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U.S. celebrates National Feral Cat Awareness Day

More than 280 events across all 50 United States will recognize National Feral Cat Awareness Day this week, USA Today reports.

The national days of celebration and education about these animals began 10 years ago by Alley Cat Allies, a non-profit organization founded in 1991 that was one of the first to act on behalf of feral cats.

Feral cats - those that are born in the wild of strays - have gotten an increasing amount of attention since Alley Cat Allies first began advocating that they should be able to live out their lives in their colonies as opposed to being trapped, killed or turned over to shelters. Now, thousands of volunteers in communities across the nation feed, vaccinate and sterilize these cats in order to slowly reduce their population. This also lowers the risks they pose to other creatures and makes the extent of their lives bearable, the news source reports.

The common and widely accepted practice for dealing with feral cat colonies now is called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), a process by which professionals have the ability to sterilize entire colonies to quell their growth.

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that there are about 50 million feral cats living in the United States. 
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