SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— You probably didn’t know October 16th is National Feral Cat Day, but it is and its purpose is to acknowledge the humane efforts to reduce the feral cat population.

Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, co-president with the San Francisco SPCA said while there won’t be any parades, it is a day for those who work towards controlling and reducing the numbers of feral cats through humane non-lethal methods such as trap, neuter and release.

To clarify, a feral cat is a cat that is born outside away from people and has never been socialized away from humans or can also be one that has strayed or been released by a person and has reverted to a feral or wild state.

“Cats that have never been socialized with humans generally, like any other wild animal can’t be tamed,” said Scarlett.

The estimated feral cat population in the U.S. is somewhere between 20 and 80 million cats.
The two-pronged strategy to get these numbers down includes getting owners to not abandon their cats and to get them spayed and neutered early.

The second is trap, neuter, release. It’s a non-lethal way to control reproduction in feral cats. Over time we can reduce feral cat populations through attrition rather than through euthanasia.