The problem with stray cats

1 cat + 1 cat = 6 cats, twice a year!

A lot of people have a pet cat but choose not to interfere with the cat's procreative life. Since only one out of ten cats has a good life, we should seriously think about the enormous oversupply of kittens who can never all be rehomed. As a consequence lots of young animals are abandoned to fend for themselves, and (if they survive) they'll have to live the rest of their life as strays. Sometimes adult cats too are subjected to this kind of abandonment.  This problem doesn't go away without action, and worsens over time.

Without our action, this is what happens:

* ever growing populations of feral cats

* inconvenience to the neighborhood, with people getting irritated towards the cats

* outbreaks of diseases that can affect pet cats as well

 Since 1999 Gaia is campaigning to improve the life of feral cats. They have contacted different towns and cities to convince them to invest in a well planned out and professional project to neuter/spay their feral cat populations. This is an ideal way to solve this problem humanely and in a sustainable way.

Taking these unwanted cats to animal shelters is not a solution, since they cannot go from being feral to being a true domestic animal in a family, and are therefore unlikely to be adopted. In a lot of shelters they are doomed to be euthanized, and another feral population will soon take the place of the one that's been
removed.

We're happy to ascertain that an increasing number of towns have worked out a system to subsidize the neutering/spaying of stray cats.

Our own town of Brecht, where we started neutering cats since 2005, is a fine example of a successful feral cat campaign. At the start we managed to spay about 80 animals per month! In 2006 we averaged 21 animals monthly, and another year on, we had been able to reduce this to 9 spayings each month. We're happy to report that only a few kittens have been born in the wild here since 2011 because of prompt action.

On the other hand, we remain unhappy with the fact that, where we used to deal with feral animals who were born in the wild, we're now dealing with stray socialized pets. Domestic cats are being ditched by irresponsible pet owners, resulting in scared and withdrawn behaviour. Sometimes these animals get by for
a while until exhaustion and weakness take over: cats like these are not used to providing for their own food, which soon impacts their health. In some cases strays get fed by a person who means well, but in most cases strays keep on roaming until their untimely death.

It's a fallacy to state that cats are independent creatures who can fend for themselves. This is no more than an excuse to justify an act of cruelty!