Cats are cute creatures until they are left to their own devices and turned into strays by unloving or un-careful owners. This is when these cute and fluffy little creatures turn into nasty, aggressive ones and cause a whole mass of problems!
Cats become strays when their owners "give" up on them. This means that they no longer care for them properly, abandon them, refuse to feed them, abuse them to the point at which they must escape and many more bad scenarios. Unfortunately, you might be a cat lover, but there are so many people out there that take on this massive commitment, only to realize how much cost and care is involved in keeping a pet cat, and rather than doing the right thing by having the fluffy friend re-homed, choose to dump them on the street where they must fend for themselves.
One of the most common problems caused by stray cats is disease. You will normally fund that a bunch of strays will often get together, almost as if they have created a small colony, (you remember the famous Disney film – "The Aristocats") and this is where the disease tends to be spread. You will find that most owners do not get around to vaccinating their beloved kitties, so once one of them contracts a disease, they spread it to the rest of their colony, and then this is spread around the community pets, either by cats fighting, mating or worse. Rabies, (possibly the worst disease because it can actually be spread to humans as well as animals) feline leukemia, and feline HIV are all common problems spread by stray cats.
As well as some of the more vicious diseases mentioned above, stray cats are also more likely to spread ticks and fleas to household cats, much in the same ways as mentioned above. These can be a real pain to get rid of, and can cause both your pet and your household a whole bunch of discomfort!
As well as disease, stray cats can also spread their offspring! It has been said that in one seven year period, a pair of stray cats can mate so many times that up to 400,000 or more babies can be created. Obviously, a great deal of this number will die in the wild, but imagine how much of a problem this can cause a single community, especially when you consider that stray cats also often mate with household cats, causing you to have an unexpected surprise in your airing cupboard one morning!
There are ways that you can help stray cats, but for the most part, you should probably avoid feeding them yourself. This can cause a stray to be territorial to your home and encourage breeding pairs to set up home, and in turn, more babies around your area. If you do want to lend a helping hand, call a shelter or vet, or even a wildlife control agency to help you and donate food to avoid the problems that can be faced with feeding strays.
Stray cats are not vicious, nor are they normally aggressive to people (with one exception at a hotel I was hired to work at). Because the people at the hotel were feeding the cats. Never feed stray cats - it causes several problems.
Stray cats will leaving droppings and urine in the areas they live, and will of course scratch and dig. Stray cats are a source of fatal and non-fatal diseases transmittable to humans and domestic cats, including rabies, ringworm, toxoplasmosis, cat scratch fever, allergies, feline leukemia, feline distemper and secondary bacterial infections.
The best way to help with America's stray cat problem is to never feed them, and to initiate trap, neuter, release programs. Always spay or neuter your pet cat!
Here is a complete list of my stray cat educational articles:
Trap Neuter Release Programs for Stray Cats
Stray Cat Trapping Techniques
Stray Cats in the Attic
Should You Feed Stray Cats?
Common problems caused by stray cats
How to catch a stray cat to bring it to the shelter
How many stray cats are in the United States?
What should you do if you find a litter of stray kittens?
How to Adopt a Stray Cat
What to do About Stray Cat Fighting and Spraying
How To Get Rid of Stray Cats