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Home Pet Q&A Cat Questions Should You Feed A Stray Cat?

Should You Feed A Stray Cat?

Before you feed a stray cat, you should check with your neighbors that the cat does not belong to them. Some cats are allowed to wander outside at their leisure and though they are fed, they will still beg for more. If the cat does not belong to your neighbors and does not seem scared of humans, the cat may be lost. You can feed the cats if you have the means to do so and it is legal in your area. You should also refer to our lost pet guide on the next steps.

Know The Laws In Your Area 

It is illegal to feed stray or feral cats (cats who have lived their entire life outdoors and do not tolerate human interaction) in some locations, so it's important to know the laws in your area. It's also important to know that many communities have groups of animal lovers advocating against such laws—and they have been successful in several places.

Talk With Members Of A Local TNR Group

If you notice a cat or multiple cats that are extremely scared of humans, it is likely a feral cat. Find a local group of feral cat advocates who will be happy to give you advice specific to your area. They will know if it is legal to feed these cats and whether or not it will be helpful for them. They'll likely also encourage you to get the cat or cats TNR'd (trapped/neutered/released), which is another great kindness to these cats. 

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