A feral cat is either a cat who has lived his/her whole life with little or no human contact and is not socialized, or is a stray cat who was lost or abandoned and has lived away from human contact long enough to revert to a wild state. Feral cats avoid human contact and cannot be touched by strangers. AnimalSave's Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program subsidizes feral cat spay/neuter and vaccination. TNR is a proven procedure in which entire colonies of stray and feral cats are humanely trapped, spayed/neutered, and vaccinated. This method of population control is more effective than trap-and-kill. Kittens and tame cats can be adopted into good homes. Adult cats too wild to be adopted are returned to their colony.

AnimalSave provides humane traps, trapping guidance, and can help with transporting animals. For more information about AnimalSave's TNR program call the spay/neuter clinic at 530 477 1706. If you leave a message, someone will return your call promptly.


Myths and Facts about Feral Cats

  • Myth 1: Feral cats can be eradicated by trapping and killing. 
    Fact: Many decades of eradication campaigns have done nothing to reduce the numbers of stray and feral cats. Survivors breed exponentially; new cats move in, and reproduce, to take advantage of whatever food and shelter exist. This is called the “vacuum effect.”
  • Myth 2: Feral cats present a high risk of spreading rabies. 
    Fact: Rabies in the U.S. is overwhelmingly a disease found in wildlife. From 1990-2002, only 36 people died from rabies in this country, and not one of them contracted the disease from a cat.
  • Myth 3: Feral cats are sickly and diseased. 
    Fact: Scientific studies show that feral cats in managed colonies generally enjoy the same good health, fitness, and low occurrence of disease enjoyed by pet cats.
  • Myth 4: Feral cats are a significant cause of bird and wildlife depletion. 
    Fact: Numerous studies by government and environmental groups indicate that the overwhelming causes of wildlife depletion are destruction of habitat due to human development, manmade structures, chemical pollution, pesticides, and drought, not feral cats.

Barn Homes Needed for Feral Cats

AnimalSave sometimes has outside, unsocialized cats that would love a barn or garage to call home. They need a dry, safe place to sleep, as well as cat food and water. A truly feral cat will probably never tolerate being petted. However, they do learn to trust and will stay close by if given adequate time to acclimate. They can provide non-toxic rat and mouse control around your home or farm. They are spayed or neutered and vaccinated. If you are interested in giving a couple of feral cats a caring outside home, please call us at 530271 7071 ext. 206 for more information.

Trapping Tips for Feral Cats

  • Set the trap at the cats' normal feeding time.
  • Place the food in the very back of the trap.
  • Monitor the trap frequently.
  • Once a cat is trapped, immediately cover the trap with a blanket or towel to help him/her calm down. Place the cat and trap on newspaper in a quiet safe place where the temperature will remain at a comfortable level.
  • NEVER attempt to transfer a trapped cat to another container.
  • Do not trap mother cats with kittens less than 4 weeks old unless you are going to bottle feed the babies.

Download our complete Trapping Guidance tips here.


With Love From (Formerly Feral) Allie & Presto!

Dear Friends at AnimalSave,

Our birthday, June 28, is coming up and we wanted to celebrate by saying “Thank You” for giving us such a good start in life. A year ago we were born to a feral mom living in a nursery. Those folks gave us our original names—Pansy and Mallow (we have since gone musical and go by the names Allegro and Presto).

You took such good care of us—nursing us, playing with us, teaching us how to like humans and even giving us repeat washes for ringworm. Because of you, we now lead a happy life chasing lizards and lounging on the sofa. We even help visitors play their cellos. Instead of being wild and untouchable, we are playful and affectionate.

Thank you for taking care of us when we were so fragile and helping us to be good kitties in a good-kitty home.

Allie and Presto