What are you supposed to do if you live in an area where there are a lot of feral cats and you end up getting a fine for feeding them? Are you supposed to simply pay the fine quietly and do nothing more? Should you keep feeding the cats for the same reasons that you started feeding them in the first place? Maybe you should try to take them in. On the other hand, should you stop feeding them all together? For starters, it’s important to realize why feral cats can sometimes be a problem and why you may be fined for feeding them.
The Difference Between Feral Cats and Other Cats
If you think that all cats are the same, you’ve probably never truly been around a feral cat. They are wild and they can act very much the part, even to the point of being potentially dangerous from time to time. Granted, it’s easy to feel sorry for a cat that shows up at your doorstep and meows because it’s hungry. Many times, it seems almost cruel not to feed them. The problem is that some areas have massive issues with feral, or stray cats. They will ticket you for feeding these types of cats in hopes of keeping the stray population down to a manageable level. Unfortunately, it typically doesn’t work so people end up feeding them anyway. It’s difficult to walk away from a living creature that’s in need. However, you should check the regulations in the area in which you live before you start feeding any stray cats. Otherwise, you could be looking at a considerable fine.
People Worry That They Will Starve
Obviously, one of the biggest reasons that people routinely feed feral cats is because they’re afraid that the cats will starve if they don’t. That fear is understandable, especially when you consider the fact that some cats probably will end up starving if they don’t get the food they are asking for. That said, stray cats are very good at taking care of themselves. In fact, many people who have tried to adopt a stray find that the cat escapes in short order, only to end up exactly where they found it to begin with. For some reason, some cats seem to enjoy being on their own. They don’t appear to have a real desire to be taken care of. Perhaps they prefer the freedom that comes with not being under someone’s roof. The main thing that you need to be concerned with is that in most cases, the cats won’t starve just because you are not personally feeding them.
Laws Differ from Place to Place
Another thing that makes it difficult to know whether or not you’ll get a ticket for feeding a feral cat is that the laws are not the same from one location to another. In fact, they vary a great deal from place to place. If you’re living in the country, you can probably do whatever you want. In fact, you might even consider yourself lucky if you have a few stray cats on your property because they can help keep the rodent population down. Someone in a small municipality might notice a few stray cats and start feeding them without much of a problem. There are two reasons for this. First and foremost, they’re typically aren’t enough cats to cause any real problem in the first place. The other reason that it’s not likely to be an issue is that it’s less likely that smaller municipalities will have laws against feeding them, meaning that you are less likely to get a fine for doing so.
Living in a City
On the other hand, if you live in a large city, you may have many laws that regulate whether or not you can feed stray cats. In fact, it’s possible that there are a number of laws regulating what you can do with any animal. It changes from one city to the next. In some cases, it changes from one neighborhood to the next. If you are feeding feral cats in a city where there is a large stray cat population and laws are in place against feeding them, you could be looking at a fine if you get caught. Keep in mind, it’s not just about making sure that city officials don’t see you doing it. You could be turned in by your neighbors or some stranger across the street if they see you feeding these cats, especially if they have a major issue with the cats being there in the first place. Furthermore, the fines can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars, depending on the city in question and whether or not it’s your first offense.
Why Are There Laws Against Feeding Feral Cats?
It all comes down to one thing. City officials don’t want large stray cat populations running around. They typically believe that the more you feed stray cats, the more the cats will come around and the more they will reproduce. According to these same city officials, all of this only serves to make the overall problem worse. When cities don’t know what to do with stray cats, they can sometimes implement some cruel ‘solutions’. These so-called solutions can range from refusing to allow anyone to feed or care for them, all the way up to intentionally eradicating them.
Despite the fact that it’s been proven time and again that fining people for feeding feral cats or worse yet, trying to eradicate them, doesn’t work, many cities still adopt these rather primitive practices. If you happen to be living in such an area, you could be facing some serious fines for feeding them. Worse yet, those offenses will likely go on your legal record, especially if you are fined for the same thing repeatedly. If you truly want to help feral cats in a city that makes feeding them illegal, try working with a local charity in order to help them without finding yourself in legal hot water.