The big question: can cats survive on the streets? Cats are gaining ground in our homes. In many countries, the population of feline pets now exceeds that of the popular dog. And in countries where the “man’s best friend” is still the predominant pet, its lead over felines is shrinking every year.
On the other hand, cat colonies cause a lot of controversy in society. Cats living in urban areas, in our cities, have accompanied us for centuries. Fortunately, they increasingly benefit from increased protection after having suffered the indifference of the administration, social persecution and persecution by the authorities of the people who take care of them, even their indiscriminate extermination.
There is one undeniable thing, it is that the history of domestic cats is intimately linked to the history of humanity. They need us to survive, whether it’s the cats that inhabit the streets of our cities or those that live in a comfortable home. Each in their own way.
Can a cat survive if abandoned in the street?
It may seem that a cat that has been lucky enough to live in the care of a family will do well on the streets just like its stray fellows – aren’t they all cats after all? But, without wishing to anthropomorphize by example, would you be able to survive if you suddenly appeared in the Amazon, in the Sahara desert or at the North Pole? After all, there are also human populations in these places, is not it ?
Eating, drinking, finding shelter, facing the many unknown risks, the feeling of helplessness… It is exactly the same thing that happens to cats who are left to their own devices in the street, which leads them to face an environment hostile and, consequently, to physical and emotional suffering which, in many cases, ends in the cruel death of the animal.
- The search for food and water
The happy pet cats have their food bowls and fresh, clean water at their disposal. And, in many cases, they’re also rewarded with juicy boxes of wet food and even snacks.
When they have responsible owners who give them food adapted to their needs and in the right quantities, their nutrition is not only optimal, it is extraordinary. Their health is considerably improved.
A cat abandoned in the street and who, until now, had lived with the security that when he was hungry or thirsty, he only had to go to his bowls to get his fill, what will he do now?
Finding a source of food and water is “mission impossible” for him. So far, he will have caught at most one fly that has entered the house he misses so much.
He will therefore probably have to seek a living by rummaging through containers (with possible confrontations with a neighbour) or trying to get some food from a colony of cats, which will lead to fights with other cats (this what a domestic cat is not accustomed to either).
In the best case, where the abandoned cat manages to feed itself, its food will be of lower quality. In addition, it can ingest spoiled or even poisoned prey or food.
Cars, passers-by, noises, animals… When a cat lives in a house, it is not confronted with a series of daily situations and actors that exist in the street. The unsuspecting feline has a high chance of being run over, knocked down when approaching a person, attacked by a dog, or fighting with other cats.
Finding a safe place to rest or shelter from bad weather (extreme cold, rain or snow, heat wave, etc.) is a matter of life and death when you live on the street.
Until now, it was enough for the “ex-cat” to snuggle up in bed next to the radiator when he was cold or to lie on the cool floor when he was warm. And there was always a roof to shelter him from the rain.
Finding something resembling shelter in an unfamiliar environment can be time consuming and again possible confrontations with neighbors or other cats.
A domestic cat has most often had close contact with its human family. When a domestic cat finds itself in the street, it may approach a person likely to harm it to ask for help.