than a catnap?
A cat fact!
You Wouldn't Bring a Wild Squirrel Into Your Home…
Rightttt? And believe us, we know: they're small, they're fuzzy and they do look like a good time. But bringing a cute little squirrel indoors is frightening for them no matter how inviting and "squirrel-proof" your home is. Community cats, also known as feral cats, are the same way. When you bring a community cat into a home, you’re doing more harm than good — for the cat and your home. Not only will your home likely look like a war zone from the cat's countless attempts to escape, the cat will become increasingly more anxious to the point of becoming a danger to him/herself. That’s why it's vital we respect nature and let community cats live outside where they can comfortably thrive as resourceful, independent animals who live long, healthy lives. Pet cats are socialized to be with humans and thrive in our homes. Community cats thrive outside – for most it is the only home they have ever known. Same species, but very different needs.
Community Cats Aren't Abandoned
It might be your first instinct to scoop up a little cat walking down the sidewalk as you think, "Poor little guy! We need to find you a home!" But actually, that's where you're mistaken. The outdoors has been home to cats for thousands of years. Some cats are socialized to humans, and some aren't. Many cats you see outside were born outside and are most comfortable there. Of course, there are exceptions. Some people abandon their cats outside. There is a noticeable distinction between a cat who is thriving outside and a socialized cat who is in distress outside. Socialized cats who were once pets, and young kittens, can be re-homed, while unsocialized cats will only be happy in their outdoor home. The more people who realize community cats thrive outdoors, the fewer unadoptable cats will be brought to shelters and killed.
Local Laws Don't Always Help
Local animals control laws often don't consider that the only safe home for a community cat is the outdoors. In fact, many ordinances go as far as fining those generous caregivers who know all too well that community cats aren’t socialized to humans and would be considered unadoptable in a shelter. Together, we can change local laws that punish kind-hearted cat lovers who help community cats.
No Owner, No Rights
While it's against the law to intentionally kill cats in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, in some states that protection only covers cats with owners or guardians. That makes just being a stray or community cat a crime punishable by death in those states. All animals have the same capacity for stress, fear, and pain and deserve to be protected from human cruelty. Alley Cat Allies is working to extend anti-cruelty laws to all cats in every state.
Outdated Animal Control
In many areas, catching and killing outdoor cats is still the primary scheme used to try to eliminate populations. This approach is over a hundred years old and as ineffective as it is cruel. Outdoor cats make their homes near food sources and shelters. Once a colony is removed, another will likely take its place soon after - this is known as the vacuum effect. With your help, we can continue to fight for ways that really work in managing cats.
Policies With Compassion
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the gold standard of cat population control. It's the only humane and effective method proven to stabilize and reduce cat populations. Under TNR, cats living outside are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, eartipped, and then returned to their outdoor home.
So far, over 650 municipalities have implemented TNR ordinances and policies. Over the past fifteen years, the number has increased tenfold, and that number continues to increase. It's thanks to the advocacy of people like you that communities are embracing the humane, effective approach to community cats. Want your community to embrace compassionate cat management too? We’d love your help!