It is tempting to feed feral cats because they are cute and look like domestic cats, but these animals are not domesticated. They have been born in the wild and may carry diseases and, in some cases, rabies. The feeding of feral cats and other types of wildlife also disrupts their natural feeding habits and can result in wildlife being concentrated at artificial feeding areas like your yard.
The Township of Livingston has implemented a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). Under this program, Livingston’s Animal Control humanely traps feral cats, scans them for a microchip, and transports those without a chip to a local veterinarian. There, they are examined, vaccinated, and neutered/spayed before being returned to their respective colonies within 24 hours by Animal Control.
The TNR program helps to prevent feral cat overpopulation in the community (which protects other native animal populations), treats cats humanely, keeps them from being killed in a shelter, improves public health by vaccinating feral cats for rabies, and can help to save taxpayer dollars.
The TNR approach is supported by the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the New Jersey Governor’s Task Force on Animal Welfare, The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, the American Association of Feline Practitioners, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, and more.