How many feral cats live in Israel
There are about 39,000 feral cats in Tel-Aviv, which is one cat for every ten humans, according to a study by Tel-Aviv university published in let the animals live website. And there are about two millions feral cats in Israel, a country with less than nine millions. One stray cat for every four and a half humans. You see stray cats free roaming the streets all the time.
Why are there so many feral cats in Israel
Many cats were brought to Israel by the English during the British mandate, while Israel belonged to England, before 1948. They were either brought to eat mice and rats or because the English love cats. If they were brought as pets, then it’s not clear why they ended as strays.
The climate in Israel is warm, California-like climate. Cats won’t freeze to death in this weather. On top of mountains and hills, it snows sometimes during the winter, but on flat land, the temperature don’t drop below freezing.
It’s illegal to poison feral cats in Israel.
There’s plenty of food. Feral cats eat from garbage cans, which is why they’re also called ‘garbage cats’, also ‘street cats’. There’s plenty of garbage in the large cities, because they’re crowded. Most people live in buildings, and homes in large cities are too expensive for most people. There are 1022 per square miles according to world population review. In feline terms, that equals plenty of garbage. Chicken is very popular in Israel, and the skin and leftover are thrown in the garbage, a feline delicacy.
There are also cats’ feeders who buy cats’ food or give the feral cats leftovers, in their yards or in the parks. So there’s plenty of food for a feral cat in Israel.
Spaying, neutering, and shelters for Tel-Aviv stray cats population
Sometimes vets care for sick and wounded feral cats for free. I’ve seen this in several clinics, they’re kept in cages in the backroom, but the vets can’t always do that, because there are so many stray cats, and if the vets take care of every sick or wounded cat they run into, they’ll be working for free day and night.
Sometimes the city spay stray cats, but only a small percentage of the feral cats colonies are neutered. They’re difficult to catch, and there are just too many abandoned cats. There aren’t enough programs for spaying, and the few shelters are full.
I have three feral cats living in my house, and one more who comes and goes. I took the first one home when she was a sick motherless kitten. Many kittens who are abandoned by their mothers are simply left to die, unless someone takes them in. The few shelters are filled. Here’s a video of my first cat, Hazelnut, when she was a hyperactive kitten.
The lives of feral cats in Tel-Aviv
Feral cats suffer hunger, despite overflowing garbage cans and cats feeders. There are so many cats, and not enough food for everyone. They don’t get vaccination shots or treatment for fleas or worms. Some cats get hit by cars. They don’t get medical treatment if they’re sick or wounded. A sick or wounded feral cat often crawls in the bushes because that’s what they do in the wild, where predators look for weakened animals who can’t fight or run. As a result, they often aren’t discovered by vets or kind people who want to help. Besides, these cats who weren’t raised by humans, are often fearful and violent, and taking an aggressive feral cat to the vet is difficult and dangerous.
Cats feeders here often have a hard time. There are many people in Israel who see feral cats as pests, although they don’t pose a health risk to humans. People yell at cats feeders, and I heard one lady got beat up by her neighbors. I fed feral cats when I was a child, in the yard surrounding the building where I lived with my parents and siblings. The neighbors would chase the cats away, yell at me, and take away the food bowls. Being a cats feeder isn’t easy around here.
I encourage everyone to take home a feral cat. They offer unconditional love and bright up your life. And you save their lives by taking them in. A nice home with plenty of food and medical treatment when needed, not to mention love and affection, is seventh heaven for a feral cat. Adoption of feral cats is good for both the cat and the human.
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