In honor of National Feral Cat Day on October 16, we would like to provide some tips for caring for feral cats. Your kind offerings of food, water, shelter, and more will help to care for them year-round through any season!
- Provide a homemade shelter – Before you build a shelter, make sure there’s a good space for it that’s away from busy and noisy paths. Homemade cat shelters are easy and cheap to construct! You can make a simple shelter using a plastic storage bin or styrofoam cooler, dry straw, and lumber or bricks to lift the shelter up off of moisture.
- Provide food and water – Wet canned cat food is best for digestion, but dry food is very affordable and will be just as welcomed. Decide on a good spot for a feeding station that is secluded but near your shelter. Make a regular daily feeding schedule and remove the bowls after 30 to 45 minutes. Also, provide fresh water daily and throughout all weather types. Keep bowls sanitary by cleaning frequently.
- Foster kittens of feral cats – Kittens of feral cats have the chance to be socialized and adopted by loving families. Foster pet parents to such kittens are always needed to help provide care until they can be fully tested, spayed or neutered, and placed up for adoption. Check with local animal rescue organizations, shelters, and animal control departments for more information on feral kitten fostering.
- Talk to your neighbors – Let your neighbors know if you choose to build a homemade shelter and feed feral cats. Some people may be okay with having the cats around, but if a neighbor expresses that they do not want feral cats near their property, be courteous and place shelters and food away from them.
- Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) – TNR is a humane method that improves the lives of feral cats by trapping them in cages so they can be taken to be spayed or neutered then returned to the exact location where they were trapped. This will help prevent feral cat overpopulation in your area. Learn more about TNR here.
It is advised that you do not bring feral cats inside of your house. These cats are not socialized and may become aggressive if you approach and attempt to touch them. You are already helping to significantly improve the lives of neighborhood feral cats by providing an outdoor shelter, food, and water.