Why You Should Care About Feral Cats — and How You Can Help Them

Michaels always uses these situations as an opportunity to educate people about the importance of feeding at designated places, TNR and more. “I’m always pleasant and explain to neighbors that we’re dedicated to managing the colonies so we don’t have more cats. We don’t want more! People are relieved to hear that,” she explains.

Chrissy Potts, a caretaker who works with Best Friends Animal Society’s Community Cats program in Philadelphia, agrees that educating neighbors is important. She’s been caring for the cats in her neighborhood for years. “People know me,” she says. “They know that I’m taking care of the cats, so they don’t worry about them.”

During a recent TNR effort to capture a group of feral kittens, for example, her neighbors knew not to disturb the traps and to let Potts do her work.

Caretakers include people of all ages and professions — women and men, police officers and grandmothers, lawyers and public relations professionals, and more. Many of them care for colonies for years.

With ongoing TNR programs, caretakers and more education, community cats can remain safely in their colonies. But it takes caring, dedicated citizens working together. “If everyone does a part, we can help them,” Michaels says.

How Can You Help These Cats?

Whether you are interested in helping a colony, becoming a caretaker or simply would like to help others in their efforts, there are a variety of resources you can tap into. Your local animal shelter can tell you if there is a community cat initiative or TNR program in place in your neighborhood. And in some cities, you can find low-cost spay and neuter opportunities. Check out these animal welfare organizations’websites for more information:

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