The Vacuum Effect

Feral Cats and the Vacuum Effect

Feral cats have been living outside in the close proximity to humans for over 10,000 years. Feral cats choose to reside in locations for two reasons:

  1. There is a food source (intended or not)
  2. There is shelter

These species and are not socialized to humans and are therefore un-adoptable. Feral cats live healthy, natural lives on their own, content with their outdoor home.

The Vacuum Effect

Removing Cats From An Area Creates A Vacuum

Catching and killing feral cats is Animal Control’s traditional approach to feral cats. Catch and kill attempts may temporarily reduce the number of feral cats in a given area, but two things happen: intact survivors continue to breed, and other cats move in to the now available territory. This is a phenomenon known as the Vacuum Effect, and it is documented worldwide.

Catch and Kill Doesn’t Work, Yet It Continues

Animal Control agencies have been catching and killing cats for decades in a misguided attempt to reduce the number of feral cats in a given area. Animal Control continues to practice catch and kill even though the number of outdoor cats does not decrease, proving the futility of these practices. This endless, cruel cycle is not supported by the public, and is a gross misuse of tax dollars. The Vacuum Effect is just one reason catch and kill is so ineffective.

Trap, Neuter, Return DOES Work

This program involves humanely trapping, spaying or neutering, vaccinating, and reuniting cats to their outdoor homes. There are no more unwanted kittens. The population stabilizes. And the returned neutered cats lives are improved. Behavior and stress associated with pregnancy and mating, such as howling or fighting, cease. Not only does Trap, Neuter, Return make good sense, it is also a responsible, humane method of care for outdoor cats.

You Make the Difference and Save Lives

Together, we stand up and take action to stop the current Animal Control policies that do not address the needs of the cats or our communities.

Please note: Although we care for community cats (strays) we do not offer medical care for any cat that is brought to us. We can offer advice on these issues only–not medical services.

We feed about 15 feline colonies (anywhere between 2 and 22 cats in a colony) roughly about 20 stops a day. That’s about 700 cats!

This a 365 day, year round job. We start the day preparing food, packing the car, and driving to the cat colonies. In all, it is about 6 hours daily to feed; and around the clock monitoring care for ill cats.
We focus on Palm Beach County, but all of Florida has a large number of feral or stay cats. The cats are behind businesses, restaurants, backyards, parks, EVERYWHERE!
FOOD is our most expensive item, 4000 pounds of each wet food and dry food per month. Other cost goes towards medical care, spaying, and neutering cats for population control.

TNR: Trap, Neuter, Release. We have seen HUGE reductions in cat colony populations, and limiting costs and sick kitties.

Financial donations or dropping off cat food at our drop off location is a HUGE help. You can also apply to be a Feline Feeder through our website under “Job Opportunities.” Spreading the word about our organization by mouth, social media, or any other platform is definitely helpful! Foster or adopt a cat or kitten in need is a great way to get involved as well!
Contact us via email or phone, and we will assist you any way we can. We can attempt to trap the feline to provide care on a one on one basis.
We have over 25 years of experience in TNR, feeding, colony monitoring, adopting out, and medical care for cats.
We have an abundance of information about feral and stray cats on our website! If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us!

Hopefully, we will continue to assist and feed these cats in need. We are always looking for help–whether that is in a form of a donation, volunteering, working with us, or just spreading awareness about FFF. We have seen a drastic reduction in the cat population, so hopefully that will continue to occur, as well.

If you have any other questions, please contact us

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