There are many benefits of TNR programs, but there are also some risks involved with feeding a stray cat. In addition to spreading disease and disturbing wildlife, stray cats can also be destructive. If you feed one cat every day, the chances are good that it will eventually start a colony near your house, or even on a neighbor’s property. Therefore, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of feeding a stray cat.
Disadvantages of feeding a stray cat
Many people have heard of the benefits of feeding a stray cat. It can make you feel better and boost your motivation. Then again, it’s not the best idea to feed stray cats because you’ll only be feeding an unwanted critter and increasing the stray animal population. Instead, contact a local animal shelter and let them take care of the stray cat.
The life of a stray cat can be harsh. The average lifespan is significantly shorter than that of a domesticated cat. However, even a stray cat has the genes to fight off predators. Besides being a wonderful way to help out animals in need, feeding stray cats can also bring problems with your neighbors. You might encounter people who are upset about your act, scream at you, or even offend you.
While feeding a stray cat may provide your household with additional income, it has many disadvantages. While it can be entertaining to feed the stray, it increases the scavenger population in your area and may be illegal in some areas. Another disadvantage of feeding a stray cat is that you may be causing a starvation in your neighborhood. It’s also detrimental to your household pets and may cause diseases.
Despite its cute face, there are some serious health risks of feeding a stray cat. Unowned cats are more likely to contract infections and viruses because of their constant exposure to other cats. Additionally, many of them are involved in cat fights, which may weaken their immune systems. Some of the risks that accompany feeding stray cats include zoonotic diseases. In addition, cats can carry intestinal parasites that can affect humans. If you’re unsure of what to look for in a stray cat, consider these tips:
When feeding a stray cat, remember that the amount you feed is based on the amount of nutrients in the food, not the size of the meal. Also, it can be hard to tell the exact portion size and number of meals a stray needs. It is best to provide at least a little bit of food at a time, but do not feed more than two meals a day.
You may want to limit the amount of food you give a stray because they are highly resourceful. If they feel like they are the only source of food, they may reserve their appetites for the occasional meal with you. Furthermore, feeding a stray may result in a colony of cats near your property. And you may not know if you’ll get a kitten from it. But be sure to make sure you’re feeding a stray once you’ve decided to do so.
Efficacy of TNR programs
The effectiveness of stray cat feeding programs is a hot topic in the community, especially because of the large numbers of cats roaming around in cities. Some studies have shown that a program that feeds stray cats with high-quality food is more effective than a program that only provides food to a few individuals at a time. However, other studies have not shown that a program of this kind is more effective than the other, primarily due to the presence of a long-term population of feral cats.
In general, studies on TNR focus on the reduction of shelter intake and decreased community cat population. These outcomes are easier to measure from an animal welfare standpoint, but the latter is more challenging. In addition, not all TNR programs involve a vaccination component. Though rabies is an extremely rare condition in cats, vaccination is a best practice and can reduce stray cat deaths. The study did not examine the effectiveness of TNR programs based on community outcomes, but the overall impact was high.
Results show that the majority of respondents support a community TNR program. However, a small but significant proportion supported a culling or leave-it-alone program. Further, respondents said that they felt more comfortable with a community TNR program after they were educated about its efficacy. Thus, the program is an effective way to reduce strays’ numbers and nuisance behavior in cities.