What To Do If Feral Cats Become A Problem On Your Property
Cats can be amazing pets. They can be sweet and cuddly, they purr and play, and sleep in cute positions, and they can be great companions. But, when cats are abandoned, or when stray cats have kittens, and those cats are left to fend for themselves, they can become a problem, sometimes a very big problem.
The problem of feral cats is so big, incidentally, that a whopping half of all cats in the United States are feral (unowned). And since there are approximately 146 million cats in the U.S. that means that around 73 million of them can be considered feral. Feral cats have an average of 1.4 litters per year, with an average of 3.5 live births in each litter. That means approximately 5 kittens per year, per female cat. It also means that a pair of unspayed, unneutered cats and their unfixed offspring can produce 420,000 more cats in a seven-year period!
Problems Caused By Feral Cats
Feral cats, also referred to as stray cats or alley cats, can be a problem in many different ways. They are usually classified as a pest species because of the issues they bring with them when they begin to multiply. The following is a list of some of the problems that are caused by feral cats:
Feral cats mate. As mentioned above, feral cats mate, a lot! If there is only one male cat present, that one cat can mate with a number of female feral cats over the course of the mating season. And they will mate with any pet female cat that is not spayed. Kittens of feral female cats, or abandoned domestic cats, learn quickly from their mothers to distrust and be wary of humans. Having never been around humans, they are frightened and will do whatever it takes to defend themselves from, what they perceive as, an enemy. Tiny kittens will spit and hiss and, though small, they will bite and scratch viciously. And, like any wild animal, there is a chance the animal could be infected with the rabies virus. So it is best to leave the handling of feral cats or kittens to professionals.
Feral cats travel in packs or colonies. This can cause a number of issues. First, there are always going to be fights. Cats are territorial creatures and will often fight among themselves. Not only are these fights loud and will usually disrupt any attempt at sleep, but these wild cats will also target pets that just happen to get too close to "their" territory. This can result in your pet not only getting injured, but the contact could cause your pet to contract diseases such as rabies, feline HIV, and feline leukemia. And like this isn't bad enough, take note that feral cats are typically loaded with parasites that can easily be transferred to your pet, parasites such as fleas, ticks, and mites.
Feral cats can transfer parasites into your home. If feral cats spread parasites to your pets, or bring them into your home when they get underneath your home or into your crawl spaces, etc, this could result in an infestation of these parasites in your home. And this means a whole new set of headaches.
Feral cats get into garbage. Stray cats are famous for rooting through garbage cans and dumpsters. They rip open garbage bags, spread trash all over the place, and steal food from pets. This is not only a hassle to home and business owners, but it will also draw in all sorts of other pest animals, such as mice, rats, and wildlife.
What Can Be Done If You Have Feral Cats On Your Property
The best thing you can do if you find you have feral cats living on your property, is to call Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions. We will start off with an inspection of your property to identify how many cats you have, and where they are. From there we will design a humane removal and transport of the feral cats to an animal shelter. Sandwich Isle offers this service in Honolulu and all of Oahu, as well as other areas of Hawaii. Contact us today for further information.