City dwellers see them every day, cats wandering around your neighborhood (in spite of the fact that City Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw prohibits animals from leaving their property) and rural residents often find these felines on their property (dumped there by irresponsible cat owners).
Domesticated cats, unwanted by their owners are often dumped in a city or rural environment and left to fend for themselves. The owners often think that the cat will be able to take care of itself, find its own food, etc. Not so….
A house-cat left alone outdoors is unprepared to survive. Most will lack any real hunting skills and are not likely to be able to find food in a harsh, rural environment. There are foxes, hawks and packs of coyotes in most "country" areas today - so any unaware, unprotected animal runs a strong risk of becoming dinner.
During the winter, the cat must find shelter from the cold, when, weak from improper nutrition, he is likely to freeze to death. No abandoned cat, domesticated or not, cannot live a very long and healthy life in the wild. They starve, are hit by a car, are killed by a predator, or die from disease. This is a miserable existence for a cat so used to human contact, comfort and a family that loves and cares for it.
So, whatever you do, never just turn your cat loose either in a residential area or in the country, assuming it can take care of itself, someone will take it in, or it will find a barn with 'plenty of mice'. Domestic animals cannot fend for themselves in a strange environment, and abandoning your pet in this way will ensure it has a short and miserable life. The outdoors is a huge, frightening, and confusing place.
Yes, there are too many cats in this world, and all of them, should be spayed/neutered to help prevent their procreation. If you really want to help, donate to the MHSPCA’s Spay and Neuter Program. BUT PLEASE DO NOT DUMP YOUR PRECIOUS CAT IN THE CITY OR RURAL AREA TO FEND FOR ITSELF!
Call the MHSPCA 403-526-7722 (if YOU own the cat) or APARC 403-487-5671 (if you are SURE it is a stray) and explain your situation. They will give you advice and these unwanted cats will again have a chance to find a loving and forever home!