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Helping Feral Cats in Your Neighborhood: Tips for Feeding, Sheltering, and TNR

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Feral cats live outdoors with little or no contact with human beings. As such, they’re not socialized and are often wary of people.

However, they’re part of our communities and play a critical role in controlling rodent populations.

Also, feral cats face many challenges, including finding food, shelter, and healthcare. They depend on community members for survival, mainly food, and shelter—and you can help!

This blog post looks into tips for feeding, sheltering, and taking care of the health of outdoor or community cats.

1) Feeding Feral Cats

One way to help outdoor cats in your community is to feed them. Since they depend on people, feeding feral cats is an excellent way to keep them healthy for survival.

However, it’s critical to feed them in a way that’s safe for them and for people in your neighborhood.

Here are some helpful tips for feeding feral cats:

  • Select a safe feeding location that’s not too close to busy streets or with a lot of foot traffic. Doing so helps keep the cats safe and reduces the likelihood of complaints from neighbors.
  • Use proper feeding shelters to keep the food clean and dry. Also, clean the feeding area frequently to prevent bacteria and contaminants buildup.
  • Feral cats are independent and do not need to be fed daily. Feeding them 2-3 times a week is sufficient to help them maintain their health.

2) Sheltering Feral Cats 

Another way to help feral cats is by providing shelter that keeps them safe from predators and other harmful elements. Some helpful tips for providing shelter and protection for feral cats include the following:

  • Provide an accessible, safe, and secure shelter. Ideally, a small space with a covered entrance should work. You can build the shelters or can make use of pre-made cat shelters. The benefit of using pre-made cat shelters is that they’re insulated with a Thermal-Ply insulation that helps keeps the cats warm in winter while providing them with a cool place to relax during summer. The pre-made cat houses are perfect for the neighborhood feral cats and only take about 20 minutes to assemble with easy-to-follow instructions.
  • Once you have the cat shelter, ensure to place it in a safe location free from wind, rain, and snow.
  • Regularly monitor the shelters for signs of damage or wear and tear. Repair or replace the cat shelter to ensure the cats are safe and protected.

3) Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)

TNR is a practical approach to managing feral cat populations. Like its name, it involves trapping the cats, spaying or neutering them, and returning them to their outdoor shelters.

TNR is beneficial as it improves the lives of feral cats, stops the breeding cycle, and reduces community complaints about them which is why so many cities are adopting it

Here are some helpful tips for implementing TNR:

  • You can start by contacting a local TNR program or animal rescue group for advice, training, and support. Usually, such community programs can provide traps and other necessary resources to help you trap, neuter, and return the cats successfully.
  • Ensure you have a plan for recovery and post-surgical care for the cat (s), including a safe and quiet place to recover. It’s also essential to monitor them for any signs of infections or issues with health.
  • Remember that TNR is a process that takes time and effort. However, controlling the feral cat population is humane over the long term.

Bottom Line

By implementing the tips above, you can join the movement to help feral cats in your neighborhood stay healthy and safe.

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