Feral Cats Position Statement

2007 Feral Cats

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) strongly supports efforts to humanely control the feral cat population. These efforts include reducing the source of feral cats by encouraging owners to keep cats indoors (see statement on owned indoor cats), permanent identification methods so that lost cats can be returned to their owners (see statement on identification of cats) and education on responsible pet ownership. Pre-pubertal spaying and neutering is also encouraged to decrease the numbers of newborn cats.

Feline Practitioners recognize the need to decrease the current population of feral cats to improve their welfare and to reduce their potential as a source of zoonotic diseases, public nuisance, and negative impacts on wildlife and ecosystems. Although no single control method is suitable for all situations the AAFP supports humane population control methods such as “trap-neuter-return,” relocation to managed colonies or appropriate sanctuaries, and where appropriate adoption into homes.