats because a caregiver provides many of the same benefits that pet cats enjoy in the territory where the Feral Cats live. This includes food, water, shelter, vaccinations, medical care as needed, and sterilization. Cats that live in well-managed colonies often lead long, prosperous lives.
STERILIZED FERAL CATS IN WELL-MANAGED COLONIES BENEFIT NEIGHBORHOODS
Sterilized Feral Cats become good “neighbors” because they no longer have nuisance behaviors such as yowling, spraying, fighting and roaming. Complaints to animal control decrease because the cats are quieter and less noticeable. Feral Cat populations’ numbers stabilize and diminish over time. The practice of regular feeding of Feral Cats deters nuisance behaviors of rummaging through trash cans and dumpsters. Cats are healthier and public opinions change.
WILDLIFE PREDATION DECREASES
Feral Cats part of well-managed colonies are not starving and are sterilized. They are not in search of food or mates. Therefore, wildlife predation decreases.
CARING FOR FERAL CATS TEACHES COMPASSION
Feral Cats are the result of human carelessness, abandonment, irresponsibility, and failure to sterilize. They endure harsh circumstances just to survive, making them the “poor” and “needy” of the cat world. Managed Feral Cat colonies teach compassion, welfare, non-violence, and tolerance for others.
HEALTH RELATED BENEFITS FOR CAREGIVERS
Caretakers of Feral Cats experience less depression and greater joy, thus lowering blood pressure. Observing the bonds Feral Cat colony members share lowers stress levels. It also encourages us to mimic their actions with people. Loneliness decreases because there is a focus on caring for something less fortunate. Caring for Feral Cats gives a purpose and provides an outlet to those who would otherwise be isolated. An additional benefit of being charitable by helping Feral Cats is that it gives a sense of overall well-being.