It is tempting to feed feral cats because they are cute and look like domestic cats, but these animals are not domesticated. They have been born in the wild and may carry diseases and, in some cases, rabies. The feeding of feral cats and other types of wildlife also disrupts their natural feeding habits and can result in wildlife being concentrated at artificial feeding areas like your yard.
The Township of Livingston is hoping to restart its Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. Under TNR, Livingston’s Animal Control will be able to humanely trap feral cats, scan them for a microchip, and transport those without a chip to a local veterinarian. There, they can examined, vaccinated, and neutered/spayed before being returned to their respective colonies within 24 hours.
A TNR program helps to prevent feral cat overpopulation in the community (which protects other native animal populations), treats cats humanely, keeps them from being killed in a shelter, improves public health by vaccinating feral cats for rabies, and can help to save taxpayer dollars.
Leave Them Alone
Be a Good Neighbor: Many residents wish to avoid having feral cats in their yard or in adjacent yards or areas. Feral cats can cause great distress for nearby dogs and other domesticated animals.The feral cats can be disruptive to local wildlife, killing significant numbers of small birds and mammals in the area.
Diseases: Feral cats may carry diseases that can be dangerous to humans or other animals, such as rabies. Trying to feed or trap them can result in injury or illness to human or animal.
Anxiety: Despite anecdotal stories of individuals claiming to have "tamed" feral cats, the cats themselves tend to remain skittish and experience extreme long-term anxiety.
Feeding: Feeding feral cats disrupts their natural feeding habits and can result in wildlife being concentrated at artificial feeding areas. This can lead to increasing numbers of cats becoming dependent on human feeding, then breeding, increased populations, and potentially fighting and the spread of disease.
Do not ever bring or allow feral cats inside your home. They are naturally afraid of humans and this will cause them to experience undue anxiety and stress. The ASPCA recommends adopting some of the many cats and kittens in shelters, rather than trying to tame feral cats.