Please Don't Feed Stray Cats!

Please don't feed stray cats! Yes, it's fun to do! Many people feel good doing it. They think they're helping the cats. They get a warm fuzzy feeling inside. BUT FEEDING STRAY CATS HURTS THEM. Absolutely. I've seen dozens of horrific cases of diseased and malnourished packs of stray cats as a result of people leaving out food for them. This is because feeding causes a bunch of cats to get together, and dependent on human feeding, and they breed like crazy, and then you've got a lot of cats in one small area, they fight, they spread disease between each other, and the population grows too large to feed, and heaven help them when the overwhelmed human stops feeding them, they all starve even worse. It seems like every person who gets involved in heavy stray cat feeding regrets it - at least, I see the worst of it all the time. I get dozens of phone calls and emails on the matter. Here is one such email:

I live in the country and I have been feeding several abandoned cats (6). There are also have (5) young cats 6-7 months old from these cats. This is the only home they have known. They took refuge in an unfinished part of my home during the winter. Shortly after Christmas my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor and our lives are now changed forever. His hospitalizations have taken priority, and he now requires constant supervision and care. I am also desperately trying to hold on to my job. I continued to feed the cats because I have not been able to do anything else, and I thought I was a good person. I have asked for help from rescues only to be told they are full. Spay/neuter/return is not an option. I cannot physically get these animals to these facilities with my personal life as it is, and there is no way to take care of them if they come back. They are destroying my home and I am going to have to shut them out of where they are living. They will not have shelter for the winter. If they continue to have kittens there will be 30 or 40 more cats by spring. I am desperate to find someone to help me. I cannot physically or financially continue like this. I have 7 spayed/neutered house cats of my own and cannot take on any more.

If I do not get some help soon I fear I will be a 6 o’clock news story. Is that what it takes to get help? You said on the news that all people have to do is ask for help. I have asked and begged for help but only get told everything is full and I am responsible to have them fixed and fed. These are not my animals, and I am sorry I have a heart. I do not know what to do and this added stress is not helping. Terry

What if a neighbor is feeding stray cats? Is feeding stray cats illegal? As far as I know, it's not illegal, but it sure is harmful. Maybe in some states or counties it is against the law. You'd have to call your local animal control services to find out, and they will probably have an answer. But if you can't get help from an authority, your best bet is to talk to the neighbor. I know that's hard to do, especially if the neighbor is a crazy cat person. But work on your social skills with hard-to-talk-to people, and you might be surprised at yourself. Your good deed for the day! If you can't talk to the bad neighbor, then you may want to do your own trap neuter release program on your property.

Stray Cat Info: Stray cats are defined as cats that are lost or have become separated from a home or owner. When people refer to stray cats, they usually mean feral cats. Feral cats are simply non-domesticated cats living in the wild. They were born in the wild, and have never had a home. Their behavior is completely different from domesticated cats. They are truly wild animals! There are 60 million cats living in American households, and an estimated 100 million feral cats! Cats are very self-sufficient (as most people are aware) and excellent hunters, and thus able to live in the wild just fine.

You can read another email about trap, neuter, release here.

Nothing in my industry of nuisance wildlife control incites more controversy than stray cat control. The problem is that cats, (Felis catus) exist in basically two forms. There's the domesticated housecat and beloved pet, and then there's the stray, or feral, cat which is often, for all intents and purposes, a nuisance wildlife species. I've observed many feral cats, living under dumpsters, in the woods, junkyards, and other unsa for more

Cats in the attic! Cats in the attic! All I keep hearing about is cats in the attic. Meowing and scratching! Prowling and mouse catching! Howling and rat snatching! Well, not howling so much. But yeah, cats in the attic. I remove all kinds of wild animals from attics: raccoons, squirrels, opossums, rats, bats, and even cats. Most of the time, the customer hears scratching and scampering and clawing in the attic. But sometimes for more


Hello David, I came across your website while I was on Yahoo searching for information on stray cat removal. My neighbor feeds all the stray cats in the neighborhood two to three times a day and it’s become a problem since they meander over into my yard as well as other neighbor’s yards. We have tried discussing this issue with her, but she refuses to stop feeding them. One of the many problems with Dade county is that they will not come out to trap the cats. We have to do it ourselves. Do you have any suggestions for me? Moving is not an option. Thank you, Rachel

sir or whom ever, please i hope you can help me,i use to about a couple of years ago, would leave food out for stray cats,but got reported so i had to stop. but there are still stray cats around here that are annoying, they pee on the porch knock over plants and uch,i do not want these animals hurt in anyway,i do keep moth balls in my yard and porch,but about two montha ago as i opened my fromy door,there was a dead bird head there,i asked a email friend about it who like cayts,she says it is a way of a gift or something like that,then the other day i opened the dorr in the yart was a ugh pile of bird feasthers neatly jus there,my friend says another gift,is this possible?i wondered oif any way you have heard of any thing like this,as i do feed the birds, you proablyget a lot odf weird letters but i am serious, i am not supitisoius,but wondered of she is done by stray cats,as there are kids around here,that you for any information, truly you can see i am in arizona.

Do you live trap cats? My complex has a million cats that the homeowner's association insists that nothing can be done about because they are feral. They look like house cats to me, but I can't get any of them to come near me, so I could be wrong. My backyard has become a home to the animals, turning it into a litter box of treats that are making my dogs sick. I find 4 sleeping under my palm tree each morning and have no clue what to do about these guys, but need them gone. Is this something that you specialize in? How do you go about ridding them and how much do you charge? Thank you for your time. Jessica

And it's not just cats. Don't feed the wildlife either

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