Feral cat advice

What is a feral cat?

Cats are inherently wild creatures and become socialised and domesticated by friendly human contact during early life. Kittens born to cats living in the wild, whether the mother is a domestic stray or a feral herself, will likely grow up to be untameable unless brought into the human fold within the first few weeks of their life.

What is the problem?

There are feral colonies in places as varied as farms, industrial complexes, housing estates, military bases, holiday parks, fishing lakes and garden centres. If nothing is done to intervene, the numbers in a colony will spiral out of control leaving the cats short of food, susceptible to disease and potentially a nuisance to their human neighbours. Simply removing the cats is not a long-term solution, because if conditions are suitable a new colony will soon move in and the cycle begins again.

How can we help feral cats?

The best option for such a colony is to humanely trap the cats and assess them. Ferals cannot be handled but can be assessed under sedation. Any illnesses can then be identified and if possible treated. Healthy adults can be neutered and released. Sometimes this can be at the original site but in other instances healthy neutered ferals can find a welcome home in other locations such as farms, where they are effective in controlling mice and rats. Kittens caught early enough can be domesticated and homed conventionally.

If you have a feral cat colony in your neighbourhood that is causing problems, please do get in contact with us so we can give you advice and help if needed. If you see a feral cat that has the tip of one ear missing this means that that individual has already been caught up and neutered.

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