The definition of a feral cat is a domestic cat living in a wild state, surviving outdoors on its own. They are fearful of humans and generally avoid interaction with them. Feral cats are also known as “community cats,” “wild cats,” and “neighborhood cats”. Community cats are not adoptable and shelters rarely will accept them. Most often they do not adapt well to life as a pet but are, in fact, happier outside in their own territory.
Only 2% of feral cats are altered (spayed or neutered), so their population accounts for a large portion of the current feral cat population. The offspring of stray cats and abandoned pet cats account for the remainder of ferals. It only takes one generation for friendly cats to produce feral offspring. It is not known exactly how many ferals now live in the US but estimates put the number in the tens of millions.
To help control the feral cat population, Rochester Hope for Pets supports Trap-Neuter-Vaccine-Return programs (often called TNVR). TNVR is a practice where feral cats are humanely trapped, evaluated, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and then returned to their original colonies. TNVR not only helps reduce and stabilize the cat population over time by ending the cycle of reproduction, it also decreases disease transmission between cats as well as reduces nuisance behaviors like howling and spraying.
If you’re interested in having a feral cat spayed/neutered, please contact Rochester Community Animal Clinic (585-288-0600) to schedule an appointment or find out more.
Thanks to the Ralph & Wilma Maibaum Foundation, we are able to reduce the cost of TNVR for Rochester area feral cat caregivers!