All major cities in the U.S. & Canada have feral cat colonies. But also smaller communities, basically anywhere people have settled in numbers, there is most likely a feral cat colony. These cats live hard & often short lives. They succumb to untreated wounds, disease or starvation. Yet, sadly their numbers grow exponentially due to unchecked breeding.
Something can be done.
A TNR (Trap – Neuter – Release, or Trap – Neuter -Return) program is the best way to reduce the population of these feral colonies. The concept is very simple – break the reproduction cycle. Cats are humanely trapped, often evaluated to ensure they are healthy enough to live a free-roaming lifestyle, vaccinated, spayed/neutered, ear tipped to identify them as being altered & released back to their colony. Often kittens are placed with rescue organizations for adoption into homes.
So what can you do? Find or start a TNR program in your area. Many Humane Societies & shelters offer training in TNR. Some feral colonies have “caretakers”, these are volunteers that feed and monitor the colony. Some have even built shelters for the cats to endure harsh winters.
But the best thing you can do is if you own a cat (it owns you – be honest), have it spayed or neutered. In short, be responsible.