Best Friends Animal Society is raising awareness of at-risk cats with National Community Cat Day, October 16

Best Friends says cats are the most at-risk animal population in shelters across our country.

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KANAB, Utah – The Best Friends Animal Society announces October 16 as National Community Cat Day.

For decades this day has been known as World Cat Day or National Wildcat Day, but this year Best Friends changed its name to raise awareness of the risks to the community’s cats, Cats wandering or outside, often looked after by one or more people in the community.

“Community cat management is critical to helping us meet our goal of ending the slaughter of cats in U.S. shelters by 2025,” said Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society. “These animals are the most at risk in our country, and it is essential that we have the nationwide implementation of Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) to save lives.”

Best Friends and other animal welfare organizations are moving away from the term “feral cats” to describe all cats that live and are seen outdoors, using the term “community cats” instead. Not all cats that live or roam outdoors are wild, and many are friendly, social, or shy outdoor cats, or even hanging out pets. Some like to interact with people, while others are temperamental and stick around, but they are animals established in their community and loved by their caregivers.

Compared to dogs, cats are killed at a 2: 1 rate in American animal shelters, and community cats make up a large portion of those killed. Last year 68% of animals killed in shelters were cats, which means more than 201,000 cats were killed in shelters in 2020. National Community Cat Day aims to address the need for public understanding and adoption of policies and programs to protect and humanely manage them. community cat populations.

Community-based cat programs, which are anchored by the Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) method, are the most effective way to save lives and humanely reduce populations over time. In areas where community cat programs exist, savings rates for cats have improved by up to 80%. In these programs, using TNVR, cats are humanely trapped, medically assessed, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and fitted with an ear tip under anesthesia for identification. They then returned to their outdoor homes to live their lives supported by volunteer caregivers.

A recent study showed that the majority of people surveyed (67%) are unfamiliar with TNVR as a rescue method to help cats in the community, and many people don’t realize that very few cats that enter shelters are reunited with their owners or adopted. However, once people understand TNVR, 65% of people support it.

TNVR has significant benefits for cats and their communities. It prevents unwanted litters, improves the health of outdoor cats, reduces harmful behaviors like spraying, fighting, howling and roaming, creates safer and healthier quarters by reducing the number of unvaccinated cats, saves taxpayer dollars by keeping cats out of shelters, and ultimately reduces the number of cats that die in shelters. TNVR extends the lifespan and improves the quality of life of cats in groups of managed cats, allowing them to live longer and healthier than they would if they were placed in shelters. Learn more about how to help community cats. here.

About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is the leading animal welfare organization working to end the slaughter of dogs and cats in U.S. shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer of the no-kill movement and Helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from about 17 million per year to about 347,000. Best Friends runs rescue programs across the country, as well as the world’s largest no-lay animal sanctuary. death of the country. Working in conjunction with a network of more than 3,300 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends strives to save them all®. For more information visit bestfriends.org.

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