Join The Cat Revolution And Get Involved On National Feral Cat Day
Okay, when I first saw that October 16 marks “National Feral Cat Day” (NFCD) and read the slogan “The Evolution of the Cat Revolution,” I envisioned colonies of humans celebrating the wild felines and fighting ferociously for their right to roam free.
Nope, not at all – turns out I have an active imagination. In fact the inspiration for this day of rejoicing is actually the opposite. It’s intended to raise awareness of the need to spay and neuter our pets and promote the concept of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) of feral cats.
It seems this year marks the 15th anniversary of National Cat Feral Day and advocates worldwide have scheduled over 700 events to show their commitment to better animal control and sheltering practices.
Becky Robinson is president and founder of Maryland-based Alley Cat Allies, an advocacy organization that has promoted TNR in her area for the past 25 years and the driving force behind NCFD. “Our incredible success in promoting Trap-Neuter-Return for feral cats as a mainstream practice has saved countless lives, but there’s more to be done. We encourage cat advocates to continue with their own local evolution by taking the next step. It could be neutering a cat, speaking at a community meeting or spearheading a campaign for a local Trap-Neuter-Return ordinance. There’s always room to grow.”
And cat fanciers have certainly run wild with this idea as volunteers have organized more than 1,500 NFCD events since 2011 including spay/neuter clinics, educational sessions, official governmental proclamations, and fundraisers in support of local TNR programs.
Alley Cat Allies is the nation’s only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats and they feel that TNR is the only effective method of stabilizing cat colony populations. In the last decade, the number of local governments with official policies endorsing this practice has increased tenfold, with hundreds of cities and towns successfully carrying out TNR programs.
You may not realize that “community” cats are simply house cats that live outdoors, are un-owned and therefore not socialized. Through TNR programs, these felines are humanely trapped and brought to a veterinarian to be evaluated, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated. While under anesthesia, the cats are eartipped – a small portion of the left ear is painlessly removed for identification. Once they have recovered from surgery, they are then returned to their outdoor home.
Feeling inspired but not sure where to begin? Check out some of the past volunteer-driven events on nationalferalcatday.org and follow this year’s activities on social media with the hashtag.
Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and two felines who prefer to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife
More by Mary Simpson