Feral Cat Myths

"I think feral cats should be trapped and removed." 

Trapping  and removing cats from an area causes the "vacuum effect."  As cats are  removed, more cats move in for the food and shelter and quickly breed  to repopulate the area.  

"I  think feral cats are diseased and live short, miserable lives.  Euthanizing (killing) is the only way to ease their suffering." 

This is UNTRUE! Feral cats do very well in a managed,   spay and neutered colony. 

"Don't feral cats carry rabies?"

According  to the Illinois Department of Public Health there have been no positive  cases of rabies in cats since 1996. In 1996, one case was reported.   The Rabies vaccination is included in   the TNR package.  

"I will take the feral cats to a local animal shelter or to a no-kill animal shelter to be adopted." 

Feral  cats are unsocialized, wild and cannot be adopted out as someone's pet.  If taken to a shelter, even a no-kill shelter, these cats may be killed  because they are unadoptable.

"I will call animal control or the local police department to have them trapped and removed." 

Animal Control may kill the cats or take   to them to a shelter where they may be   killed. Unfortunately, domesticated cats   can be mistaken for feral cats and may   be euthanized. There is a very small   window with kittens where they can be   socialized and adoptable. If kittens are   past this window (over 8 weeks) and appear feral, they may be killed. 

"I will trap them and   drop them off at a farm."

Trapping  cats and dumping them on someone else's private property is  unacceptable. Cats are very territorial and have close knit ties to  their other colony cats. They don't do well if removed from their  outdoor home (area). Additionally, when cats are removed from one area,  other cats move in for the food and shelter. They breed prolifically to  fill the void and will begin to repopulate the area.

"Feral cats are eating the birds and other wildlife." 

According  to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the greatest threat to birds is  the depletion of their habitat due to human development. Cats are  predatory animals and help keep the the mouse and rat population down!    Keeping TNR'd feral cats on a good   feeding schedule will reduce this urge   to kill birds.