With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Feral Cats of Hartford

Living in Hartford takes a certain type of folk. You have to be a bit resourceful, a bit of a survivor and willing to laugh at the insanity that envelopes every day. Either that or you risk becoming delusional and thinking you either live in a war zone or a paradise, neither or which would accurately describe the bumbling urban environment we reside in.

No matter where we stand, from the gilded eras of Morgan and Twain, to the lead eras of the Latin Kings and the Solidos, or to the marble counter tops of Perez and the asphalt parking lots of Giles, you need to be adaptable. There's probably no animal that is more adaptable, more self-sufficient and more representative of the Hartford experience than the cat.

Luckily for us, Hartford is dotted with feral cats that make due with the roughest of circumstances. Cats are cool animals, rarely complaining and never relying on anyone, they can survive in almost any environment, just the same type of skills that are required on the modern Hartfordite.

Here's some pictures of a great North End feral cat. Have some Hartford feral cat pics? Send them to us!


  1. There's a commune of feral cats that live at the old Colt factory...there's like ten of them.

  2. Aww! The orange and white cat looks exactly like my "Red" WOW!!!! I actually lived in Hartford while I had him too! I wish I could save them all!

  3. They should be captured and neutered... ASAP.

  4. The cats will thrive as long as you maintain the rat population. It's up to you, Hartford!

  5. Volunteers like me have been doing trap/neuter/return and management of feral colonies for years. If Hartford didn't have so many problems, we could do more to help. I've also rescued a number of friendly cats and kittens who were adopted out to good homes. I hope readers will learn more about TNR.

  6. eeek rats- there be rats in my kitchen - rats in my walls - rats eating up them plaster and wires - rats be busting in everywhere - save me cats -lord have mercy !

  7. Not too long ago, some well-intended folks brought food and water to feral cat colonies in the greater Hartford area. Is that still going on, I wonder aloud.

  8. do feral cats actually need people to bring them food and water?

  9. I've been taking care of feral and stray cats in my neighborhood (Asylum Hill) for the past sixteen years, including TNR. I restrict myself to the ones that come through my yard or I'd be overwhelmed financially. I've done it pretty much without any help or assistance from the variosu organizations.

    I had no idea what I was doing at first and thought it was enough to just feed them, but learned over time about the importance of spay-neuterand with the help of a friend who was doing similar work elsewhere. I feed both the outside and my indoor cats premium food to maintain their health -- no Friskies, Whiskas, or other supermarket brands.

    I've taken in some, adopted out about seven or eight over the years, and provide steady food and water at my backyard feeding station and insulated shelters in the open garage. (To answer Anonymous: Yes, feral cats need people's help. There are not many sources of clean watre around for them to drink from. They may be able to live off rodents but if a colony builds up there is much competition for even those scarce resources, and with unchecked population growth, inadequate diet and lack of clean water you'll eventually have a bunch of sick cats that neighbors see as a nuisance.)

    Good Connecticut resources are TEAM (Tait's Every Animal Matters) and HOPE Spay Neuter Clinic for low-cost spay-neuter and health services. Our Caompanions is excellent for assistance is placing the odd stray (socialized) cat you may come upon. IndyFeral.com is good for general info and FeralVilla.com is a nonprofit that makes and sells attractive and easy-to-assemble feeding stations and shelters.

    Right now I am feeding five daily regulars, with three others who come by less often, but at least a couple of times weekly. I can't count how many I've cared for over the years -- some stick around (the longest right now has been in my yard eight or nine years), some I guess move on, and a few have died by illness or injury elsewhere and word has gotten back to me. There is also a business that backs up to my side of the street where one of the employees also takes care of cats that wander onto their property. I think he's been there for at least five years, probably longer.