Why it’s Not Trap-Neuter-Adopt/Remove/Relocate
Feral Cats Cannot Be Adopted
Though they look exactly like pet cats, feral cats are completely unused to and have no desire to live with humans. When approached they will run away in fear. In fact, feral cats are much happier in their colony together with their own kind than in your living room. Any attempts to adopt a truly feral cat will usually result in an animal who will hide 24/7 in fear of his owners, not allowing anyone to touch or hold him, or worse, defend himself by biting or scratching.
Because of this, any attempts to take a feral cat to a shelter or adoption agency will usually result in it immediately being killed due it’s unadoptability.
Removing Feral Cats Doesn’t Work
Elimination of feral cats by means of trapping and killing is a temporary solution to a long-term problem. The “vacuum effect” is a phenomenon where new cats flock to take over the area and breed. Thus, the catch-and-kill method is both ineffective and costly, not to mention the unnecessary death of healthy cats.
Relocating Feral Cats is Cruel
Feral cats are very tied to their surroundings. To trap and displace a cat is to put it in an area where it does not know the food sources or places to find shelter. It is also vulnerable to predators. It is considered to cruel to displace any wildlife in this way, and even so will still result in the “vacuum effect” for the area you are trying to clear. One male and one female is all it takes to repopulate an entire colony.
The only time relocation is even considered is if the cat’s territory is going to be demolished or the cats would be in extreme danger if they were to stay where they were. In this case, the relocation is carefully planned and the cats are cared for in their new location. Proper relocation is an extremely difficult process and should only be carried out by experienced cat rescue groups.