Feeding a stray cat for months? Then you are assuming responsibility for all that animal’s needs.
Cats are chancers, if the opportunity to cadge an extra meal is there, they will take it. That is why they sometimes don’t come home for a couple of days, there is no need to because they are being fed elsewhere. They have a home but are being a ‘6 dinner Sid’ so will take what they can get. It’s feline nature. However, what happens when you turn this situation around. A cat appears, you feed it and it stays. They might not come into your home but they are there, a stray. Then you find them sheltering under some old tarpaulin for instance, so you make them a kennel, but they are still a stray. You continue with this for weeks, months even years then one day the cat is ill and needs veterinary attention but it’s still a stray right? The simple answer to this question is no. If you start to feed a cat regularly you are assuming responsibility for that animal but the bowl of food you are putting out is not enough, they need care for all their life and if you can’t provide that then the responsibility of pet guardianship must really be thought over long and hard.
Someone who persistently feeds a cat/s but then insists they are still strays are not doing the animal any favours in the long run. Earlier this year, a cat came into our care, beautiful, friendly and loved attention despite being in severe pain. He had obviously had interaction with humans but he also had injuries so bad (multiple fractures of limbs and his pelvis plus masses of soft tissue damage) the vet decided to let him go on humane grounds. The thing with this poor cat was he had been fed by a person for over 5 years, stayed with them but had never been neutered, or chipped or vaccinated. They just fed him because ‘he was a stray’.
This is when a bowl of food isn’t enough. You can’t stop animals being injured or becoming ill but by having them seen regularly by a vet and having them spayed means they will have a better quality of life with you. Pets are a responsibility, they need more than food, shelter and love. Having their health care funded for life is essential. No charity can pick up the costs of veterinary care for an individual. If this cannot be provided, it’s only fair the animal should be found a lifelong home where all their needs are met as it’s only what they deserve. Our lost or found page has lots more info,