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TCAP Sterilizes 3,868 Feral Cats During Q1 2024

At the heart of our mission is the desire to end animal overpopulation and improve community animal welfare.  

This is why we are proud to offer our Feral Fix Program.  TCAP covers the cost of sterilizing the first 12 feral cats presented each day at our eight (8) DFW area clinics.  We also offer select “Free Feral Days” throughout the year to further help with this community need.  

We are pleased to report that TCAP performed free sterilizations on 3,868 feral cats during Q1 of 2024 (Jan-Mar).  This represents an increase of 18%, or 586,  over the same period in 2023. Feral cat sterilization is crucial to reducing the number of feral cat colonies in DFW.

Our team is grateful to the community members who use their time and resources to bring animals to TCAP each day.  

Your efforts help us to stop the growth of feral colonies throughout North Texas.

TCAP performs 3868 sterilizations during Q1 2024

The TCAP Feral Fix Program

The TCAP Feral Fix Program is designed to address feral cat colonies in North Texas.  Feral cats are unsocialized outdoor cats that have limited or no physical contact with humans.  Domestic cats who have left their homes or been abandoned can become feral.  The offspring of these cats who are completely born in the wild are feral cats.  They fear humans are not able to be adopted.  Often, these feral colonies experience high mortality rates due to disease, lack of food, and predation.

Each of the eight (8) TCAP clinics across DFW provides free sterilization for the first 12 feral cats presented each day.  Appointments are not necessary for this program.  They are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.  All cats must be transported in a live trap.  Feral cats that are scheduled for a sterilization appointment are charged just $20.

Drop-off occurs each morning at 8 am and pick-up is at 3 pm.  However, we do recommend getting the clinic early to secure your spot in line.

The Feral Cat Issue

According to a report by the USDA, there are up to 80 million feral cats in the US. Efforts to address the feral cat issue involve a combination of strategies. These include trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs. These programs humanely trap feral cats, spay or neuter them, and then return them to their environment. TNR programs are often coupled with efforts to monitor feral cat colonies. Education about responsible pet ownership is important. This includes spaying and neutering and access to affordable veterinary services.

A single pregnant female feral cat has an average of 1.4 litters per year. Each litter has an average of 3 kittens. 

Assuming one female per litter, that single female can create a colony of over 50 cats in just 5 years.  This includes the offspring of her litters.   Depending on survivability, litter size, the number of breeding females, these numbers can be even higher.  

Feral cat colonies can contribute to the spread of disease and other negative ecological factors such as predation on local wildlife including birds and rabbits. 

Cats carry the highest source of rabies risk in the US, according to the CDC.  

Here are some of the key concerns with feral cat colonies:

  1. Overpopulation: One of the primary issues is the overpopulation of cats, both domestic and feral. Cats can reproduce quickly, and without intervention, their populations can rapidly grow out of control. This overpopulation leads to increased competition for resources, spread of disease, and negative impacts on local ecosystems.

  2. Abandonment: Many feral cats are the result of abandonment by their owners. Some owners may release their cats outdoors, believing they can fend for themselves, while others may abandon them outright. These abandoned cats often join existing feral colonies or form new ones.

  3. Lack of Spaying and Neutering: Failure to spay and neuter pet cats contributes significantly to the feral cat population. Unaltered cats are more likely to reproduce, leading to more kittens being born into the feral population. Lack of access to affordable spaying and neutering services in some areas exacerbates this problem.

  4. Health Risks: Feral cats face numerous health risks, including exposure to diseases such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV), as well as parasites like fleas and ticks. These health risks not only impact the cats themselves but can also pose threats to other animals and even humans.

  5. Impact on Wildlife: Feral cats are skilled hunters and can have significant impacts on local wildlife populations. They prey on small mammals, birds, and reptiles, which can disrupt fragile ecosystems and threaten native species.

  6. Community Concerns: Feral cat colonies often become a source of concern for local communities due to issues such as noise, odor, and the spread of disease. Additionally, conflicts can arise between advocates for the cats and those concerned about the welfare of wildlife and public health.

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