Strays, Ferals, Orphan Kittens
Strays may or may not be feral. Strays who are basically domesticated, having been lost by their owners or who just are people friendly may be found at Rescues listed in our section on ALLBREED RESCUES.
Feral cats are untamed, unowned and roam free, and are often referred to as alley cats or strays. Most have developed a natural fear of humans similar to wild animals. Unsterilized ferals tend to band together in groups, or "colonies".
Eradication efforts tend to prove ineffective and expensive in the long run. The presence of feral cats in a place dictates an ecological niche for approximately that number of cats. The permanent removal of significant number of cats from a niche will create a vacuum that will then be filled through migration from outside or through reproduction within the colony. This influx of a similar number of feral cats, that are usually sexually intact, leads to more cats within the colony. Thus, mass removal of cats from an established colony increases the population turnover, but does not decrease the number of cats in the colony.
The most commonly preferred method put forth by animal control organizations for control of cats has traditionally been to capture and euthanize feral/unowned cats. Others, who refer to this means of control as the "trap and kill" method, consider it inhumane and objectionable for a number of reasons.
"But what has this to do with those stray cats in my back yard?", you say. Here is what is has to do with those strays and your community:
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