Stray And Feral Cats

Ferals are undomesticated (untamed) cats that are the result of unspayed and unneutered pet cats or previous generations of ferals. Without human socialization, cats regress to their wild instinct. Becoming fearful of people, they form strong social bonds with one another and often form colonies in places where they can find food and shelter ... behind restaurants, hotels, at campgrounds, in barns, auto salvage yards, neighborhoods, or at county dumpsites.

Two feral cats.
Two feral cats.
There are as many a 60 million stray and feral cats in the United States, with perhaps tens of thousands in central Virginia.
HOW CAN 1 + 1 = 420,000 ???

One pair of cats and their offspring can potentially produce 420,000 cats over a seven-year period, according to the Humane Society of the United States. How is this possible? Easy, considering that cats can get pregnant as early as four months of age, unsterilized females have an average of three litters each year, and each litter generally consists of four to six kittens! Spaying and neutering can prevent this crisis of numbers.


TNR is a non-lethal option for controlling the number of homeless cats. It involves humanely trapping the cats, sterilizing them, and then returning them to their colonies where they are looked after and fed by caretakers. TNR is a successful short- and long-term solution in that it reduces birth rates and improves the overall health of the colony. On a small scale, TNR can help control the caretaker's costs of feeding the colony. It can also help reduce community complaints associated with feral overpopulation.

A feral cat.
A feral cat.
On a large scale, TNR results in fewer cats admitted to animal control agencies for euthanasia, thus saving taxpayers money. TNR is a positive and life-affirming option for controlling overpopulation.
Pictures of feral colonies/cats.

Page last updated February 27, 2009