By Becky Robinson
We all see them: A beautiful black cat sitting on a fence. A furtive tabby darting down an alley. A ginger tom peeking from a bush.
More than 40% of Americans have fed a stray cat. But the compassion for outdoor cats can’t stop there.
Of the estimated 83 million stray and feral cats, only 2% are neutered. That’s a lot of cats and kittens not experiencing the benefits your own cats enjoy from spay/neuter.
Scientific studies have shown that neutering significantly improves feral cats’ lives: the population is immediately stabilized—no more kittens! And, their weight and coat condition improve, and the cats are more affectionate towards each other, which means less fighting and better health.
The protocol for feral cats is called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). TNR is the humane, effective approach where feral cats are humanely trapped in box traps, neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped. Socialized cats and kittens can be placed in adoptive homes, and feral cats—unsocialized to people—are returned to their outdoor colonies.
It has never been so easy to provide the cats you care about with the benefits of neutering—and the greatest need by far is for feral cats. Alley Cat Allies makes it easy to help stray and feral cats in your community today. Follow these do’s and don’ts:
Becky Robinson is president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies, the national experts on Trap-Neuter-Return. Their website is AlleyCat.org.