Feral Cats and How to Act
What is a Feral cat? A feral cat is unowned and therefore has reverted to a wild state of living. These type of cats are usually distinguished by their social behaviors such as avoidance or aggression when dealing with people.
Nationally each year thousands of feral cats are brought to local animal shelters and due to their fear, aggression, and risk the of disease spread to domesticated animals and/or staff, are unfortunately humanely euthanized. Humane Society of Central Arizona (HSCAZ) is unable to care for these type of cats due to the same risk that applies to many other shelters nationwide. We understand that this is a difficult situation but we are here to help our community with education and assistance in finding help. Here are some helpful ideas to deal with a feral cat problem:
- Never feed a feral cat - Feral cats and other wild animals will reproduce to what resources are available. Feral cats, like wild animals, are adapted to finding food on their own through hunting and scavenging. Secure trash bins and other containers that may contain edible products that could attract animals.
- Repellents - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered the following chemicals individually and in combination for repelling cats: anise oil, methyl nonyl ketone, thymol, and BMAS. Products such as Cat Mace, Keep Off, and Aristopet deterrent contain these chemicals and have proven to be some-what effective at repelling cats and safe for the environment.
- Trap Neuter Vaccinate Release (TNVR) Program - Depending on the severity of the situation and where you live, local animal control may be able to help with a TNVR program. If feral cats have become a nuisance in your community, you can contact Gila County Animal Control if you live outside The Town of Payson, or The Town of Payson Animal Control if you live in The Town of Payson to investigate. Based upon the investigation, information will be given on what to do. If a TNVR program is offered, traps can be purchased at local pet stores or rented out through HSCAZ. If you have the financial capability to alter a feral cat and want to help your community, prior to trapping, be sure to contact your local veterinarian to inquire if they are able to alter feral cats. Feral cats that have their left ear “tipped” have already been altered and don’t need to be trapped.