In many neighborhoods throughout the nation, there is at least one feral cat colony coexisting with the people and other animals in the area. If you are an animal lover, you may find yourself looking for ways that you can help and care for the feral cat colony in your neighborhood. There are numerous steps that you can take to provide support and care to a feral cat colony. Learn some of those steps you can take, and then you can get started right away.
Feed Them a High-Protein Food
Feral cats generally live on the food that they can catch and kill on their own. However, many feral cats are extremely thin and unhealthy-looking because they cannot catch enough food on their own to support themselves. As such, one of the steps that you can take to help support a healthy feral cat colony is to feed them.
However, you will not want to feed them one of the cheaper cat food options that have a lot of fillers. These foods can actually upset their digestive systems as they have grown accustomed to a mainly protein-based diet living in the wild. Choose a food that is not necessarily grain-free but is high in protein content. That way, you are feeding the cats a diet that is similar to what they already eat and you will not disturb their digestive health.
Trap, Neuter, and Release the Cats
One of the biggest steps that you can take to care for a colony of feral cats is to help to prevent them from continuing to reproduce out of control. The larger the feral cat colony grows, the more difficult it will be to maintain the colony and for the cats to remain healthy. If you truly want to help the colony, you will work to trap, neuter, and release the cats in the colony.
Most feral cats are fairly skittish around humans. As such, you will need to set up humane traps for the cats in the feral colony. These traps will close once the cat crosses the entrance, leaving them in a basic cat kennel or cage. You can then easily transport each cat to a pet neuter specialist's office and have them spayed or neutered.
While this is what is best for the feral cat colony, it can be expensive. Because of this, you may want to consider talking to local rescue organizations, your neighbors, or even setting up a GoFundMe or other crowdsourcing site page to raise funds to accomplish the goal of neutering the entire colony.
Take Younger Kittens to a Shelter or Adopt Them Yourself
Older kittens and adult feral cats are generally already accustomed to being on their own in the wild. They will not necessarily adjust well to the life of an indoor or domesticated cat because they are wild animals. However, if you find and trap younger kittens (less than six months old), it is a good idea to not release them back into the colony. They are young enough that they can adjust easily to domesticated life.
You can choose to either keep and adopt those kittens or take them to an animal shelter to be put up for adoption. That way, they will have a safe and comfortable life going forward.
Now that you know some of the steps that you can take to help the feral cats in your neighborhood, you can start caring for your neighborhood feral cat colony as soon as possible.