A feral cat is usually born and raised outside with little or no human contact. Adult feral cats usually cannot be socialized and are most content living outside. A stray cat is a cat who has been abandoned or has strayed from home and become lost. Stray cats can usually be re-socialized and adopted. Feral cats should not be taken to animal shelters to be adopted.
If you find a feral cat, make a commitment to help. That cat needs you! The most important step is to humanely trap the cat and take her to a veterinarian for spay or neuter surgery and vaccinations. Return the feral cat to her outside home and continue to feed and care for her. This is called Trap-Neuter-Return and you can learn how to do it at alleycat.org.
As soon as feral cats are neutered, they become good neighbors. The howling at night will stop. The females will not endure pregnancies or have several litters of kittens a year. The male cats won’t fight over mates and they will all be healthier and happier.
At alleycat.org, you can learn how to build an inexpensive shelter, find tips on how to protect the cats, and get advice on how to educate your neighbors. You can also access a list of Feral Friends— individuals in your area that can give you experienced advice.
Compliments of Becky Robinson, President Alley Cats Allies