Originally Posted by hissy
Good lord are you always this inflexible? Is it because you have two young kittens at home that you can't touch so you assume that any feral cat or stray is not worth the time to try? I have had so many cats that have hid under the bed, in rafters, under the dining room table, run laps over my head on the ceilings, shredded wallpaper, sprayed my home, and I have never given up on any of them because they are feral or strays. Not to mention the countless people i have helped via emails and PM's with older ferals or kittens who now have wonderful and loving companions as cats in their lives.
Perhaps you should look at it that you are one of the many people out there who do not understand feral cat behavior and therefore you should be the one who needs to adopt homeless friendly cats from shelters instead of spreading your own version of feral cat handling on public forums.
Not quite. I have saved literally thousands of lives by focusing on spay/neuter first and foremost. Thousands of births have been prevented. Hundreds of friendly cats and young kittens have been placed in homes. All this because I looked at the problem and saw what the solution really was.
In this city, there are 5-10 feral cats in virtually every alley. The city shelter and the humane society that holds the animal control contract collectively kill approximately 10,000 cats every single year. And at this very moment, kittens are being born in unmentionable places all around this city. About half of these kittens will not survive their first three months of life.
I can't alter the laws of time and space, as much as I would love to have 36 hours in a day and 9 days in a week. So I'm stuck with doing what I can with what I have. And I would be utterly foolish to spend my time trying to socialize a handful of adult feral cats who were just fine where they were, when there are literally hundreds of cats dying right here in this city every day.
And I am not unique here. One must choose where one's time is spent. To choose to spend hours socializing adult ferals is necessarily to choose to ignore or delay helping the other feral cats who are living just a short distance from you. While you are attempting to acclimate a feral cat to indoor life, kittens are being born and tomcats are infecting each other with FIV through fighting and other toms are getting hit by cars as they wander off in search of mates. One neighbor decides he's sick of smelly tomcat urine and litters of kittens under his porch, so he puts out some antifreeze to take care of his problem. Another neighbor notices a dead cat and calls Animal Control, who promptly trap a few more cats who are then killed at the city shelter. One of the cats who was killed was a lactating mother, and her litter of kittens dies of exposure and starvation.
All of these deaths could have been prevented if the cats in this colony had been spayed and neutered. But until compassionate people recognize that this is the only
way to save feline lives, this cycle will repeat itself in colony after colony, year after year.
You can do whatever you want with your cats. I am not going to stop you, nor do I particularly care what you do in your spare time. But please don't think that a handful of cats a year is doing anything to solve the problem. The same time and energy could be used to save hundreds of animals and thereby make a real difference.
The other problem with trying to tame every feral is the concept that somehow there is something wrong with being feral. This is just simply not true. Their natures are not broken and in need of fixing. Their natures are what they are and they demand our respect. To respect the cats is to respect the bond they have with their home territory and the other cats there, to respect their inherent fear of humans and of confinement, to respect their wild nature. If we attempt to break the spirit of these magnificent wild creatures because it fits our definition of what is best for them, it is we who do not understand them and not the other way around.
So in short answer to your question, it is absolutely not worth my time to try to tame an individual adult feral who has an established home to go back to. But the reason has nothing to do with whether or not that cat is worth saving. He is, and so I will neuter him and vaccinate him and make sure he has an adequate food supply. The reason is that the feral cat crisis extends way beyond that one cat. Where he came from, there are a dozen more. In the adjacent alley are another 10. And so on, and so on, and so on. Every last one of those lives is equally worthy of my respect. And so I respect them. If they are wild, they are sterilized and returned. If they are friendly or very young, they are placed for adoption. And so the cycle continues, week after week, hundreds of cats per year. And so their lives are changed for the better.http://www.alleycat.org/pdf/TNRnotTNA.pdf