“My wife and I have so much fun when we travel and find anything… like stray cats and squirrels.”

Eric Roberts, Actor

Pros and Cons of Feeding Stray Cats

advantages and disadvantages of feeding stray cats

You have met a stray cat and wondered whether you should feed it or not?

Great! Then this article is exactly for you.

In fact, I show you all the pros and cons of feeding a stray cat in the following chapters.

Advantages of Feeding Stray Cats

  1. Feeding feral cats can help them to survive in the short run
  2. Feeding stray cats may give you a good feeling
  3. You may be able to protect other animals
  4. You may do your kids a favor by feeding stray cats
  5. You can reduce your food waste
  6. Can be helpful if you need company
  7. You can learn about nature
  8. Can help to reduce populations of mice in your neighborhood
  9. Stray cats will really appreciate what you do for them
  10. You may be able to adopt a stray cat
  11. You can encourage others to adopt stray cats or shelter animals

Feeding feral cats can help them to survive in the short run

One advantage of feeding stray cats is that you can help them to survive in the short run.

If you give them food, feral cats will gain additional energy that they can use to carry on and to overcome difficult periods of their lives.

Prepare the soil!

You will often be the only food source for them and if you don’t feed a stray cat, chances are that it will die, especially if the cat is already skinny and looks like it has not eaten for days or even weeks.

Hence, feeding a stray cat can make sense as an emergency measure to keep a cat alive before you can think about proper long-term measures on how to help it.

Feeding stray cats may give you a good feeling

You may also get a pretty good feeling from feeding a feral cat since you think you do good for the cat.

Doing good for others is what makes us humans really happy and it doesn’t really matter whether you do good for another human or an animal.

In both cases, the intent is what matters and you will just feel much better if you feed an abandoned cat rather than just letting them sit in front of you and doing nothing to help it.

You may be able to protect other animals

By feeding stray cats, you may also be able to save many birds and other prey animals.

Since feral cats have to hunt other animals to survive in the streets, you can lower this need by feeding them since they can get their food from you and there will be a lower need to hunt additional prey.

Consequently, by feeding stray cats, you may also be able to protect other beautiful birds, at least in the short run.

You may do your kids a favor by feeding stray cats

If you go for a walk with your kids and see a stray cat, chances are that your kids want to protect and to feed the cat.

If you don’t comply with their demands, chances are that your kids will be really angry with you and may think that you are just a bad person.

Hence, there might also be plenty of social pressure in those situations to help out the stray cat with some food so that your kids will not think poorly about you.

You can reduce your food waste

Another upside to feeding feral cats is that you can also simply reduce your food waste.

In many households, plenty of food is just disposed of in the garbage that could have been used to feed other animals.

Reducing your food waste can not just give you a good feeling since you will feel that you use your food more efficiently, but it can also lower your expenses for food waste disposal at the same time.

Can be helpful if you need company

In our current state of the world, many people also feel lonely and need company from time to time.

Especially old people often have nobody they can talk to and desperately look for company so that they don’t have to be alone.

This is also the reason why you see many old people feeding birds or stray cats.

They simply search for a purpose to live since they often have nobody left to spend their time with.

We as humans are social beings and if you have no relatives or friends left to talk to, feeding stray cats can also give you the opportunity to get some attention and company and chances are that you will just feel much better if you go outside and feed those cats instead of just hanging around inside your four walls all day long.

You can learn about nature

Another benefit of feeding stray cats is that you can also learn a lot about nature and how it works.

If you interact with feral cats on a regular basis by bringing them food and talking to them, you will soon realize that you see patterns and that those cats will try to communicate with you as well.

This can not only be pretty interesting, but it can also raise your awareness of environmental problems and how important it is to protect our environment to give cats and other animals habitats to live in the long run.

Can help to reduce populations of mice in your neighborhood

Since stray cats tend to increase in population if you feed them and will hunt plenty of mice, chances are that also mice populations in your region will drop as well.

This can be great, especially if your neighborhood suffers from excessive numbers of mouses and rats and other measures to get rid of them haven’t worked out at all.

Stray cats will really appreciate what you do for them

Feral cats will also just really appreciate your company and what you do for them.

Sure, they will not be able to tell you that directly, yet you can their appreciation if you look them into the eyes.

In turn, your day may get much better after feeding a stray cat since you will feel like doing something important and helpful for the cat.

Consequently, you may also go to work much more motivated, even though you might not like it at all since you know that you will earn money that you can use later on to feed more cats and to make their lives better.

You may be able to adopt a stray cat

Depending on your local laws and also on the mood of the cat, you may even be able to adopt a stray cat once you have developed a proper connection with it.

If you feed a stray cat on a regular basis, chances are that it will gain plenty of trust in you and will naturally follow you.

If this is the case and it is within legal boundaries, you can just decide to bring the feral cat back to your home and that it can stay there forever.

In such a case, make sure that you take it to a veterinarian to do some examinations so that you can be sure that the cat doesn’t have any diseases or other unpleasant baggage.

If you touch stray cats, also make sure that you wear a glove or other protective measures so that you can avoid getting bitten by these cats and being infected by potentially serious diseases.

You can encourage others to adopt stray cats or shelter animals

If you adopt a stray cat yourself, you can also raise the awareness of your family and friends on this important topic.

In fact, if you are a good example of how to make the world a little bit better, your loved ones will also be more willing to take action and to help stray cats or cats from shelters as well.

In turn, many animals will have a much better life in the long run and you should not underestimate the positive difference you can make by taking care of stray cats.

Now that you got all the advantages of feeding a feral cat, let’s talk about the downsides to it so that you get a profound picture of whether you really want to feed stray cats or not.

Disadvantages of Feeding Feral Cats

  1. Diseases are quite common among stray cats
  2. Many feral cats carry parasites, fleas and worms
  3. Feral cats may become dependent on you
  4. Stray cats may explode in population
  5. Stray cats may follow you wherever you go
  6. You interfere with natural processes
  7. You will indirectly also feed other animals
  8. Ecological imbalance
  9. Stray cats may scratch or bite you
  10. Feeding feral cats costs some money
  11. May not be allowed in your region
  12. You may not use suitable feed
  13. It’s time to say goodbye after a while
  14. You will make the problem even worse in the long run
  15. Your neighbors may become angry

Diseases are quite common among stray cats

One problem with feeding stray cats is that they often have serious diseases.

In fact, stray cats can carry rabies and other unpleasant things and you should definitely not feed them out of your hand due to that.

If you are not careful, you may get infected with those diseases in the long run and you may even lose your life due to that sooner or later.

In fact, many people greatly underestimate the dangers that come along with feeding stray animals and you should really make sure to protect yourself properly.

Many feral cats carry parasites, fleas and worms

Apart from serious diseases, many stray cats also just carry fleas, worms and parasites.

This is quite logical since they are in the streets all day long and also walk through bushes and have contact with other animals.

In turn, they can get those unpleasant things from various different sources and there are barely any stray cats who are fully healthy in general.

Hence, also make sure to maintain some distance between you and the feral cat so that you can avoid getting in touch with fleas or parasites so that you stay healthy yourself in the long run.

Feral cats may become dependent on you

Another disadvantage of feeding feral cats is that they will simply become dependent on you sooner or later.

If you feed them on a regular basis, chances are that they will remember you and that those stray cats will no longer hunt any other prey.

While this may work out in the short run, it can lead to serious problems for them once you stop feeding them for various different reasons.

In such a case, those feral cats may be quite helpless since they relied on you as a reliable food source and may have unlearned how to hunt food themselves.

Stray cats may explode in population

By feeding stray cats, you may also contribute to an explosion in population of these feral cats.

The more food stray cats get, the more power they have to reproduce and this can have detrimental effects in the long run.

Imagine a world where there are many stray cats in the streets. Chances are that you will feel not comfortable in those environments at all.

Stray cats may follow you wherever you go

Feral cats are usually quite smart and have developed sharp instincts regarding whom they can trust or not.

If you are a nice person who feeds them on a regular basis, those stray cats will also follow you wherever you go after a while.

While this can be nice and entertaining in the short run, it can also be really annoying in the long run.

You interfere with natural processes

Another downside to feeding stray cats is that you simply interfere with natural processes.

In fact, stray cats are sort of wild animals that have no owner and have learned to take care of themselves.

Thus, if you feed a stray cat, always keep in mind that you feed a wild animal that is no longer domesticated and that should find its own place in natural environments instead of having to rely on humans to survive.

You will indirectly also feed other animals

By feeding stray cats, you will indirectly also feed other animals.

Stray cats will often not eat everything you offer them.

In turn, plenty of food waste will end up in the streets and chances are that rats and other unwanted animals may eat them and increase in population as well due to your cat feeding.

Consequently, the spread of serious diseases may become more likely and the overall quality of life may drop as well.

Ecological imbalance

By interfering with natural processes through feeding feral cats, you can also cause a significant ecological imbalance in the long run.

If stray cats and other animals increase in population, the ratio between predator and prey animals will shift and a formerly balanced ecosystem may get out of control sooner or later.

In fact, only small changes in populations can lead to the collapse of whole ecosystems and this can have detrimental effects, not only for animals but also for us humans in various different ways.

Stray cats may scratch or bite you

You should also be aware of the fact that feral cats are not domesticated animals, but often have developed a wild nature and will also not be afraid to scratch or bite you in case they feel threatened or uncomfortable due to various other reasons.

In turn, you may get bitten or scratched while feeding those animals and in the worst case, you may get infected with serious diseases.

Even if you don’t, scratches and bites still hurt and you should be willing to pay this price before feeding stray cats.

Feeding feral cats costs some money

If you want to feed stray cats in a proper manner, you also have to invest some money in this hobby.

Sure, you could just feed those cats with food waste of several sorts.

Yet, this will not be a proper diet for feral cats most of the time and if you really want to do good for them, you should get high-quality feed from a trustful cat food vendor.

May not be allowed in your region

Before feeding feral cats, you should also make sure that you don’t break your local laws by doing so.

In fact, it is forbidden to feed feral cats in some states and you should inform yourself so that you don’t get into any trouble in this regard.

You may not use suitable feed

Many people also just don’t know how to feed a cat properly.

They just use the wrong food and do more harm than good since improper diets can lead to serious diseases for cats.

Thus, make sure to inform yourself and to give stray cats suitable food so that they can really benefit from your feeding activity.

It’s time to say goodbye after a while

Even though you might feed your cats on a regular basis and will develop a strong connection with them, the time will come to say goodbye to your stray cats sooner or later.

While some of them will just die in a natural manner, others will die of diseases or will get involved in accidents with cars.

Due to that, you should also make sure that you have a stable personality so that you are able to deal with these losses in a proper manner before building relationships with stray animals.

You will make the problem even worse in the long run

While feeding stray cats can be beneficial for them in the short run, you may even exacerbate the problem in the long run since stray cats will increase in population and there will be even more stray cats out there after a while.

Your neighbors may become angry

Another disadvantage of feeding stray cats is that you may also get into a lot of trouble with your neighbors.

In fact, many people will not understand why you feed those feral cats and will not be happy about it at all.

Consequently, they may start to scream at you and may even offend you and you should make sure that you are willing to pay this price before feeding stray cats.

Top 10 Feeding Stray Cats Pros & Cons – Summary List

Feeding Stray Cats ProsFeeding Stray Cats Cons
Feeding stray cats can be entertainingFeeding feral cats can be risky
You can get a good feelingStray cats often carry diseases
You can reduce your food wasteFleas and bugs are quite common
Feral cats will really appreciate your effortsStray cats may become dependent on you
Can help you if you are lonelyYour neighbors may get angry
You may be able to adopt stray catsYou may do more harm than good
You can raise awareness of this problemEcological imbalance
You can learn a lot about natureFeeding stray cats may not be allowed
Mice population may decreaseStray cats may bite you
You can teach your kidsFeeding stray cats costs some money

Should You Feed Feral Cats?

Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of feeding stray cats, you will likely come to the conclusion that feeding stray cats cannot be a working solution in the long run.

In fact, you will make the problem even worse if you feed stray animals since they will increase in population and the problem of stray animals will increase as well due to that.

Much better than feeding stray animals would be to inform your local animal shelter or other official institutions that could take care of those straying cats and give them a better life in the long run.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_cat

https://awl.org.au/advice-education/pet-advice/cat-tips-advice/difference-between-feral-and-stray-cats

https://www.peta.org/about-peta/why-peta/feral-cats/

About the Author

My name is Andreas and I’m really passionate about our environment and also about growing plants. In fact, I have grown several different plants over many years. I love to see my own plants grow and also always try new things to improve my overall conditions at home.

In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants and improving your home as well, even though you might still be a beginner right now.

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