Community Cats Coalition P.O. Box 1761 Berlin, MD 21811
Please remember that we are an all volunteer group. We receive calls every day from the public concerning cats. We will make every effort to respond to your call as soon as we are possibly able. Every call and every cat is of the utmost importance to us. Call 443- 909-8047 or send us an email.
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ABOUT FERAL CATS
What is a Feral Cat? – The official definition of feral is “living in a wild state after domestication”. We consider that feral simply denotes unsocial behavior toward people. Behaviors can be modified, and some feral cats become tame. Regardless of whether a cat loves people or fears them, any outdoor, unaltered cat reproduces and contributes to the homeless cat problem.
We choose “free-roaming” to best describe what most people call “feral cats”, because free-roaming includes lost, abandoned, loosely-owned and stray cats in addition to “feral”. People feed and care about all the cats.
How does spay/neuter change the lives of free-roaming cats?– Body condition is a reliable indicator of health, that is, a robust cat is a healthy cat. Scientifically conducted studies reveal that altererd free-roaming cats gain weight after altering. This makes sense considering the females no longer endure pregnancy and raise kittens. The risk of uterine infection and mammary infection disappears after spay surgery. Neutered male cats stop vying for breeding and fight less resulting in a healthier lifestyle.
Why do we care about cats that aren’t pets?- No one questions that people frequently enjoy relationships with wildlife, whether they are bird watching or crouching near tide pools to take in the amazing diversity of life. We care about other creatures in our world even when they can’t be snuggled and many people bond with free-roaming cats and find great satisfaction in helping them lead healthy lives.
Why do we spay/neuter cats that aren’t social with us? – All unaltered cats contribute to the pool of unadopted kittens and cats euthanized in shelters every day. If we magically altered every free-roaming cat today, more would be born tomorrow. Tame cats are the original source of all free-roaming cats. The cats haven’t chosen their owners nor their social skills. For our purposes, whether a cat is tame, feral-behaving, shy, friendly, semi-feral, stray or something else, just doesn’t matter. We offer spay/neuter to any of them, because it changes their lives forever.
Do Feral Cats Live short lives?– The lifespan of a feral cat is often stated as only 2-3 years. Not in our experience. Many caretakers know of free-roaming cats that reach 12-15 years of age. Long-term studies are underway to determine longevity. Preliminary data reveal that tom cats live the shortest, but neutering them increases their lifespan to that of a spayed female cat.
Aren’t Feral Cats vicious and mean? – From a feral-behaving cat’s point of view, they are the potential prey and people are predators. A healthy free-roaming cat will not stalk and attack a person. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Cats remain quiet and hide from view when unfamiliar people approach. When feral-behaving cats are caged at the clinic, they still try to hide. They don’t leap at people, growl, strike or hiss; they keep a low profile. However, if provoked or given a chance to escape, a free-roaming cat puts all its energy into defense. The cat understandably risks everything, biting and scratching to get away, as any animal would who is frightened. They are not vicious or mean, but will fight for their lives, if threatened.