A feral cat is a “wild” cat that is not domesticated, they are like any other wild animal. These are cats whose past relatives were good old fashion strays but they had kittens who never came in direct contact with humans and now they are grown up and are unable to be touched or handled. Humans have created this cat problem and now we can help with the solution.
The SPCA of Winchester, Frederick and Clarke Counties supports and endorses Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) as the effective and humane method of controlling the feral and free-roaming cat population (community cats) in our area.
TNR is one of the only methods proven to be humane and effective at controlling free-roaming and feral cat population growth. Using this technique, all cats in a colony are humanely trapped, neutered, and then returned to their territory where caretakers provide them with regular food, water, shelter and veterinary care. TNR is working successfully in thousands of communities across the country.
If you or your neighbors are feeding cats living in your neighborhood, it is best that you get them fixed and return them. You may wonder why you shouldn’t just get rid of them in one way or another. Studies have shown that cats are in a location for a reason, usually a food source. If you humanely trap those that are “wild” and take them to a shelter, you must trap every single one and stop the food source. If you only trap a few, the cats that remain will instinctively breed at a much higher rate to maintain the natural balance.
Feral cats are usually euthanized in local shelters when they don’t have to be. They can live out their lives in the environment they have become accustomed to surviving and living in. The right and humane thing to do is to get them fixed and return them. If you remove them, then another group of cats will eventually show up to take over the food source that may still remain. Then we have the same problem all over again. By keeping those cats currently in their colony setting, they will keep other cats from intruding on their food and remain static in size until they die off of natural causes. Over time the colony will reduce in size and no longer exist.
Click here to learn from the experts and our partner, Alley Cat Allies.
Click here for FAQ about community cats.
The SPCA offers a low-cost spay/neuter option for feral and other community cats. For more information about transport to the Shenandoah Valley Spay and Neuter Clinic in Harrisonburg, Va., visit our Low-Cost Spay/Neuter information page.