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Opening Your Heart and Home to a Stray or Abandoned Cat

Monday, September 5, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

If you notice a feral cat in your yard and would like to open your home to him, there are several things that you should know.First, contact your local and state animal control officials to learn what local laws/ordinances may apply. For example, in some states if you feed a feral cat, you own it. In addition, many municipalities have outright banned the feeding of stray cats, punishable by fines or more. We have a neighborhood cat who comes to our porch every morning. She was spayed because of a kind person in our community who cares about stray or abandoned cats. After she had kittens in the spring, she was trapped, spayed and released. Now we are glad to have her pay us a visit every morning. We feed her, give her water and even pet her before she leaves only to return the same time the next day.

You should also know that a feral cat may never have the same personality as a house cat. They will however slowly begin to show signs that they are comfortable around you and appreciate the care that you are giving them. It is also important to note that caring for feral cats is quite controversial, even in areas which allow such care. Some people feel that all strays should be euthanized, to curb overpopulation, spread of disease, and impacts to native wildlife such as mice and birds. Other feel that these cats should be left alone. Still others feel that these cats  have to right to life and should be protected and cared for.

Many veterinary clinics offer reduced fees for people assisting feral colonies. In addition, many local humane organizations and shelters sponsor low cost spay/neuter clinics several times a year.

Remember, pets are family!

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