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A Kind End to a Harsh Life

Written by PETA | August 24, 2011

A concerned resident called PETA after seeing this feral cat. Take one look at his photo, and you can see why.

A PETA supporter went to the scene and was able to trap the cat and take him to a veterinarian.

In addition to the cat’s obviously horrific ear wounds, he was suffering from an aggressive and painful form of cancer that had reduced this formerly gorgeous cat to a weak, bedraggled skeleton. The veterinarian immediately put the suffering cat out of his misery, giving him more comfort in his final moments than he had likely known for much of his life.

Unless they are rescued, as this poor cat was, feral cats do not die gently—they incur ghastly injuries and infections, contract painful diseases, are poisoned and shot by people who don’t want them in their yards, are hit by cars, are attacked by wildlife, and so on. Easily treatable conditions for cats who live in our homes, like urinary tract infections and flea infestations, can become miserable and even deadly for cats who cannot be handled.

If there are feral cats in your neighborhood, please don’t prolong their agony by simply putting out food and hoping for the best. Trap them and bring them into your home (but be aware that some feral cats never become tame and spend their lives in hiding, afraid of you and any noise); take them to a reputable open-admission shelter (not a so-called “no kill” shelter that warehouses frightened, unadoptable animals in cages for years); or take them to a veterinarian for a peaceful release from a world that has turned its back on them. I’ve personally done all three, and this last option, while the hardest on me, was by far the easiest on the cat.


Written by Alisa Mullins

Commenting is closed.
  • Mary C.W. says:

    Hey Kathy, why not kindly intervene, suggest some local trap, neuter and return programs, if you can find one in your vicinity. Tell her the cats will be back, and they will be in less danger of getting diseases or over-reproducing etc with the free benefits some rescue associations can provide. I go to a place called vokra here in vancouver and they have helped immensely with some strays and ferals in my area. Perhaps there are some helpful programs that are similar that you can reach. 🙂

  • Valerie says:

    There is a rescue group, barncats that takes feral cats and gives them to farmers to live on their properties to keep the rodent population down. The supposedly check up to make sure the cats are getting medical attention, etc…Have never visited them, but sounds like a good concept if the cats get good care.

  • Phyllis says:

    Wouter Berkouwer WROTE: How can people turn their back on any animal or other lifeform at all? The world gets more sad every day. EXACTLY! Will there come a time when there is NO ONE that will do this…I still hope.. thanks to PETA! Let all life lovers make each day a bit happier by doing ONE THING to change it. Thank You PETA so very very much.

  • Lois Kern says:

    I used to have feral cats coming around work all the time, I fed them every night until they were comfortable with me, then I found each of them a good home. To let them starve is just wrong. But trapping them and getting them fixed is a start.

  • Carla* says:

    Thanks James!! Noted and signed!!

  • PETA says:

    PETA’s caseworkers receive countless reports of incidents in which cats—“managed” or not—suffer and die horrible deaths because they must fend for themselves outdoors. Having witnessed firsthand the gruesome things that can happen to feral cats, we cannot in good conscience oppose euthanasia as a humane option in some circumstances. Nevertheless, PETA’s position has never been that all feral cats should be euthanized. We believe that TNRM programs (trap, neuter, release, and manage) are acceptable when the cats are (1) isolated from roads as well as people and other animals who will harm them, (2) constantly attended to by people who not only feed them but also care for their medical needs, (3) located in an area where they do not have contact with predators, and (4) located in an area where the weather is temperate.

  • Mariella says:

    I have fifteen rescued cats at home. Call me crazy but can’t stay indifferent. Indifference is what’s killing the world and sweet innocent creatures like this 🙁

  • Ana A. Garcia says:

    I am a PETA member, have been for many years. It is disconcerting that you have to trash no-kill shelters constantly. I support feline no-kill shelters and they are NOT in cages. Help animals but refrain from trashing shelters that are doing wonderful work and that get many felines adopted into their forever homes.

  • kathy says:

    There is a woman a few blocks from me who feeds feral cats. There will be many cats lined up at dinner time. Should I do anything? I’m concerned if I say anything to her or ask her any questions that she will simply stop feeding them and then there will be cats around her place starving.

  • James says:

    It’s sad so many animals are left to roam the streets in this way, be it through unwanted child toy that has grown up beyond cuteness of a kitten, cost of looking after it, allergies and lack of neutering etc. Perhaps there needs to be more control from governments about who should be allowed to own animals? Or maybe that is too far? Anyway, I have set up a petition for UK for dog license. I’ve seen too many poorly treated dogs that something has to be done to reduce the number/chances of neglect. I think it will help.

  • rj says:

    I do completely agree with you article, but just out of curiosity, is it always wrong to leave out food for feral cats, just because if some are born and live wild then it might just help them especially in winter when food is harder to find for them?

  • Wouter Berkouwer says:

    Seeing this picture really breaks my heart. How can people turn their back on such a beautiful sweet creature? How can people turn their back on any animal or other lifeform at all? The world gets more sad every day. I hope this beautiful sweet cat finally gets the rest, love, warmth and respect it deserves.

  • Mari says:

    I will take the stray cats for now on. I usually stay guarding the cats when I feed them. I don’t care who sees me. I risk my life for animals.