This Saturday, Oct. 16, is National Feral Cat Day. In Maricopa County alone, there are more than 350,000 feral cats and I can guarantee you that any place where a restaurant is located, feral cats exists. This "problem" cannot be solved with a trap and kill mentality. Not only would they repopulate wherever there is a food source, much needed funds from humane societies would be wasted on trapping and euthanizing these cats.
Obviously, the ultimate solution would be to have all cats fixed and no owners abandon their animals. Unfortunately, this is impossible. These cats are as healthy and happy as they can be. They know no other alternative and I would not kill them simply because they are feral. Most of them know me and run up and meow, but only a few let me pet them. They are fixed, fed and watered. They have the best life they can.
Bottom line is they are not going away. This is a social responsibility and we must work towards a humane and feasible way to solve this. It has been proven in many cities throughout the world that trapping and killing does not work. Once the said cats have been removed, more move in. Cities all over have seen this happen time and time again. Yet, if they are fixed and taken care of they won't breed, spray, wander off, have cat fights and virtually will hide most of the time, so you barely know they are there.
Please celebrate National Feral Cat Day by supporting Trap, Neuter and Return.
Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle Andria has volunteered with Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) organizations for many years and is a caregiver for a large feral cat colony.