The management and control of populations of feral cats can at times be very tricky. If you feel you cannot manage the population without assistance, it would be best to contact animal control. Should your property be overrun with strays and feral cats, it might be necessary to contact your local animal control office who’ll be able to take action by assisting with their removal.
You must take note though, that these animal control agencies more often than not, will euthanize the cats after they have trapped them. A vacuum effect is created by the removal of a feral cat community as the gathering and euthanizing of the cats does not reduce the population. In fact, rounding them up has the opposite effect. This is due to the fact that other cats merely relocate to help themselves to newly available resources of shelter and food which means breeding just continues.
To clear the area of feral cats, ensure that garbage cans are securely closed so that they don’t present a source of food. Close up any available shelters using chicken wire or planks of plywood. Chicken wire may also be put over patches of soil where the cats dig in your garden. The wire which can be purchased from hardware or home-improvement stores, can be layed straight onto the ground and the four corners secured with rocks so the wire cannot be moved.
If the feral cats continue to stay in the area, sprinkle pepper flakes in the vicinity of your property as this irritates their paws encouraging them to leave. If there is a large number of strays, it may be best to call the local animal rescue so that they may catch and relocate the cats.
Should you be able to trap the cat and have it neutered or spayed, it can then be set free in the same location where it was trapped. As the feral cat will more than likely be feeling traumatized, it will feel calmer and adjust better to familiar territory. Another advantage is that male cats prevent strange males from coming into their colonies. This also prevents female cats that have not been spayed from mating which assists in population control.
The object of the plan of trap-neuter-return is to stop the repeated breeding of cats that are free-roaming. In order for this method to be a successful way to manage the cat population, almost all of the cats comprising the feral population will have to be caught, spayed/neutered and then returned.
It has been estimated by the Feral Cat Coalition of America that there are roughly sixty million feral and homeless cats living in the United States.