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Grumpy Old Ganz

The Feral Cat

The (Felis catus) known as a feral cat, stray cat, or barn cat is an un-owned domestic cat that lives outdoors, generally having little to no human contact. This is not to say at one point this cat was not someone’s pet and was well socialized, but it may have run off or gotten lost on its own and retreated from socialization.

Living in rural areas this can be a problem since there is no way of regulating and managing them. They tend to have several litters a year. One report I read considered them to be “one of the worst invasive species on Earth”, but I would disagree with this to a point.

I grew up on a farm and worked for farmers. Cats seemed to be a valued asset, helping the farmers keep rodent issues somewhat under control. When it came time to pour a bit of milk or food into the kitty dish you went from seeing four of the usual cats to 10-20 cats you didn’t know even existed.

Looking at other general facts about feral cats…the females can have a range of 2.5 acres to almost 740 acres while the males can have two to three times that and they are more transient.

Years ago I rid myself of all social media for many reasons…this is just one example...posts like “someone dropped off a cat on our front doorstep half-starved”. That’s an assumption and gives responsible pet owners a bad name when their pet goes missing by no fault of their own.

Some people also believe they “saved” this animal that maybe ran off or got lost. Which is fine...but you should spay the animal, get it vaccinated, and the like. If you let the animal reproduce without the proper care and just let them run wild, then you are adding to the feral cat problem.

The next time someone posts on social media about finding a stray animal on their doorstep, maybe this will make them more aware and they won’t just assume someone dropped it off. One option to consider is to try and educate themselves on the situation because it could be someone’s pet that couldn’t find its way home.


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