October 16th is National Feral Cat Day! This is a day dedicated to raising awareness about feral cats, promoting TNR (trap, neuter, release), and recognizing those who care for them. The HSVC is committed to reducing the overpopulation of feral and stray cats in our community. Thank you to all the feral cat trappers in Ventura County who help us accomplish our goal!
Feral cats are classified as independent cats who live outdoors and are unable to be handled by humans. They are often referred to as “wild” cats due to their unfriendly nature. Most cats become socialized early on through human interaction such as being held, spoken to, and played with. Since feral cats live in the wild, they are not socialized and therefore develop a natural aversion to humans.
Most feral cats live in colonies or cat communities and have a hard time adjusting to life indoors. Within each feral cat colony, unaltered males and females will mate to produce feral kittens. According to Nationaltoday.com, an unaltered feral female on average produces 1.4 litters each year, with an average of 3.5 kittens in each litter. That adds up to 420,000 kittens over seven years! This perpetual cycle of overpopulation will continue unless each feral cat is trapped and spayed/neutered.
The HSVC accepts feral cats for TNR surgery free of charge thanks to the support of the Herman Bennet Foundation. Appointments are available Tuesday-Thursday at our Spay & Neuter Clinic. Surgery and treatment of each feral cat includes sterilization, FVRCP vaccination, rabies vaccination, flea treatment, and ear tipping. Ear tipping is the painless process of removing the tip of a cat’s ear to show it has been altered and does not need to be trapped again. We also offer a loaner trap program for people interested in trapping feral cats on their property or in their community. For a small deposit, the shelter will loan you a humane cat trap and our staff will teach you how to use it. Please call the shelter at 805-646-6505 for more information.
To learn more about the HSVC’s feral cat program, please visit our website. If you are interested in getting involved with trapping feral cats in your community, please visit the Community Cat Coalition or the Stray Cat Alliance. Together we can help reduce pet overpopulation and help animals in need find their forever homes!