Animal Update: Community Cats

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – KCBS’ Jeff Bell talks to Dr. Jack Aldridge, Director of Veterinary Services at the San Francisco SPCA, about October 16, National Feral Cat Day.

Nationally, there are an estimated 60 million free-roaming, feral cats. At the San Francisco SPCA, feral cats are referred to as “community cats.” Community cats, as the name implies, can be found in every neighborhood – in parks, abandoned buildings, alleys, and yards. These cats are primarily the offspring of stray and abandoned domestic cats whose owners had failed to have them spayed or neutered.

Feral Cat Day is a special day for those who advocate controlling and reducing the number of community cats through humane, non-lethal methods.

Locally, many neighborhoods have put programs in place to control the numbers of community cats. The SF SPCA follows a method called Trap-Neuter-Return, or TNR. Caregivers who feed the cats trap them and bring them to SF SPCA clinics, where the cats are spayed or neutered and vaccinated, at no cost. After recovery, the cats are returned to their neighborhood.

Since they no longer reproduce, the number of cats is stabilized and gradually decreases.

Last year, the SF SPCA TNR program altered close to 1,300 community cats.

Animal Update airs on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM on Sundays at 1:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m., and 9:21 p.m.

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