All cat lovers have seen this: the unapproachable cat prowling in your garbage, the scrawny female cat who continues to have litters of kittens in your shed, but will not let you get anywhere near her.
There are an estimated 100,000 stray and feral cats in Toronto, and colonies can be found in every neighbourhood in the city. Toronto Cat Rescue can help you help these cats. Our Stray/Feral Program provides you with the information and knowledge to get you started helping these feral cats.
Unfortunately, Toronto Cat Rescue can NOT help with trapping feral cats and/or provide foster homes, as we just do not have enough volunteer resources.
Feral cats may have once been domestic, and turned wild to survive or cats that were actually born wild. They are definitely not your typical friendly kitty cat! They do, however, multiply at an alarming rate (2-3 litters per year!), and can lead miserable lives which end with slow starvation, sickness, or freezing to death without your help. Some communities find them a problem, and want to be rid of them, and other people show their concern by feeding them. It is not enough to just feed them; these cats must be spayed and neutered so that they no longer reproduce more sick and hungry kittens.
Trap-Neuter-Return (Manage) is a proven effective program which tackles overpopulation at its core. Feral cats cannot be socialized as adults to become domestic indoor cats, despite being exactly the same physically as your pampered pet. Handling them is equivalent to dealing with a wild animal. We can’t stress enough how many people make the mistake of underestimating what a feral cat is. Despite their nature these cats deserve to live their lives and euthanizing them is not only inhumane, but it is also ineffective at ending the problem in the long-term. Spaying/neutering and returning these cats to their stomping grounds allows them to enjoy their lives in peace, while ensuring no more kittens are born into this hard existence.
For detailed information about how you can help the feral cats in your area, please click here to fill in an online form for more information. Please note that due to the high volume of inquiries, phone messages will not be returned.
Many people who take on a TNR project forget to plan from start to finish. Trapping the cats and getting them to a spay/neuter clinic is only half the work. These cats also need to be recovered post-surgery before being returned to their colonies. Recovery time ranges depending on factors such as the cat’s stress level, their health, and the weather – however a general rule is that the cats need to be recovered for 24-48 hours.
Help keep a cat alive during the winter! Feral cat shelters are available through the following organizations:
Toronto Street Cats has shelters available for a nominal donation of $15. Pickup is at the Toronto Humane Society. Visit their website for more information. The Feral Cat Recovery Centre also has shelters available for a nominal donation of $15. Pickup is at the Feral Cat Recovery Centre (Progress/McCowan). More information can be found here.