Feral cats lead to difficult wildlife. Thus, it is natural for you to want to offer food and shelter whenever you see one. Feeding these cats helps them live a better life that is much more comfortable.
However, many risks and benefits are associated with feeding feral cats. The major risk is the spread of diseases among humans. However, countering the risks, there are many benefits to look forward to. These include maintaining the good health of feral cats, controlling mice, and rodent populations in society, and reducing food wastage.
Thus, it becomes evident that one needs to learn and understand a list of things when feeding feral cats. So, here we will list the significant risks and benefits that go hand in hand while feeding feral cats.
Benefits of Feeding Feral Cats
The advantages of feeding feral cats are discussed below.
1. Helps Feral Cats to Survive in Short-Run
When you feed a feral cat, it helps them survive in the short run. Food enables these cats to gain extra energy that helps them carry on and overcome the challenging period of their lifespan.
Besides, sometimes, feral cats might not get enough food in hunting. So, in such scenarios, you may be their only source of proper nutrition. So, if you fail to feed them, they may fail to survive. Feeding a feral cat can help it stay alive and healthy.
2. Prevents Starvation and Malnutrition
Like any other living organism, cats require adequate food daily to live their complete life. The improper diet causes several diseases in these cats. Some of these include poor coat, growth of parasites like ticks and fleas, and lousy skin conditions.
While they affect the cat’s health, these conditions are also risk factors for humans around them. Thus, feeding these cats also becomes a way of preventing the spread of diseases. Feeding feral cats regularly improves their overall health and well-being.
The best food to feed these cats is the Purina ONE Dry Cat Food. This food has omega-6 fatty acids that promote healthy skin and radiant fur and coat in feral cats.
3. Reduces Food Wastage
Feeding a feral cat helps reduce food wastage. Many households are there, where foods are disposed of in the garbage. So, the best thing that can be done with this leftover food is to offer them to feral cats. It helps to use food efficiently while cutting down the expenses for food disposal.
4. Reduces the Population of Mice
When you feed feral cats, their population will eventually increase, and they will hunt plenty of mice. In short, the population of mice in your region will drop. It is great, especially when your neighborhood is suffering from the issue of excessive rats and mice. Feral cats will help eliminate them naturally without using any harmful chemicals.
5. Builds a Friendly Bond with Community Feral Cats
Feeding will help you establish a strong and trustworthy bond with the feral cats in your area or community. As a result, you will not become a source of threat and thus unexpected attacks from these cats.
Every animal is loyal to anyone who cares for or feeds them. Thus, feeding will help you establish a loyal friendship with feral cats.
6. Encourages Others
Feeding a feral cat will raise awareness among your friends and family. You will set an example of how to make the world of these little creatures better. Your family and little ones may also be encouraged to join your good initiative and feed feral cats.
Risks of Feeding Feral Cats
Indeed, a lot of benefits are there for feeding feral cats. But it also comes with several disadvantages, as discussed below.
1. Diseases are Very Common Among Wild Cats
Feral cats often carry serious diseases such as rabies. Also, they may have parasites, worms, and fleas in their fur. So, if you are not careful while feeding them, you may contract those pests and diseases from them. Always wear gloves and masks before providing food to them while maintaining a safe distance.
2. Over Population and Ecological Imbalance
When you feed feral cats, it may explode their population. The more food these cats get, the more power they will have in reproducing. It can significantly increase their population, letting them encroach on human communities and making our lives uncomfortable and vulnerable.
Also, the increase in the population of these cats shifts the ratio between the prey and the predator, leading to a powerful ecological imbalance in the long run. Such drastic changes in the population can collapse the entire ecosystem instantly.
Although aggressive, feral cats are little creatures that need food for survival. So, you can feed them, but you must know the limitations. Make sure that you are at a safe distance from them. Also, ensure not to overfeed them, as it can increase their population dramatically, harming the overall ecosystem balance.