Oct. 16 is National Feral Cat Day — a day to think about the outdoor cats in our neighborhoods.
Feral cats enjoy healthy lives outdoors in family groups called colonies. They're domestic cats, but not socialized to people and unsuitable as pets. Almost 100 percent of feral cats brought to pounds and shelters are killed.
There is a better model that allows shelters to save more cats. That's why cat lovers tomorrow are working with shelters nationwide to change their community's approach to feral cats.
The best way shelters can help is by not impounding and killing feral cats. Instead, we need support for the Trap-Neuter-Return program, which encourages shelters to humanely trap these cats, which are then neutered, vaccinated and returned to their colonies.
After 13 years of celebrating National Feral Cat Day — and the dedication of those who care for cats — there has been a sea change in how people view these cats in our communities. In the last decade, the number of local governments that officially support Trap-Neuter-Return has increased tenfold.
The writer is president & co-founder Alley Cat Allies.
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