Feral Cat Quiz

Find out if you are a true feral cat friend.

By Alley Cat Allies | Posted: April 10 2008 2 a.m. EDT

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Courtesy of Alley Cat Allies
Are you a feral friend? If you’re like many others, you’ve probably stumbled upon an outdoor cat and wondered what to do. Take a moment to test your knowledge of feral cats and their care. 

1. Feral cats are:
a. Domestic cats who were born outside and never have been socialized by humans
b. Cats who were left outside and have become de-socialized to humans
c. Not candidates for adoption
d. All of the above

2. Trap-neuter-return:
a. Is the practice of humanely trapping, spaying or neutering, and returning cats to their outdoor homes
b. Originated in the United Kingdom
c. Is more humane and cost-effective than catch-and-kill
d. All of the above

3. The best thing to do for feral cats you see outside is:
a. Call your shelter for help.
b. Have them spayed or neutered, and return them to their outdoor home.
c. Take them to a no-kill shelter.
d. Bring them inside your house to be pets.

4. The vacuum effect is a phenomenon that involves:
a. Additional cats joining an existing colony
b. New cats moving in to fill a void caused by the removal of cats from an area 
c. The effect your household vacuum has on your lap cat
d. A dominant cat taking the food of more submissive cats

5. Once you have trapped a feral cat to take to a spay/neuter appointment, the best way to keep the cat calm is to:
a. Place the trap out in the open. The cat will see his surroundings and feel calm.
b. Cover the trap with a large towel or blanket.
c. Pet the cat.
d. Play some rap music for the cat.

6. Feral cat colonies only exist in rural areas.
a. True
b. False

7. Cats living outdoors are a relatively new development in human history.
a. True
b. False

8. When trapping feral cats, what is the most enticing bait to use?
a. Dry cat food
b. Wet cat food
c. Tuna fish in water
d. Tuna fish, sardines, or mackerel in oil

Courtesy of Alley Cat Allies
9. The cat in the photo to the left is missing part of his left ear and is considered:
a. Ear-tipped, indicating that he has been neutered and is a member of a managed colony
b. A special breed born like this
c. Ear-damaged, because he lost part of his ear in a tussle with another cat
d. Ear-clipped, designating him a member of a certain feral cat colony

10. If there is a cat in a colony who is friendly to humans, you should:
a. Treat her like the other cats.
b. Treat her as a found pet/stray cat and try to find her owner or find her a new home.
c. Take her to your local animal shelter.
d. Ignore her, and hope she goes away.

11. Ongoing care for a feral cat colony should include:
a. Providing adequate food and water daily
b. Providing adequate shelter
c. Promptly trapping ill or injured cats for veterinary treatment
d. All of the above

12. How many states have anti-cruelty laws protecting cats and dogs?
a. None. No states have specific protections for domestic animals.
b. Eighteen states have protections only for owned pets; feral cats have no protection.
c. Twenty-five states have some laws protecting either dogs or cats.
d. All 50 states have laws protecting cats and dogs, which also apply to feral cats.

13. When feral cats are brought to a spay/neuter clinic, what type of treatment should they receive?
a. Spay/neuter surgery
b. Rabies vaccination
c. Ear-tipping
d. All of the above

14. What is a managed colony of feral cats?
a. A collection of cats living together who have all been spay or neutered
b. A group of cats that is managed by one dominant cat who has first dibs on food and shelter
c. A group of cats that are sterilized and ear-tipped and looked after by a caregiver who provides food, shelter and medical treatment
d. A group of cats whose activities are observed and recorded for research purposes

15. What is the number one cause of death of all cats in the United States?
a. Euthanasia in animal pounds and shelters
b. FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus)
c. Being hit by cars
d. FeLV (feline leukemia virus)

16. It is not safe to handle or touch a feral cat unless it is anesthetized.
a. True
b. False

17. Relocating a feral cat colony:
a. When necessary, should be done by confining the cats in a new location for four weeks so they become accustomed to their new home
b. Should be done by taking the cats to an existing colony and releasing them immediately to bond with the other cats
c. Should be avoided at all costs and only used as a last resort in emergency situations
d. Both A and C

18. Most Americans:
a. Believe it’s more humane to catch a stray cat and put him down than let him live out his life outdoors
b. Believe it’s more humane to let a stray cat live out his life outdoors
c. Believe it’s more humane to let a stray cat live out his life outdoors than to euthanize him, even if they knew the cat would die a traumatic death in two years
d. Both B and C

19. After being spayed or neutered, feral cats must be confined until their incisions have completely healed.
a. True
b. False

Courtesy of Duane Wilcox
20. The kitty in this photo is relaxing in a:
a. Refuge
b. Nest
c. Cat pad
d. Shelter







Scoring

Score one point for each correct answer using the answer key below.

Answer Key

1. D. All of the above. A feral cat is any outdoor cat that is not socialized to humans.

2. D. All of the above.

3. B. Calling animal control is a death sentence for feral cats, as they are not candidates for adoption. No-kill shelters are not the answer either, because the cats are still removed from their outdoor homes. Having a feral cat as a pet is not possible, since feral cats are not socialized to humans. Trap-neuter-return is the best option for feral cats.

4. B. The vacuum effect has been well-documented in places where trap and remove has been used. Trap and remove is ineffective since it creates an endless and costly cycle.

5. B. Once the trap is covered, the cat will calm down and stop thrashing.

6. B. False. Feral cat colonies form wherever there are existing resources like food and shelter. This can be anywhere from a farm, to an alley, to a junkyard.

7. B. False. Cats have been living outside in close proximity to humans for 8,000 to 10,000 years.

8. D. Cats respond to strong fishy-smelling bait. The fish in oil won’t freeze or dry out as quickly as fish in water.

9. A. Ear-tipping is the best way to make it easily apparent to any observer that a feral cat has been sterilized. This is a painless procedure performed while under anesthesia.

10. B. Stray cats, or cats who are friendly toward humans, can be adopted into good homes with your help.

11. D. All of the above. Feral cat colony care means providing food, water, shelter and health care.

12. D. Feral cats are protected under the law in all 50 states.

13. D. All feral cats that are brought to a clinic for spay/neuter surgery should also be vaccinated against rabies and ear-tipped for identification.

14. C. A feral cat colony becomes a managed colony when a comprehensive plan is implemented that includes spay/neuter and ear-tipping, as well as providing for food, shelter and medical care as needed.

15. A. More than 70% of cats that enter animal shelters are killed by the shelter.

16. A. True. Feral cats should not be handled by humans.

17. D. Feral cat colonies only should be relocated as a last resort. When relocation is necessary, it’s best to keep the cats confined in the new location so they get used to their new home.

18. D. In a 2007 Harris Interactive national poll conducted for Alley Cat Allies, respondents were asked if it would be more humane to let a stray, outdoor cat live out its life than to euthanize it now. Eighty-one percent said it would be more humane to let it live out its life. When then asked to consider the most humane outcome if they assumed the stray would be hit by a car within two years, 72 percent said it was more humane to let the cat live out its natural life.

19. B. Feral cats can typically be returned to their colony 24 hours after surgery. The stress of prolonged confinement actually may cause some cats to have a more difficult recovery.

20. D. This is typically referred to as a shelter. Alley Cat Allies strongly recommends that feral cats have proper protection from inclement weather. There are many inexpensive ways to keep your feline friends dry and warm.

If you scored:

1-5 points — You’re a “Feral Newbie.” The world of feral cats is rather new to you. Education is an important step toward becoming an advocate for outdoor cats. Click here to get advice from Becky Robinson, CatChannel’s expert on stray and feral cats.

6-10 points — You’re a “Feral Friend in Training.” You’re not surprised when you run into a happy cat living outdoors. Keep studying to become a more informed feral cat advocate.

11-15 points — You’re a “Feral Friend.” Nice work! Feral cats are safe with you around. You’re on your way to becoming a feral cat expert.

16-20 points — You’re a “Feral Expert.” Wow! Feral cats are lucky to have someone like you in their neighborhood. You are a sponge to feral facts.

For expert advice about stray and feral cats, click here.

Alley Cat Allies is the national nonprofit clearinghouse for information on feral and stray cats. For more than a decade, Alley Cat Allies has advocated trap-neuter-return — a humane and effective method to reduce feral cat populations.

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Feral Cat Quiz

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Reader Comments

Angel    La Mesa, CA

6/19/2012 3:01:26 PM

thanks for the quiz, I learned a lot. I got a 13/20.

Jan    London, OH

6/13/2012 10:45:04 AM

I began reading question #1 in your Feral Cat Quiz.
Your answer (D) all of the above for #1 is not correct.
Feral cats can be great candidates for adoption. I rescued two feral cats and have written an article about feral's. Both my feral cats couldn't be any better! They both still have their nails and do not claw one piece of furniture in my home, nor do they spray or tear anything up. "They are quite the characters, my husband and I really enjoy their individuality and loving mannerism."
I am currently completing my last assignment with the Institute of Children's Literature. Your readers would enjoy my article, it is informative and will put a smile on all cat lover faces.
Thank you,
J.Carroll - London OH

Marnie    Madison, TN

4/22/2010 6:16:41 AM

If everyone would take this quiz, there would be a greater understanding of feral cats. It is amazing to me how many people think they are vicious. I care for a feral cat colony near my home and they are very sweet and even tempered. They have come to trust me and out of 10 all but 2 have been spayed/neutered.

Denise    Raymond, NH

3/27/2009 5:11:14 AM

Fun informative quiz!!

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