Estimates on the number of feral cats in the United States vary widely, but have one thing in common—at least eight digits. Most educated guesses fall in the range of 50 to 100 million. Feral cats are domesticated animals returning to a wild state, yet they are not fully wild and are therefore not suited to a life without human support. Yes, cats are excellent hunters, and some few may succeed in providing for themselves in an ideal environment. But nature did not intend for carnivores to live in such dense concentrations, nor did she design them to breed so prolifically.
Strategies for how best to deal with feral cat populations differ depending on a variety of factors, including availability of dedicated feeders, skilled humane trappers, spay/neuter funds, resources for food and vet care, health of the cats themselves, impact on human community and local wildlife, attitude of human community towards their presence, and more.
We are very aware of the immense suffering abandoned and wild-born domestic cats endure. Feral cat dilemmas are complex situations, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. When we are called regarding feral cats, our approach is to determine what will be the most humane way we can assist the animals.
We have found that the most effective way to apply our funds is to support the spay and neuter of animals with committed caregivers. It is not morally or financially sound to alter animals and release them to fend for themselves without someone committed to their lifetime care and a habitat where they are welcome. If you need help altering a small number of feral cats in a safe location, and are willing to commit to caring for them throughout their lives, we will assist you. If you are concerned about a large feral population, or feral cats living in a hostile environment, our hotline volunteers can guide you through the available options.