The title is perhaps not a surprise to people who know the world of cats. In two studies that have come to my notice the conclusions as to the type of person who is more likely to care for feral cats are:
- Female, middle-aged, married and well-educated. They kept companion animals themselves and were employed full-time (Zasloff & Hart 1998 as referred to in The Welfare of Cats ISBN 978-1-4020-6143-1 - 'the book'). This was a study of 75 cat colonies in Hawaii, USA. These ladies spent a good deal of time and money caring for feral cats, which must have placed time pressures on them as they worked full-time as well and were married. Helping feral cats enhanced their self-esteem. That is an interesting discovery, I feel.
- Female with an average age of 45 (84% were women). Almost 90% cared for their own companion animals as well, of which 66% kept a cat or cats. More than 50% of the ladies were married. The ladies did it because of (a) ethical concerns (b) sympathy for the cats (c) a love of animals and/or cats (Centonze & Levy 2002 as referred to in the book).