While feral cats pose a problem both in rural and urban areas like fighting, yowling and a threat to the wild bird population, they also help to control the small rodent population like rats and mice. The Milwaukee area shelters have many programs dealing with feral cats. They suggest ways to deal with these animals one is to adopt these feral cats if they can be tamed. The TNR is a popular program allowing trained volunteers and professionals to trap the feral cats and bring them back to the shelter where veterinarians give them a thorough physical check-up, neuter or spay the feline and return them to their original territory or, if necessary, release them in a new area. Then there is the trap and kill program which is a last effort procedure.
Unfortunately, dog fighting continues to be a prevalent problem in the Milwaukee area and small animals are used in training these unfortunate canines. One target for bait animals are kittens and during kitten season one shelter can process more than 1,300 kittens which means that there is a readily available supply for these trainers throughout the area.
One shelter in the country has a feline job program placing feral cats on farms to control their rodent population. Feral cats are trapped and have a complete physical examination that includes all necessary inoculations then they are given to farmers or rural property owners free of charge. The requirements for the new owners are simple they must provide adequate shelter in a barn or utility building, provide water and supplemental food and they must be not brought into the home as a pet. This could be a valuable program for the Milwaukee area.
Milwaukee residents who are interested in more information about the feral cat situation in the area can contact the Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) and Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MASACC).