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Today is National Feral Cat Day

Dan Joseph
By Dan Joseph | October 16, 2014 | 11:07 AM EDT

I’m a cat lover. 

Maybe, you are as well.

But, even if you’re not, you may have a nameless cat who you’ve seen wandering around your neighborhood, collarless and often hungry.

Well, today is National Feral Cat Day (Yes.  It’s a thing.)

The Humane Society estimates that there are nearly 50 Million feral felines currently living in the United States and on average a feral cat lives only about five years.

These little guys may be adorable, but their lives are always at risk, not just from natural predators, but from disease and from the realities that animal control deal with when it comes to overpopulation.

The Humane Society and the ASPCA has some valuable advice when it comes to helping feral cats and preventing cats from becoming homeless in the first place.

1. Spay and neuter your cats

I know it may seem cruel to end your cats ability to reproduce. The problem is that, if cats aren't fixed, they tend to reproduce A LOT.  And some people are real jerks.  They take the extra kittens and just let them out into the wild to fend for themselves.  NOT COOL! 

Make sure that you fix your cat as soon as it’s old enough.

2. Socialize Feral Kittens

Once a feral cat reaches adulthood, it’s probably too late to domesticate them.  But, as kittens they can still be taken in and live a full healthy life.

3. Trap, Neuter, Return

TNR involves humanely trapping a feral cat, having them spayed and neutered and returning them to the wild.  It takes a bit of work but it’s an effective way of stabilizing the feral cat population. Ask your local shelter about safe ways to trap and transport a feral cat.

4. Feral Cat Shelters

Some people— presumably with a ton of time on their hands—actually build shelters where feral cats can be fed and protected from the elements. Particularly during the cold winter months  Search online to see if there’s one near you.

People love cats and not just because the Internet might not exist without them. They are among the most intelligent animals on earth and are capable of providing human beings with years of love and companionship.

So when you come across one who doesn't have the benefit of a loving owner, remember that there are ways that you can improve that animal's standard of living that go beyond placing a dish of Fancy Feast in the alley that is just as likely to be eaten by a raccoon.

Because, let’s face it, no raccoon is capable of doing this:

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