Feral Cat Day – 16 October 2016
TEARS Feral Cat Project hit international headlines this year with the discovery of one of the world’s rarest kittens – a Lykoi – under a bush in Cape Town’s Company Garden. Without the fantastic work carried out by TEARS Feral Cat Project staff and volunteers in more than 26 areas of the Western Cape, this special bundle of mutated genes that produced a true original, would most likely never have been discovered. It’s also likely that the little guy – Eyona – would have lived a short and uncomfortable life, falling prey to hunger, disease or injury.
You can read more about TEARS Feral Cat Project here.
Why Feral Cat Day?
Alley Cat Allies in the USA, launched National Feral Cat Day on their tenth anniversary in 2001 in order to raise awareness about feral (also called community) cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and empower and mobilize the millions of compassionate people who care for them.
The theme for National Feral Cat Day 2016 is ‘All Cats All Communities’. More people respond to the call to action and celebrate National Feral Cat Day every year. Since 2011, more than 2,773 National Feral Cat Day events and activities have taken place—spreading the word and helping cats all over the world. This year even more people will be reached through National Feral Cat Day.
All Cats All Communities
This year’s National Feral Cat Day theme, ‘All Cats All Communities’, celebrates all cats—pet, stray, feral, and every cat in between. The idea is to bring feral cats into our consciousness, who so often exist out of sight or on the periphery of life, glimpsed maybe watching us from a distance or taking shelter under a bit of something on a cold, rainy day.
The theme promotes the idea that feral cats are part of our communities and we should care about their welfare as much as we care about our cats who are warm, dry and well fed at home.
You can find easy ways to help your community’s feral cats on Feral Cat Day and beyond.
Feral Cat Facts
- Cats have lived alongside humans for more than 10,000 years. They are part of the natural landscape. Feral cats, also called community or outdoor cats, are the same species as pet cats, live in groups called colonies, and can thrive in every landscape. They are just as healthy as pet cats, but they are not socialised to humans and are therefore in most cases, unadoptable, particularly as adults.
- Trap-Neuter-Return is the only humane and effective approach to caring for community cats and stabilising the cat population. There are still far too few TNR programmes in South Africa to cope with growing number of feral cats.
- In many cities, cats are still caught and brought to animal shelters and pounds, where most are killed. In fact, the shelter system is the number one documented cause of death for cats in the United States. About 70% of cats who enter shelters are killed there, and that number rises to virtually 100% for feral cats. That’s why it’s so important for people like you to find an easy way this Feral Cat Day to help the lifesaving work our TEARS Feral Cat Project does across the Western Cape. Working together, we can create compassionate communities for cats whether stray, pet or feral.