Got barn kitties? October 16 is National Feral Cat Day in the United States. This animal welfare awareness day, established in 2001 by Alley Cat Allies, aims at promoting feline population control nationwide. The group urges veterinary professionals to participate in low-cost feral cat sterilization programs, in the hope of preventing undomesticated cats from overbreeding.
“The veterinary community plays an essential role in the humane treatment of community cats both by serving as a resource for the public, and also by providing direct veterinary care and spay/neuter services through Trap-Neuter-Return programs,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “This National Feral Cat Day, we encourage veterinarians to mobilize their communities with the knowledge and resources to help save cats’ lives.”
National Feral Cat Day organizers encourage local individuals and groups to practice Trap-Neuter-Return or Shelter-Neuter-Return programs. So far, hundreds of American communities reportedly participate in such efforts. Annual events include volunteer-led spay/neuter clinics, educational workshops, official governmental proclamations, and fundraising to support local Trap-Neuter-Return and Shelter-Neuter-Return programs.
There’s even a National Feral Cat Day coloring page.
“Trap-Neuter-Return is the only humane, effective approach to care for community cats. Cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped and then returned to their outdoor home,” reads a National Feral Cat Day statement.
“These major programs would not be possible without the veterinarians and veterinary technicians who work or volunteer in spay/neuter clinics or accept community cats into their practices,” Robinson added. “But we can still do more to enlist the support of vets nationwide, and that is why Alley Cat Allies is calling on the veterinary community to get involved this National Feral Cat Day and help increase awareness and education about community cats.”
National Feral Cat Day promotional artwork / logo and coloring page – fair use