Feral cat colonies
Feral cat colonies are simply feline families that happen to live outside. Born in the wild, ferals are the offspring of unaltered domestic cats and are generally not adoptable if not handled before 3 months of age.
Colony ferals share strong social bonds with each other, eventually forming family units. They reside where they do because there is a food source and shelter. Previously, across the country ferals have been routinely trapped and euthanized. But this cruel practice does not keep an area free of cats for long. It may temporarily reduce the number of ferals in a given area, but it creates a ‘vacuum effect’ (documented worldwide) where upon other cats quickly move in to take advantage of the now-available territory. Most likely these new cats will not be sterilized so breeding continues and new colonies form.
Trapping to kill is costly, ineffective and inhumane. The only proven successful method to end this cycle is through TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return). Eventually over time, the colony stabilizes and declines through natural attrition.
Though cats have been living outdoors on their own for thousands of years, it’s beneficial for everyone concerned that feral cats be taken care of in order to promote their well-being and make them good neighbors.
Marin Friends of Ferals (MFF) follows the principles of Alley Cat Allies (a national feral cat organization) in providing continued humane care and management of feral colonies within their own environment.
MFF works closely with the Marin Humane Society and local veterinarians in providing spay/neuter services, including all vaccinations, so the cats may live decent, healthy lives.