A sad fact of life is that many animals will never be able to live in a home.Feral cats, who have usually grown up with little or no human contact, are often completely unable to become pets as they are afraid of humans. This leads to these poor felines being killed, as they are treated as pests in many places.However, a new idea to keep the cats both happy and alive is being tested; giving them jobs!
Source: New York City Feral Cat Initiative
No-kill shelters and initiatives such as New York City's Feral Cats Initiative are adopting out feral cats to businesses and homes so that they can keep buildings, barns and warehouses rodent-free, alongside existing programs like Trap Neuter Release (TNR).TNR involves capturing stray cats, spaying or neutering them so that they can no longer have kittens, and then releasing them back into their territory to live out the rest of their lives without adding to the feral population.However, sometimes it is better to not return the cats to where they came from, which is where alternatives like this come in. It keeps the cats off the streets, while giving them somewhere to live - a far better option than euthanizing them, which is what many shelters and even countries do instead.
Source: Best Friends Animal Society L.A.
The programs are also being hailed as a solution to overcrowded shelters, which often don't have the space or the money to care for cats that can't find homes as pets.Sometimes the cats don't even need to catch anything to 'earn their keep'; when rodents realize that there is a predator nearby, by picking up their scent or seeing their feces, they stay away.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFJi-yQ73roSuccessful programs have been rolled out across many shelters and rescues, such as Humane Society rescue centers in Arizona and Minnesota, and the Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles.Although there is still a danger to local wildlife when feral cats are around, most people agree that working cats are a far better alternative to contributing to the roughly 860,000 cats that are put down in the United States every year.Hopefully more shelters, states and countries will start to put these amazing initiatives into practice, to save the lives of our furry friends!
H/t: USA Today
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