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Feral Cat Dilemma in High Desert Life

Feral and Stray Cats

A feral pet

People in the High Desert share one common factor without a doubt – feral/stray cats. Feed one and expect a cat community to show up. Keep them around a few months and watch them multiply. There are some solutions to this problem, however. Which ones would you choose?

  1. No cats option. Don’t feed any cats that show up. 
  2. Feed the first cat, vaccinate it, have it neutered or spayed, and make it an inside pet. Ignore all other cats that show up.
  3. Trap all cats and take them to the animal shelter.
  4. Call animal control for any cats that show up.
  5. First come, first serve option. Feed cats but limit amount of food.
  6. Other option

Growing up in a rural area in Texas, I was used to stray cats coming around. My dad and I once took a feral mother in and used one of my baby doll bottles to feed milk to the babies. Only one of the kittens made it, and I don’t recall how long the cat lived. The other cats we had were Persians and domestic, though we did keep them outside. My mother did not like animals inside the house.

My mother-in-law always had a soft heart when it came to caring for cats. Strays would appear, and she would have them vaccinated and fixed, feed them, and make them her pets. But even she put a limit to how many. Seven is the most I ever saw her take in.



Making a stray cat a pet to keep outside can keep mice away, but how do you eliminate the predator problem? Coyotes love feral cats that roam around. Easy dinner. One friend built a large outdoor cage for pet cats. The cats could go in and out, had food and water available, and plenty of accessible high spots to perch on. That was the best outdoor cat setup I ever saw.

How do you control feral cats in your neighborhood?



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