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Feeding Strays – At the Very Least or At Your Own Risk?

While compassion causes many people to put out food dishes for animals roaming loose, logic makes others think twice about inviting (possibly diseased) strays to the area. Even if you wouldn't pick up one of these pets on the side of the road, what's your take on feeding them – does this good deed outweigh the risky results?

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Jyramiah Jyramiah 8 years
I've done it before. Fed them AND taken them in. I would do it again. I can't help it. Those poor things are out there all alone. Makes me sad.
tglynn tglynn 8 years
I always feed strays. If I hadn't then I wouldn't have the two lovely mother kitties I gave a warm home to for birthing. One had a litter of only two, as she was young herself, which we ended up keeping. :] I don't know where I'd be without them
Bksuga Bksuga 8 years
I would feed for strays in my area i see them alot and have left food before but my boyfriend encourgaed me to stop when one tried to come in the house.
CoralAmber CoralAmber 8 years
All of my cats were strays at one time. My mom has a soft spot for feeding them, but we don't leave food out because it can attract insects, racoons, and a neighbor's tom cat that sprays everything!
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
Years back, I lived in a first floor apartment, and was known by animal control as the Cat and Dog Whisperer. Minnesota is known for it's extreme weather, particularily in the Winter, so this needs to be factored in when deciding for me. I rescued a cute black cat in the dead of a cold spell, and he was adopted at the humane society. Another, a crazy and HUGE feral, was not adoptable. I felt terrible, but as the temp was in the sub-zero range, he would have suffered and died a horrible death. Another wasn't a stray, but a smarty pants of a black lab that had tought himself to open the porch door and come from about 1 mile away to visit me, play fetch, and get a treat! Long story, the animal control officer and I were able to find his owners and let him know what he was going during the evenings! :truestory:
ladyr ladyr 8 years
If there is a stray dog in my neighborhood, I try to catch it if it seems friendly. If I can't catch it or it has no tags, I call animal control. If my dogs got out, I would be very grateful if they were picked up by animal control. I would not want them to be hit by a car or stolen. I like kitties, but as far as stray cats go, they can become a big problem very fast. In my last neighborhood, there were a lot of stray cats. Many of them were obviously sick, they went to the bathroom everywhere, and they were always fighting and having kittens. When it was cold, we and several of our neighbors had issues with them hiding in our garages for shelter (since they had no home) and peeing all over our stuff. Some animal service agencies have programs where they will lend you a few humane traps to catch stray cats, then you can bring them in and they will spay/neuter them for free, evaluate them for health problems, and they allow you to release them back into your neighborhood. I think this is the greatest thing you can do for a stray cat that is too wild to be adopted. If they have been spayed and seen by a vet, you can feel good about putting food out for them and know that they are not as likely to get out of hand and pass on illnesses to pets and people in the neighborhood.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
The problem with taking strays to shelters is that for the most part, they're not going to be adoptable. Feral cats typically remain feral. The best thing to do would be to trap them and have them spayed/neutered in order to decrease the overall cat population over time. There are organizations that can help with this too. Then they can be released. It's not the best life for a cat, but when they've been born into it, it's difficult to make them into house cats.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Our neighborhood has a ton of stray cats and kittens. My neighbor and I usually keep bowls of food and water out for them.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 8 years
I would try and get it to a shelter... but if my only options were to ignore the animal or feed it... I would feed it.
ehadams ehadams 8 years
My mother feeds the feral cats in her area. If they are friendly or young enough we catch them and find homes for them. But two of them are older and have always been wild, so she just feeds them. They are fixed though...we don't want a ton of them running around!
j4everlasting j4everlasting 8 years
Personally, if there were a stray in my neighbourhood, I would probably try to catch it and take it to either a rescue/shelter, call animal control, or if I really liked the animal, I would probably take it to the vet and get it checked out.
lilprisci lilprisci 8 years
This is hard since I realize that by feeding them one is possibly not helping the cause (for the animals or for the humans) but between choosing to let the animals starve or feed them a little something, I choose feed.
foxie foxie 8 years
There aren't any strays in my neighborhood, but if there were I would feed them.
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