Did You Know? It’s Illegal to Feed Feral Cats in This NJ Township
Cats are one of the more universally-loved animals on the planet. Some would argue we're obsessed with them. Maybe we are!
Given our obsession, our natural inclination would be to befriend every cat we encounter, including outdoors. Even if you don't know the cats or where they came from, feeding them can be almost irresistible. But in this New Jersey township, if you're caught feeding feral and/or free-roaming cats, you could face a penalty.
You might not have known that it's actually illegal to feed feral cats in Hazlet Township, NJ. This is according to adopted in 2017 which states: "No person shall feed or attract any feral or free-roaming cat on any property, whether public or private."
What's considered a feral cat?
According to the New Jersey Department of Health: "Feral animals are domestic animal species living in an unsocialized or wild state; they are one or more generations removed from a home environment. Feral cats may live in a group or "colony", usually in an area where they find food and shelter."
What's considered a free-roam cat?
""Free-roaming" cats are those that are not necessarily considered to be feral, but which frequently roam outdoors and interact with feral cats and wildlife. They may be “outdoor cats” with a specific owner, stray pets, feral, or may have originated in one household and are now fed or cared for by other households in the neighborhood."
What is the penalty for feeding feral and/or free-roaming cats in Hazlet Township NJ?
If you're caught in violation of this rule, you'll be ordered to cease feeding immediately. And then, any person "who violates or fails or refuses to comply with this article shall be liable to a penalty of not less than $25 per day, nor more than $100 per day, that the violation exists. Violations shall be prosecuted in the Municipal Court of the Township." (
How can I help feral cats?
There are still ways to help feral cats if you think they need help. Joining a trap-neuter-return program is a viable option according to Chewy.com. They train people safely trap feral cats so they can then be taken in for health screenings, vaccinations, and spay/neutering. Getting them spayed/neutered would be SO helpful to keep the population down. Check with your local authorities to ask how you can become part of the solution!