Monday, September 04, 2006

Advocating for Feral, Stray, and Semi-Feral Cats

There is truly an overabundance of cats and kittens that live in our cities and towns. Survivors of the street, many individuals pass them by and assume that he or she can care for themselves if left to roam. The average life of a cat living outdoors is diminished by the fact that it faces predators of both human and animal form, weather conditions, traffic, and much more. While it seems overwhelming to deal with, it is critical that we take the time to contact local officials and address policies concerning stray and feral cats. While some TNR policies have been enacted in certain areas, it is often to financially consuming for local governments to continue. Whatever county you may live in, it is critical to at least take the time to make a phone call to your local representative and find out if any laws exist that protect cats. Many advocate for TNR, while others take a different route. Whatever your beliefs, it is important that we let officials know that we need to establish laws in order to protect these felines. Spaying and neutering is vital, along with providing animals with proper vaccinations. Did you know that not all cats living outdoors are truly feral? Many can be classified as semi-feral or stray, having had to adjust to living on the streets due to abandonment or being lost at some point. It is important to know that many of these cats can be socialized, if given the time and the opportunity to bond with humans. While it is not always the case, it would be wonderful to establish a program in which these cats were given the proper amount of time in which to be socialized. Many are judged quickly and too often are euthanized. Whatever your thoughts on this matter, please speak out to officials by calling or writing to their office. Sending letters to the editors of local newspapers is also imperative. Let's get more people involved in advocating for these cats so that programs can be established and maintained county and nationwide!