Helping Stray and Feral Cats

Pet overpopulation is a huge issue, and is one of the reasons there are so many sweet kitties in shelters. It’s also something we deal with quite a bit in this area. Tampa Bay has a significant number of stray and feral cats. If you’re an animal lover, you may want to try to help these cats. Here, a Tampa, FL vet lists some ways to do that. 

Support TNR Programs

Trap/Neuter/Release programs are somewhat self-explanatory. Stray and feral cats are caught, fixed and let go. Usually you can tell if a kitty has been fixed, as there will be a notch in their ear. There are many ways to help these organizations, from monetary donations to volunteering to dropping off supplies. Of course, if your own cats haven’t been fixed yet, you’ll also want to get that done right away.


The best way to help a stray or feral cat is to adopt them. However, this is where the difference between ferals and strays comes into play. Feral cats are basically completely wild. Some were born wild: others have gone feral after being on their own for too long. Feral cats can be adopted, but they may never really adapt to being pets, particularly indoor pets. Fluffy may be purrfectly content living in your yard, though.

Strays, on the other hand, are often quite friendly. Some are former pets themselves, that were lost or abandoned. Strays often do quite well as pets. In fact, many of our patients are former strays that are now happy, pampered pets. Ask your vet for tips on adopting a stray or feral cat.


Feeding strays and ferals isn’t as cut and dry as it seems. Providing fresh water and kibble is an act of kindness. However, if you’re going to care for a stray or feral cat, you should also make sure that they get vaccinated and fixed. You may also field complaints from neighbors or HOAs. 

Barn Cats

If you have a barn or farm, or know someone who does, consider getting Fluffy a job as a barn buddy. Many stray and feral cats are more than happy to provide pest control services in return for food, water, shelter, and basic care.

Please call us, your Tampa, FL veterinary clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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