Depending on where you live geographically there is most likely an abundance of stray and feral cats in your community. The larger the city, such as Chicago, the over population of homeless cats is more prominent, which is unfortunately due to the negligence of owners not getting their cats spayed or neutered. At the local humane societies in most communities, there are many educational programs available that educate people about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets, which ultimately plays a key role each in reducing the number of homeless cats.
Homeless cats are also known as feral or stray cats, and even though the two words are often used interchangeably, there are significant differences between feral and stray cats. Generally speaking, a feral cat is the generational offspring of a domesticated cat that was abandoned or lost. Depending on how many generations the offspring of these cats have been without human interaction determines whether or not the feral cats can be socialized as house pets. In numerous cases, animal shelters such as the Anticruelty Society and the Tree House Humane Society have been able to successfully socialize young feral kittens and cats and place them into loving homes.
Just like a feral cat, a stray cat is a cat that was lost or abandoned, but the major difference between the two is the fact that stray cats are very comfortable being around people, and will often walk up to a person to have its belly rubbed. Stray cats are also less likely to hide from people, easier to approach, and less likely to resist being rescued, due to their familiarity with human contact. Regardless of whether a cat is feral or a stray, she deserves a chance to live a quality life, to be happy, to be safe and most of all loved.