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Is it good or bad to feed stray cats?

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posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 04:33 AM
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Sometime this summer a stray cat I used to feed gave birth to a litter of 4 kittens, they were like super-cute and now I feed the whole family. Actually the mom and one of the kittens disappeared after a few months.

Anyway, the 3 kittens are now pretty big, and they will be facing their first winter.

I saw one of the kittens one day stalking a pigeon. He got real close to it and the pigeon did not notice the cat at all. He could have pounced on it and caught it, but he looked unsure what to do once he got close. He kinda pounced toward it playfully, not really trying to catch it or eat it.

I thought to myself - he doesn't hunt the pigeon because he's not really that hungry. If the kitten were starving, he may have caught the pigeon and learned how to hunt, but these cats have no need to hunt because I feed them. I don't feed them that much, only once a day but probably enough.

To hunt a pigeon or other animal takes a lot of skill, and even knowing which parts to eat, how to eat it, how to tear it open, dealing with feathers and all that stuff. You probably have to develop your teeth to do that on a regular basis. Anyway, these cats probably never have an opportunity to learn all those things because they don't need to.

So what do you think? Is it bad to feed them because they become dependent on you and you take away their ability to sustain themselves? What happens if I move?

On the other hand, I see cats snooping around the trash so I figure a lot of these cats eat trash anyway and do not even hunt. In that case it is better to feed them?

And next year they will probably mate and give birth to more litters and my neighborhood will be full of more hungry stray cats which is prob not good..

What do you think?
edit on 15-11-2016 by nOraKat because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 04:43 AM
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If you have strays, you can pick em up and often bring them to your local animal shelter where they will spay/neuter them for free (say they are strays of the neighborhood and you don't want em breeding). they will clip the ear showing its been fixed and release em backw here you say you found them.

That's perhaps the more important thing you can do, else 3 cats will end up being 30 starving cats.

As far as feeding them..judgment call. If you aren't planning on moving, sure. cat food is cheap enough and they will keep you company whenever you go outside...also keep the area free of mice and such as they hang around waiting for you. If you don't feed them, they will either find food elsewhere, or starve to death as what happens in nature. a cat has a few mile radius for food hunting, and you are marked as a source. If you keep giving, they will remain near, but if you suddenly stop..they will figure it out eventually and go back on the paths.
Cats don't really lose the ability to hunt. if you ever had a cat, you will often find your pet will at times bring you gifts..like dead mice, dead birds, etc.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 04:44 AM
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In a years time you will have ten or more.a reply to: nOraKat



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 04:49 AM
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Do you have a local charity who will round up and neuter stray cats and return them to wherever they came from?

I suppose I'm a bit soft but I don't like to see creatures going hungry. I even used to give an ex-housemate one hot meal day until his behaviour went beyond the pale


My feeling is that the equivalent of one meal per day should do enough to prevent the cats from starving but they'll still be hungry enough to hunt or scavenge. Yours may be disadvantaged without their mother to guide them so it may be a bit late for them to learn and they've got used to you.

A plus for the local wildlife is that they are less likely to have their numbers drop too far due to being preyed on by hungry stray cats if the cats are being fed.


edit on 15-11-2016 by berenike because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 05:00 AM
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Better get them all spay/neutered, if you're going to feed the strays.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 05:04 AM
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My Mother in Law started in the same way she now has what is referred to as "Cat Calais" outside her back door with various shelters for cats, hedgehogs and assorted critters. The RSPCA neutered/spayed them all for free but occasionally another feline asylum seeker arrives, its almost like word gets around the stray community. She finds it a very rewarding thing to do and is admired for her efforts. Don't worry about them not hunting successfully, even cats that are well fed will still hunt so if other strays arrive they will learn from them or their own instincts will just kick in.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 05:16 AM
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a reply to: SaturnFX



If you have strays, you can pick em up and often bring them to your local animal shelter where they will spay/neuter them for free


I thought about that, but I still question whether it is our place to intervene in that sense. How would you like if somebody came and cut your balls off. I also thought it would be a terrifying experience for me to catch them and drive them in a car, etc..

Also I look at my cats sitting there all disfunctional not knowing what to do with their lives.. it sort of takes away from their lives and nature. Not saying this is the right view, just something I thought.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 05:23 AM
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a reply to: CulturalResilience



My Mother in Law started in the same way she now has what is referred to as "Cat Calais" outside her back door with various shelters for cats, hedgehogs and assorted critters.


That's pretty funny.

Even with me.. it started with me just feeding them once in a while.. now they wait for me and eat the food up like ravenous animals. So now when its feeding time, I don't really feel like going out but feel obligated to them like they're my kids.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 05:26 AM
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a reply to: nOraKat

Be fair to say i am not fond of cats . At the very least get them desexed . As for feeding , i am not sure if it would help the situation below .







They should not be in Australia .


edit on 15-11-2016 by hutch622 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 05:31 AM
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originally posted by: nOraKat
a reply to: SaturnFX



If you have strays, you can pick em up and often bring them to your local animal shelter where they will spay/neuter them for free


I thought about that, but I still question whether it is our place to intervene in that sense. How would you like if somebody came and cut your balls off. I also thought it would be a terrifying experience for me to catch them and drive them in a car, etc..

Also I look at my cats sitting there all disfunctional not knowing what to do with their lives.. it sort of takes away from their lives and nature. Not saying this is the right view, just something I thought.


I understand your thinking but maybe this will help. Those stray cats will live much healthier and happier lives if you prevent them from breeding and that will more than offset any short term trauma they experience. They will not suffer any psychological damage through not reproducing or from the neutering/spaying and you will have taken a very sensible step that will ultimately lead to less kittens/cats and therefore less suffering. Some organisation will do the rounding up and catching for you, there may be one near you.

Kind regards
edit on 15-11-2016 by CulturalResilience because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 05:33 AM
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a reply to: hutch622

Hey humans do the same, only most of us have others do the killing for us.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 05:35 AM
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a reply to: CulturalResilience

Actually I called a couple places and they did not do that. Maybe I'll look again..



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 05:49 AM
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originally posted by: nOraKat

I thought about that, but I still question whether it is our place to intervene in that sense.


You've already intervened by feeding them, if they don't get spay/neutered the population will explode until there are too many to feed and they starve to death.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 05:56 AM
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a reply to: nOraKat

Actually i dont blame the cats so much as they are just doing what cats do . I blame the idiots that thought it would be a good idea to bring them to Australia , along with but not limited to ,foxes , rabbits , sparrows , starlings , Indian mynah birds , European carp , redfin , salvation jane , prickly pear . and my all time favourite , not , cane toads . I can only imagine what this country must have looked like for the first Europeans . Sorry about this reply , perhaps it would be better in a rant .



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 06:04 AM
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a reply to: nOraKat

Well...my last 3 cats have been strays I fed lol They stuck around and became my furry companions. One of them, Sergeant Fuzzy Boots, was the best damn feline friend i've ever had. They remained outdoor cats as we can't have furry pets indoors for medical reasons (kids on ventilators). We did build a small heated cat house for them, but they rarely used it.


he doesn't hunt the pigeon because he's not really that hungry. If the kitten were starving, he may have caught the pigeon and learned how to hunt, but these cats have no need to hunt because I feed them.

Perhaps. Cats like to play and mock hunt though. I fed my strays regularly and they still hunted and ate mice frequently. I wouldn't be surprised if yours were too at night.


these cats probably never have an opportunity to learn all those things

Don't let their adorableness fool you. They are little tigers by instinct

edit on 15-11-2016 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 06:21 AM
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I did that 2 years ago , the small colony has since moved in and controls my household



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 06:23 AM
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a reply to: nOraKat

Personally I love cats and what I am about to say is truth even though I personally would find it hard to stick to it...

You should never feed strays. They will keep coming back. Cats will breed like rabbits and can quickly multiply. It doesn't matter if you spade or neuter the ones at your home, the neighborhood cats will keep multiplying there is a serious overpopulation issue. Cats are devastating.... DEVASTATING to wildlife. It doesn't matter if they're hungry or not, they will hunt and kill on instinct alone. Cats alone are responsible for wiping out mad amounts of birds worldwide. They're considered an invasive species responsible for killing over 100 millions birds a year in the US alone! They are also responsible for taking out over 30 bird species worldwide... extinct!

They carry diseases. Really nasty ones... Even domestic cats go feral with ease, thought not so much the other way around. You can toss a domestic cat outside and it'll will find food on it's own, given long enough time. It's built in. When you feed them, they dont go away and they also bring their buddies. They fight and tare each other apart.

It's an ugly life.... but they're so damn cute!



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 06:43 AM
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I am the old cat lady. I feed colonies of feral cats and make sure they are all vetted by trap and neuter associations. I adore them. They have every right to live as much as humans do. I provide igloo weather resistant houses with hay. Our community has recently become more humane with their approach to these wonderful animals. I have five past strays and rescues of my own.

I also have rescue dogs which I adopted and love. Also, provide a home when needed for poor mama cats, their kittens as well as unwanted dogs until homes or other rescue groups can help. I see it as saving their lives. Many times it is hard to give them up-I love them all.

So, yes, pls feed the homeless cats and if you can catch and have them vetted, paid for by most rescues or humane societies-it's the only proper and kind response.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 06:51 AM
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Cats are apex predators......have you ever seen a starved to death cat in the wild ? No you have not. Their killing is instinct, nothing your gonna do is gonna change that. You can feed them for weeks then stop & trust me they will supplement their diet with whatever is on natures menu. There's organizations that will trap & spay or neuter these animals & turn them back loose into the same area. A domesticated house cat will eat about 14lbs of bugs & creepy crawlies in a years time.

If we took all those pest's that the cats eat and put them back into the fold, we would soon be overran with creepy crawlies & flying stingy things. I am owned by 9 of the most awesome apex predators.....,,they would eat me if they could.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 07:08 AM
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We feed them, because we love them and like their company. Never bothered with calling a shelter to have them captured, neuter/spayed and released, for the same reasons you've mentioned: it would freak them out to be trapped in a cage and messed with, especially by people they've never met, and I wouldn't want the same done to me. I would want someone to feed me if I was hungry though, so we do that and enjoy doing it. I love seeing and being around and talking and interacting with animals.

In reference to your comment on your disfunctional cats:
It's true indoor cats live a different life than stray/feral cats, and you might even go as far as to say that there is something "missing" from nature. Conversely, you might also say they have found something extra, which the outdoor stray/nature cats are "missing". But i just prefer to say they have different lives.
edit on 11/15/2016 by 3n19m470 because: (no reason given)




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