Celebrating National Feral Cat Day – for Humans and Cats

I know, I know - I always look so solemn when I have important things to say!Feral cats are a lot like us house cats. In fact, physically, they are exactly like we are. They have the same body parts, inside and outside, and they like doing a lot of the same things (scratching on stuff, stalking prey and finding nice places to nap). We all even like eating the same things — basically anything we can catch and kill or cat food, whatever is available at any given moment. But when it comes to what goes on inside our heads, housecats and feral cats could not be more different.

Feral cats fear and avoid humans, and it’s not because they dislike being kissed. They are wild and consider humans a threat. Unlike friendly stray cats, who are loners in search of a home, feral cats often live in colonies and will fight any attempt to be tamed. The life of a feral cat is a vicious circle of danger, illness, and repeated breeding — unless humans step in and help.

Yes, even though feral cats are not human-friendly, humans can still be of service to them — and to the community — by controlling feral cat colonies. Through a Trap-Neuter-Return program, feral cat populations can be kept from expanding. When feral cats are neutered and looked after, they cause less of a nuisance — they fight and vocalize less, are less likely to spread disease to other local cats (cats are given vaccinations when neutered), and the colony decreases in number over time because the cats are not reproducing. It has been proven time and again that TNR is not only the most humane way to control feral cats — it is the most effective.

If you are a human, there are many things you can do for feral cats in your neighborhood. You can find out about all of the suggestions below — and more — at the Alley Cat Allies website.

  • Learn how to care for neighborhood ferals, if there are some near your home or work. 
  • Educate others on the wisdom of a Trap-Neuter-Release program. 
  • Find out what is going on in your community regarding feral cats. Some town officials and residents do not understand that TNR is more effective than trapping and killing. Fight against laws that prohibit TNR and colony care. 
  • Donate to a group that helps feral cats, whether it’s a large organization like Alley Cat Allies, or a local group that needs food or shelter for their feral colony. 
  • Show your support by taking the Alley Cat Ally photo pledge. (I did!)

If you are a cat, here are five ways you can celebrate National Feral Cat Day:

  • Hide under the bed all day. Refuse to come out no matter what. 
  • Cringe and hiss whenever your humans try to pet you. Swipe at them if they persist. 
  • Only eat what you can hunt and kill all day. 
  • If you can’t find anything to hunt, then knock over the trashcan in the kitchen and dig through it to see if there’s anything to eat. 
  • Be glad you don’t have to do any of the above the other 364 days out of the year.
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Having problems with your human or the other cats in your house? As the internet’s “Dear Abby With Claws,” Sparkle had answers to many annoying problems in her two award-winning books! Visit her author’s page on Amazon to buy one or both of her awesome Dear Sparkle books!

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  1. says

    We boys were saved from the life of a feral cat — Nicki found at 8 to 10 weeks of age and Derry and his siblings found younger, at 4 to 5 weeks. If not for being rescued, our lives certainly would be harsh and brief.

    There is a small group of people in our city trying to establish a low-cost spay/neuter clinic that ultimately will fund TNR of the feral cats in various colonies here. It’s a slow, uphill battle, though, and of course none of the city vets will support a low-cost clinic. (They have a couple of vets in a rural area not too far from here who WILL do the spaying/neutering, as far as our mom knows.) So we’ll see what happens.

    Our mom has zero tolerance for people who don’t alter their pets and let them roam and breed, thus contributing to the problem. In fact, she’d like to neuter THEM and prevent them from passing on their “stupid” and “ignorant” genes. She’s not joking, either.

  2. says

    Sparkle, that was such a wonderful post and all of us feral kitties are taking all your advice as to how to celebrate Alley cat Allies national feral cat day. Those are purrfect suggestions.
    Also, we got our book mark and book plate yesterday. They are just great and we love having your paw print. Thanks so much for doing that. Take care and have a great day.

  3. says

    Wow, that’s great information. We never realized the distinction between feral and stray before. We support Allycat Allies with donations, it was one of the first charities we chose. We’re going to pop over and do the photo pledge but Momma says we can’t knock over the trash can because we would be grounded. . . . .

  4. Snowball and Cheetoes says

    WOW!! We used to be feral. Both of us. And you know what is creepy yesterday you posted this we did not get on the computer and we did what you sayed to do to selibrate for cats and Our humans read the 1st book of Warriors and after what we did now she thinks we formed “KittypetClan”(Kittypets who are tame when humans are whatching us and feral when not and have a speashal homing devise so we can talk to other kittypet-clan mates and the ones who are alowed outside check,defined,and mark teritory.) Happy Feral day! =^..^= (,,,) (,,,) =^..^=

  5. says

    I’m planing to dig through the garbage can today. That sounds tasty as we are low on fishy flakes…

    Gemini hides under the bed all day EVERY day (or in the closet) she comes out and is a friendly cat when she is hungry–and she was feral as a baby. I think we got her young enough that she was as tamable as she was.

  6. says

    Don’t have too many feral friends around here, but we like to help all we can when we hear of kitties living on the streets. It’s very hard and we make sure there’s plenty of love to go around!

  7. says

    The publicist used to feed lots of feral cats in NJ. She would try and tame the kittens and find them homes. She would trap the mommy cats and get them fixed.

    She loves cats.

  8. says

    This is a wonderful post about feral kitties Sparkle! Our mommy supports programs who do TNR and she says bad HBO words when she sees our neighbor cats walking around obviously unneutered. If only everyone was responsible we could help homeless and feral kitties everywhere!

    Our mommy was all wrapped with the tax extension deadline at work and didn’t mention that we got our bookmark and book plate. Thank you for sending those! We appreciate it very much!

  9. Christina says

    Thanks for sharing this post! It’s very important to get the word out. All 4 of my babies I rescued from my feral colony…my 3 little ones, Raven, Isis, and Osiris, when they were dumped there at less than 2 months of age >:( and Shadow. Shadow actually got me started caring for feral cats. She was more of a “hard-stray” though. I cared for her at my colony for over 4 years before I was able to bring her in. After LOTS of time and effort she now loves getting face and belly rubs, playing with toys, and sleeping in warm comfy places. 😀

    I hope many people see your post and can learn more about feral cats. Holly’s Place Animal Rescue’s website also has a section with really good info on feral cats, including trapping tips for those doing TNR…

  10. says

    By the way, Sparkle … we were just over at Forty Paws’ blog, and saw that the one that came before you was found “on the streets of San Pedro.” Is that as in San Pedro, California? If so, that is pretty cool. San Pedro is my hometown (my parents still live there). :)

  11. says

    Greetings Sparkle,

    An important day and I wish it was Feral Cats Day everyday.
    It was not until we launched a feline blog that we learned about Alley Cat Allies and the TNR program. As far as we know there is no official programme here for feral cats. Will have to see how to spread the word locally.

    Wishing you a great Sunday,
    Miss Kitty and Egmont

  12. says

    Oh, what a great post, Sparkle! I wish everyone understood how well TNR works! Regarding our Hydrology class, was my post too bossy? I was nervous and when I get nervous, I may be too short and direct. I didn’t mean to make school sound like lots of rules. The part about catnip… that was meant to be funny. I’m not sure I’m ready to TA the class, but Victor wants me to and Mom says I’ll be just fine, but part of me still wants to burrow under a blanket until I’m sure it’s safe. Purrs and nervous licks,

  13. says

    yey yey yey Sparkle!! Congrats for the nom-nom-nomination again this year!! haha! I will definitely vote for you!! You is da best, thats Goma saying!


  1. […] Best Blog Post. I looked through my past year’s blog posts and this one really stood out: Celebrating National Feral Cat Day — for Humans and Cats. This is personally one of my favorite posts I’ve written and it’s about a cause I am […]

  2. […] I got Best Cat Blog 2010. And as many of you already know, I won this year for Best Blog Post for my post about Feral Cat Day! I am so excited that I won, especially because this means that Animal Advocates and Forever Home […]

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