The Health Risks Associated with Feral Cat Colonies

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Feral cats are hostile by nature. But it is not their fault; they are born in a hostile environment, and from an early age, they learn fighting is the best thing they can do. They will fight back against anything that feels like a danger to them.

Sadly, they can also be risky for humans and other species, like birds and domestic pets. They can also create a nuisance by damaging properties. Sometimes, they can become a health risk voluntarily or involuntarily when they don’t know about it.

To know how feral cats can be the cause of several issues involving health risks, keep reading this article.

Can Feral Cats Pose Risks to Humans?

It might seem far-fetched, but feral cats can infect and pose risks to humans in multiple ways. Feral cats live in the wild and hence are a host of the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. This parasite causes toxoplasmosis infection in humans.

The spreading of this virus is very simple. A feral cat may excrete in any place, then birds, bees, or mammals can ingest this virus and spread them by venturing into human civilization.

Besides diseases, they also pose other health risks to humans, like physical injuries. Feral cats are always on the lookout for food. Sometimes, they find their food source in human habitation since they feast on rats and other rodents abundantly found in households. When a human spots a feral cat in their locality and tries to flee it, the cat can take it as a sign of a fight. So, instead of running away, they might attack the human to protect themselves.

However, befriending these cats can also come with its own set of benefits. Feeding them regularly is one way of winning their trust. In this way, they do not pose the risk of attacking and harming us. The IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Dry Cat Food is one of the best cat kibbles you can feed feral cats for their well-being.

Other Species That are Endangered by Feral Cats

Not only are humans affected by feral cats, but many other animals also find them a potential risk.

Birds

Birds are one of the creatures that feral cats often attack, especially small species like canaries or sparrows. Since feral cats are used to living in the wilderness, birds can often become a food source for these cats.

It has been studied, and research shows that as the number of feral cats rises, the number of birds in the specific area decreases. It also impacts the population of endangered species of birds.

Most bird mortality occurs due to feral cats directly or indirectly. Directly, they can become the meal for feral cats; indirectly, they can get injured and ultimately die.

Livestock and Pets

Apart from birds, feral cats are also known to be a risk to livestock. Hens and chickens, if not looked after properly, can fall prey to feral cats that roam in human colonies to find food. Whenever they get a chance, they can kill the hens, eat them, or leave them injured while hunting them.

Some people prefer keeping birds or mice as their pets. But if a feral cat knows about such pets in a household, they may try attacking and killing them to satisfy their hunger.

Besides this, feral cats are the indefinite carrier of many diseases like feline immunodeficiency virus or feline leukemia, rabies, or distemper. They can easily pass these infections to other pet cats humans own, as these diseases are highly contagious. It only takes bodily fluid or some contact between a pet cat and a feral cat, as the virus and infection can latch upon the pet cat.

Other Problems Caused by Feral Cats

Feral cats can cause many problems for humans and their beloved pets, but they can also create havoc for humans in several other ways, especially if they are not neutered. They can urinate on fences and tires and excrete on garden flowerbeds.

They might also try to rummage through the garbage bins to find food and can leave the surrounding filled with filth. As they are high on their hormones, they can also engage in a fight with a pet cat verbally or physically.

Conclusion

Feral cats are not socialized and hence find it normal to engage in activities that can be risky for humans, pets, or livestock. However, if well-fed and neutered, these problems with feral cats can be avoided altogether.

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