Understanding the complex and emotional issue of free-roaming and feral cats is essential to combating cat overpopulation.
Although there has never been an official count of the number of feral cats in Brevard County- estimates range anywhere from 25,000 to 200,000 cats. What can be accurately counted, though, are the 16,000 feral cats spayed or neutered over the past 4 years through Trap-Neuter-Return programs (TNR), supported by private donations. That makes 16,000 cats that will not contribute to population increase. Studies support this fact: TNR programs prevent breeding, which allows populations to decrease by attrition. Increases are caused by irresponsible pet-owners who abandon cats to fend for themselves, which is an ongoing problem.
Debbie Rich, former President of Space Coast Feline Network, a non-profit group dedicated to the humane care and control of the homeless cat population in Brevard. Debbie is a self-professed “failed” foster mom with 27 cats and an enthusiastic advocate for feral cats.