Thursday, October 15, 2009

National Feral Cat Day - October 16th

October 16th is National Feral Cat Day, a day to provide awareness and education of feral cats and feral cat colonies. This day is recognized annually to remind people that Trap-Neuter-Return and other humane programs for feral cats are in the best interest of the cats and the community. Feral cats are like domestic cats, but they cannot usually be adopted into homes. These cats live outdoors in family groups called colonies. Ensuring these cats are spayed/neutered is the best way to end the breeding cycle and stop behaviors associated with mating.

National Feral Cat Day began in 2001 by Alley Cat Allies (, the national advocate in the United States for feral cats and stray cats. They are a recognized authority on trap-neuter-return – a program in which cats who live outdoors are humanely trapped and brought to a veterinarian to be examined, spayed or neutered and vaccinated. Friendly cats and kittens are put up for adoption. This program is effective because it stops cats who evade capture from breeding and starting the cycle all over again.

We often see cats roaming the streets, ducking behind buildings, or sunning in backyards, and many people feed these feral strays. But who are these cats and how did they end up this way? Feral cat colonies often begin with an abandonment of a cat, a poor soul being dumped to fend for itself. Feral cats exist in every community. These cats are not socialized to humans and are most often fearful of any human contact whatsoever.

The Forget Me Not Cat Sanctuary has taken in many feral cats to live out their lives, who would end up being euthanized at other animal shelters or organizations. In some cases, over time and with great patience, these cats can become more acceptable of humans and many of the Forget Me Not ferals have tamed a lot in our care.

So next time you see a cat wandering the street, who runs away when you try to approach it, remember that these feral cats need our help too. Talk to your local animal welfare organizations or veterinary offices to see if there is a trap-neuter-return program in your area.

With purrs and meows,

From the Feral Cats of the Forget Me Not Cat Sanctuary
(Pictured here from top to bottom are: Mama, Libby, Whitey and Maizie - some of the feral cats now residing at Forget Me Not)


  1. It is sad that there are abandoned cats that lead to this problem. The ferals pictured here are beautiful and we are glad they have found such a wonderful home.

    The Wilsons

  2. Thanks, Lorelei, for writing about this issue, and thanks as well to Forget Me Not for helping so many feral kitties. Leonor

  3. helping feral cats make good common sense. Fixed kitties don't reproduce and increase the feral cat population. I am so very happy to say that this should be encouraged everywhere...trap-neuter-return...
    from Tigger and Mister's mom, back from California in rainy BC

  4. This is such an important issue, thank you for addressing it here. Your feral kitties are beautiful!

    Sam & Sadie