Feral cats are not cuddly house cats though their ancestors may well have been. These cats could have been born in gardens, on allotments or in the empty garages behind your local shops.
The mothers would have hidden their kittens away from people to keep them safe whilst they were really vulnerable. This means that they will not have had the early human contact needed for them to trust people.
The older they become the more difficult it is to form that bond and they will be as cautious as any other wild animal.
With a large number of unneutered cats in an area there will inevitably be fights between the males trying to carve out their territory leading to serious injuries. Some will acquire the feline immune virus (FIV) which will spread through mating as well as fighting. And think of poor Sadie. Each year she could have two or three litters until she is finally worn out.
As soon as a feral colony is reported your local branch steps in and a welfare officer (AWO) will assess the situation and put together a plan for trapping the cats. The first step is usually to feed the cats at the same time every day and at no other time. The trap is introduced and the food put in there until the cats are happy to go in. Then it’s time to spring the trap. This is a delicate operation as the cats are very cautious and if you don’t catch them first time you might never get them. Our AWO’s can spend many hours on dark, damp nights waiting for just the right moment.
Next step is a visit to the vet for a thorough health check including teeth and gums. Wounds or infections are sorted out then they can be neutered and have essential dental work. Oh, and they won’t forget to treat the fleas and worms as well and throw in an identity chip for good measure. Now you have a healthy top predator ready to pay something back ……….Then what?
The Middlesex NW and South Herts branch has a brilliant track record for matching these potential workers with new homes desperate for their talents. Small holdings, stables and many other places are plagued by rodents and our furry terminators can solve the problem in no time. All they need is a warm, dry place to sleep, regular meals and someone to keep an eye on their wellbeing. Potential homes and owners are carefully screened to make sure they are suitable and that the new owners will take good care of their feline workforce.