It’s estimated that tens of millions of feral and stray cats freely roam in this country. Stray and feral cats can make up to 80% of local shelter cat intake. Most shelters are not equipped to handle this kind of intake and are unable to place them all in suitable homes.
A stray cat versus a feral cat:
A stray cat may be displaced from its home, one who was most likely socialized to people at some point during their life, these cats are generally tame. A feral cat has most likely been on its own since birth and has always lived outside with other feral cats. These cats often are not visible during the day as they prefer to remain hidden from sight and are scared of people.
TNR can effectively and permanently reduce the number of cats in a given area. This helps to lower cat intake and lowers shelter euthanasia rates. Typically, a feral cat cannot be placed in a home and the best place for them is where they have been living, once being trapped, fixed, vaccinated, and returned. Fixing outdoor and feral cats reduces fighting, noise, and spreading of diseases. Once returned, a fixed cat will guard its territory discouraging other cats from moving in. With a caretaker to provide regular food, water, and shelter from the elements these cats can live long and healthy lives.