Have you heard the "mews?" Oct. 16 is National Feral Cat Day (NFCD), an annual "howliday" that not only raises awareness about the millions of homeless cats living on the street, but also encourages compassionate humane animal control and animal sheltering practices. Purrfect! National Feral Cat Day, launched in 2001, is dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of felines across the country.
While millions of lucky felines live long, healthy lives in their happy "furever" homes, many are not so lucky. Feral cats live their lives out on the streets and have had little, if any, human contact. Often considered a nuisance, far too many feral cats have been shot, poisoned or brutally killed. Feral cats have been trapped and taken to shelters - most never make it out alive.
Stray cats, domestic pets who have been lost or abandoned, have had some human contact at some point in their lives. Under the right circumstances and with a little TLC, many stray cats are adoptable and will make a "purrfect" pet for someone.
Alley Cat Allies, founded in 1990 by two amazing cat lovers, are devoted "advoc-cats" for feral and stray cats across the nation. The organization also introduced the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program, a humane method of spaying and neutering entire cat colonies in the United States. Because most feral cats are unadoptable, the feral is returned to its outdoor home after sterilization.
According to Alley Cat Allies Co-Founder, Becky Robinson, "the number of local governments that officially support Trap-Neuter-Return has increased tenfold.
And because feral cats are not just an issue in America,World Feral Cat Day is also celebrated this month. In honor of NFCD, why not encourage your local shelter or local government to adopt the humane TNR program or organize a spay/neuter program? And please consider opening your heart and home by adopting a cat in need - before it's too late.