Start practicing your alley cat strut and get your feline friends together, cause this October 16 we’re celebrating National Feral Cat Day — a day to celebrate cats of all stripes, no matter where they call home. Feral cats have been stigmatized the world over, but thanks to this holiday, we can change how we see these lovable nomads. Roughly half of the 146 million cats in the United States are feral or unowned. Considering 10,000 humans are born every day in America, but nearly 70,000 kittens and puppies are born every day, there will never be enough homes to take in the number of feral cats. However, many community-led organizations have cropped up to help control the feral cat population through a number of initiatives. This National Feral Cat Day, learn what you can do to shape a better future for these cats.
National Feral Cat Day - History
Alley Cat Allies forms to develop solutions to the world's feral cat problem
Feral cats are introduced to all corners of the world during imperial sailing missions by several countries
- 300 BC
Rise of the Roman (Cat) Empire
The Romans continue to spread cats around Europe through their conquests expanding the population even more
- 2,000 BC
The Rise of Cats
Cats, thought to have been domesticated in Egypt, begin spreading around the known world, forming feral populations known as colonies
National Feral Cat Day Activities
Take part in a TNR effort
Anyone can make a big difference by taking part in a Trap-Neuter-Return effort. This entails humanely trapping a feral cat in a boxtrap, taking it to a vet to be spayed or neutered, then letting it go in its wild home. This keeps the cat safe, but is also an investment in the future to ensure the feral cat population remains contained.
Adopt a cat
TNR is a great method for controlling pet populations, but if adoption is a possible method for you, this is also an instrumental way to make a difference in the lives of feral cats. On October 16, there will be several shelters hosting adopt-a-thons, so find one near you and bring home a new member of the family.
Volunteer with Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies, which formed in 1990, has done amazing work to spread awareness about this problem and develop solutions for it. The organization will host many events on National Feral Cat Day, and through the organization you can help hold spay/neuter clinics and food/supply drives, encourage official governmental proclamations regarding TNR policies, and more.
Why We Love National Feral Cat Day
It raises awareness of a serious problem
For many, feral cats are simply seen as a part of the community, and there’s not much we can do to improve their lives. However, what many don’t realize is that feral cats have an average of 1.4 litters each year, with an average of 3.5 kittens in each litter. That adds up to 420,000 kittens over seven years.
It introduces a novel idea
For many, the best way to control the feral cat population and prevent euthanization is a strategy called trap-neuter-return, or TNR. This method, as opposed to adoption, makes it easy for anyone to do their part to control the pet population.
It saves cats’ lives
Every year, nearly nine million dogs and cats are put down because the shelters can’t find a home for them. By lowering the number of strays that are put in shelters in the first place, we can drastically cut back the number of animals that must be euthanized.