Feral Cat Facts

feral-cat

IT IS NOT A CAT PROBLEM, IT IS A HUMAN PROBLEM.
Nature did not put domestic cats living in the wild. Every feral cat, or its ancestors, was a domestic cat abandoned by a human. There are about 15 million feral cats in S.A.Wherever there is an available habitat and food source, feral cats will move in. They are simply trying to stay alive.

GETTING RID OF THEM DOES NOT GET RID OF THEM.
There is no miraculous “somewhere else” for them to go. When a feral colony gets killed, others move in.

STERILISATION IS THE PRIORITY.
Feeding ferals without sterilizing (as many well-meaning people do) makes the problem worse by boosting virility and fertility. Feeding must be done with the aim of getting cats into a feeding routine to facilitate trapping to sterilize…..then feed to be kind.

MOMMIES ARE IMPORTANT.
People find nests of feral babies, “rescue” them, and then dump them on welfare organizations. The mother is left with distress and congested teats and potentially fatal mastitis. If she survives, she has more babies 3 months later. LEAVE the kittens and put food near them. If it is eaten overnight, mom is around, so keep feeding her and get assistance to trap and STERILIZE her. THEN help the babies by taming and handling them when mom is not around. Once they are eating, you can start removing them, preferably two by two so that milk dries up slowly. Only remove whole litters if mom is definitely dead, missing or very ill.

FINANCIAL INPUT IS UNAVOIDABLE.
Cats cannot eat without food. Trappers can’t trap without petrol and traps. Vets cannot sterilize without anaesthetic and sutures. Even if everyone gives their time for free, certain expenses are unavoidable. Raise funds to maintain the feral colony, with everyone on the premises  participating. (Supportive letters attached)

A WELL MANAGED STERILIZED COLONY IS AN ASSET.
Apart from the satisfaction of knowing that the colony is being fed and watched over, and the benefit of pest control being evident, there is an educational effect on all in the area. Be it at a school, residential complex, business premises, club etc., you are helping to educate those around you.

Dr. Shelagh Hahn

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