What is a Feral Cat?
A feral cat is either a cat who has lived his whole life with little or no human contact and is not socialized, or a stray cat who was lost or abandoned and has lived away from human contact long enough to become wild. Feral cats avoid human contact and cannot be touched by strangers. For more information about feral cats, visit Alley Cat Allies, national feral cat experts.
How Do You Produce 80 Million Cats?
It’s simple. Just allow two cats and their surviving offspring to breed for 10 years. In that time, you’ll have produced 80,399,780 cats (this assumes two litters per year and 2.8 surviving kittens per litter). Humans simply do not produce at these outrageous rates. Nor does every human born want a kitten. And since every cat needs a human (that’s what domestic means), this adds up to a great deal of unwanted kittens and cats in our community. Please help up end this tragic over-population problem by spaying or neutering your cats.
Managing Feral Cats in our Community
Feral cats live in groups called colonies and live near food sources. These colonies can be managed through a nonlethal method called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), in which cats are humanely (and painlessly) trapped, spayed or neutered, and returned to their colony site where volunteer caretakers provide them with food, water and shelter for the duration of their lives. TNR is the only method that have been proven to be effective in managing colonies of feral cats and reducing their population.
TNR is the only chance feral cats have of living safe, healthy lives without reproducing. But, TNR is a hands-on project requiring commitment from one or more volunteer caretakers.
Resources for Feral Cat Management in Hillsborough County
Project SpayDay is a donation-based monthly clinic that rotates to various veterinary offices throughout the county. Cats are sterilized, vaccinated and discharged to the caretaker the same day. The clinics are run entirely by a team of volunteer veterinarians, veterinary technicians and lay persons. Traps are rented prior to SpayDay at various trap depots. For more information, or to make a reservation for an upcoming SpayDay, please visit spayday.
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay has a feral cat sterilization program. Caretakers can borrow traps and bring ferals in for surgery on designated days. For more information, call the HSTB's spay/neuter clinic: 813-870-3304.
Feline Folks is focused on feline care and management, and humanely reducing the free-roaming cat population. They provide free public and private educational programs. In addition, they loan humane cat traps from four trap depots (Riverview, Sun City Center, Ruskin, Apollo Beach) Additional information on all these services can be found at felinefolks.org or by emailing Info@FelineFolks.org.
If you are helping a feral cat community, please take the time to join the Tampa Feral Cat Database. It's confidential and you'll be eligible for free and low-cost product giveaways as donations become available (e.g., cat food). By joining the Database, you'll supply HSTB with valuable information on the impact of TNR and help us gain more resources for you and the cats. You'll also make it much easier for us to find you if one of your ear-tipped felines ever winds up in a local shelter.
NEW* SPOT Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic, 4403-62nd Ave, Pinellas Park, call 727-329-8657
Feral and Stray Cats Yahoo! Group
Yahoo! Group for people who are involved in helping feral and stray cats, or maybe have taken one or more in as a pet. This will include, but is not limited to, experiences with feral cats as pets, care of feral cat colonies, and ways of controlling and helping feral cats.
Orphan Kittens Yahoo! Group
Yahoo! Group on Orphan Kittens. This is an effort to bring together those who rescue kittens to share information and experiences. This is not a forum for selling or placing kittens.
Directory: Yahoo Groups devoted to feral cats
Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT) Low Cost Spay Neuter Clinic
Hillsborough County Animal Services
Humane Society of United States (HSUS)
Humane Society of Pasco County, Inc.
Friends of Strays Animal Shelter
Pinellas County Animal Service
Humane Society of the United States
Tampa Cat Rescue
St. Francis Society Animal Rescue
Animal Poison Control Center
1-888-426-4435 (fee may apply)