The appearance of a black cat during a football game at MetLife Stadium produced a wave of interest in the feral cats living in said stadium. However, it should be mentioned that there is some disagreement about whether there are feral cats or not. Apparently, some of the staff have claimed that they feed the hundreds of cats on the site on a regular basis, which is made possible by the support of the people who own the relevant facilities. In contrast, the representatives of said individuals have stressed that there are not hundreds of feral cats on the site being fed by their staff, which is understandable because feral cats tend to have very poor reputations with most people to say the least. Whatever the truth of things, the whole incident has nonetheless served to shed light on the serious problem of feral cats.
What Is a Feral Cat Anyways?
For those who are unfamiliar, feral cat refers to cats that live outdoors on their own. Generally speaking, they avoid humans, meaning that they do not allow themselves to be either handled or otherwise touched. However, it is interesting to note that some feral cats are better-described as semi-feral cats because they have regular interaction with humans who feed them, though even then, they remain much more aloof than their pet counterparts.
On the whole, feral cats are seen as a serious problem for a wide range of reasons. For example, they are one of the worst invasive species that can be found on the planet. Something that should come as no surprise to those who are familiar with the very negative effect that cats have had on numerous species of birds and other small animals. This is particularly true because feral cats are pretty much the apex predators of urban environment because there is nothing bigger that predates upon them. Likewise, there is the issue of feral cats being a very unpleasant sight most of the time, with the black cat that showed up during the football game being a notable exception because it was in such a good condition. In short, the problem is that urban environments tend to have limited resources, which in turn, means that they cannot support more than a limited number of feral cats. Unfortunately, feral cats are notorious for their fast breeding, thus contributing to a problem of overpopulation that makes for a lot of sick, starving cats.
What Can Interested Individuals Do to Help?
There are various things that interested individuals can do to help out with the problem of feral cats:
- Spay and Neuter Pets – Spaying and neutering pet cats is critical for combating the problem of cat overpopulation. Moreover, this isn’t based on speculation because a policy of pushing for spaying and neutering has enabled animal welfare organizations throughout North America to reduce the number of animals that have to be put down on an annual basis for a want of enough resources to take care of them. As for why this is so important, it cannot be stressed enough that cats can breed very fast when they have the chance to do so. To get an idea of exactly how fast, it is theoretically possible for a cat to have three litters in a single year, with each of those litters averaging about four kittens.
- Provide Support – It is not recommended for interested individuals to take feral cats as pets. They might be the same species as the household cat, but they are effectively wild animals. Most people wouldn’t think to bring a wild animal into their home as a pet, which is why they shouldn’t bring a feral cat into their home as a pet. It is possible to provide the proper socialization to feral kittens, but past a certain point, said process becomes either impossible or so close to impossible that there is no meaningful difference.
With that said, it is still possible for interested individuals to provide feral cats with a measure of support, thus making it a bit easier for them to secure their necessities. Be warned that this can be a challenging and time-consuming task because it is not easy to convince feral cats to offer even a small measure of trust, particularly if they have had bad experiences with humans in the past. Moreover, if interested individuals are intent on providing support, they need to be prepared to keep up that commitment because cutting off stop could have devastating consequences for the feral cats reliant upon their help.
Support Animal Welfare Organizations
There are a lot of animal welfare organizations out there that work to make life easier for cats. Sometimes, this means providing services such as spaying and neutering. Other times, this means providing them with food, medical care, and the other necessities of life. As such, if people want to help out feral cats, making a contribution of some kind to the right animal welfare organization wouldn’t be a bad place to start. One example would be a financial contribution, which is always useful because animal welfare organizations never have all of the funding that they need for all of the things that they want to do. Another example would be volunteering, which can provide animal welfare organizations with some much-needed labor. Of course, interested individuals should make sure to look up the animal welfare organizations that they are interested in helping out because the sheer range of such organizations out there means that they need to be sure that they are getting exactly what they want.
In the grand scheme of things, the feral cats that may or may not be living at MetLife Stadium aren’t particularly important. Even if they are 300+ in number, that makes them no more than a very small fraction of the feral cat population that exists in not just North America but also the rest of the world. However, if the claims that have been made about the cats are true, that makes for a heartwarming tale. Furthermore, said tale is an excellent reminder that human help can make a difference, as shown by how healthy the black cat looked despite all expectations.