Feral cats are abandoned pet cats. They were domesticated and then humans let them down, not even providing vet care and spaying/neutering. Many feral cats living together are called a “colony.” Feral colonies exist in a place where there is a natural resource for them, whether that is shelter, water, food, or all of the above. Once a colony forms, they begin to propagate. Since gestation is ONLY 66 days, a cat can have up to 4 litters per year. These kittens will probably grow up having no contact with human beings and therefore will be wild. Unfortunately, when one pair of kittens starts propagating, they can produce up to 382 cats by year three and 12,680 by year five (if all of the litters survive and propogate themselves). Luckily, if the wild kittens are trapped and tamed at approximately 5 weeks old, they can become wonderful trusting animal companions and NOT continue this terrible cycle.
The ONLY proven solution for adult feral cats is called TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return). The Feral Cat Food Bank of Austin (Austin, Texas) has added the letter “F” for food. TNRF. By feeding these cats, once they have been spayed/neutered and vetted, volunteers can help keep them healthier and prevent them from becoming a nuisance. The nuisance factor is usually cats scavenging for food, such as in a dumpster outside a restaurant.