Common Myths

Common Myths About Feral Cats


Feral cats are a new and “unnatural species” created by irresponsible humans abandoning their pets.

TRUTH: Feral cats have lived peacefully alongside humans for more than 10,000 years. Throughout most of the world, cats have lived outdoors serving as both companions and pest controllers. It was not until the mid-20th century that they were invited into the home.

Similar to farm animals, they are domesticated but not socialized to humans. Being domesticated they are protected by the state’s anti-cruelty laws and should not be harmed in any way.


Feral Cats Spread Disease & Rabies

TRUTH: Research shows that feral cats are just as healthy as pet cats with equally low incidence of disease and similar life spans. In fact, in 2007 less than 1% of feral cats presented to TNVR clinics in 6 states had to be euthanized for debilitating conditions, trauma or infectious diseases.

Rabies is often misguidedly used to justify catch and kill plans to remove cats from certain areas, when in fact, feral cats are not a reservoir for rabies, and the virus itself is not nearly the threat it once was. The last confirmed cat-to-human transmission of rabies occurred in 1975 and the risk of catching rabies from a feral cat is almost non-existent.

Read “The Science Behind Why Feral Cats Are Safe Members of Our Communities”.


Feral Cats Attack Children

TRUTH: Feral cats are not socialized to humans and will avoid them. They are evasive and wary, refusing to approach humans even when food is offered.


Feral Cats Endanger Wildlife Populations

TRUTH: Studies show that the declining numbers of birds and wildlife are caused by habitat loss, urbanization, pollution and environmental degradation. These scenarios are caused by humans, not feral cats.

Read “Cats and Wildlife: An HSUS Perspective”

AAHA Accreditation

  • 2016 (33)
  • 2015 (44)
  • 2014 (108)
  • 2013 (211)
  • 2012 (298)
  • 2011 (14)
  • 2010 (3)
  • 2009 (4)
  • 2008 (2)