And homeless near a thousand homes I stood
And near a thousand tables pined , and wanted food.
Stray and feral cats need your help . Many of the strays you see wandering around most likely belonged to someone at one time. People move leaving them behind. Or people decide they no longer want the responsibility so they toss them out or drop them off in a different neighborhood.
Either way this cat is now homeless and winter is coming. Some strays can be caught and relocated to a new home via a rescue group. But many of the strays are feral.
A feral cat is the wild offspring of domestic cats and are primarily the result of people failing to spay or neuter their cat or abandonment of their cats. These cats survive as best they can - near restaurants, shopping centers, parks, dumps, or in rural areas. Feral cats often live in loose groups, or colonies, and usually go out of their way to avoid human contact.
A pair of breeding cats can have several litters per year, and their descendents can theoretically produce about 250,000 kittens over a five year period.
Without human intervention, many of these cats have short, painful lives and often die from disease, malnutrition, exposure, by car accidents, or predation. Feral cats are almost impossible to socialize unless captured as small kittens. Like other wild animals, they should not be handled without following instructions from feral cat rescue groups or shelters.
There are programs at most cat rescues and local pounds to help the feral population with reduced priced spay / neuter programs. The programs are usually offered because the cat population is so huge, its impossible to find homes for them all. A lot of cats that end up in shelters are put to sleep. So they offer this catch and release program for strays and feral cats. If the cat or cats in your area are wild and not just strays most shelters will provide a trapping cage to collect the animals. Then you just drop them off one day and pick them up the next, setting them loose again in the area you found them.
Other things you can do are build cat shelter for them for the winter. There are many good sites out there that will give you ideas if you are interested. The boxes I have created are from this site.:
The shelters are made out of storage bins. They are very easy to make and an efficient design.
Leave some food and water out in the area they are in.
If you find a litter of kittens, try to bring in the mother and babies to a cat rescue, as they try to find homes for them.
Most of all, if you have a cat, spay / neuter them.
If you are thinking about getting a cat, remember it’s a commitment of care, feeding and love you will need to supply besides vet costs for shots, check ups and other possible care.
A cat can give you many years of love and are a priceless investment.
Hailey’s Dragonfly Garden of Botanicals