Trap, Neuter and Release – Feral and Farm Cats
The life of feral and farm cats, and their environment, is something which concerns Canterbury Cats Protection a great deal. Wherever possible, we will work toward rehoming these cats and when captured before 10 weeks of age, usually tame very quickly to become loving and friendly household pets. Unfortunately, when an older cat has lived its whole life away from close human contact, there is little we can do to domesticate it.
Canterbury Cats Protection advocates a practice called Trap, Neuter and Release. Experience has shown us that cats we have neutered and released back into their environment rapidly improve in health, condition and life expectancy. As they no longer have to spend their lives following the instinct to breed, very often they do become more approachable and relaxed about life. Gone is the need to spend vast amounts of energy in territory fights and protecting mates, so they actually don’t need as much food. If you know of, or are feeding a group of wild cats and would like us to help, there are a few conditions you need to fulfil.
Firstly, if there are just one or two cats, we may lend you a trap along with instructions and we may ask you to trap them yourselves unless kittens are involved. For colonies, we need to be granted access to trap in the cats territory. This usually means permission of the land owner or farmer. Once we have trapped and neutered a colony, you must be prepared to accept them back if no alternative or better living quarters can be found for them. And you must be prepared to continue to feed and watch over them and notify us of any problems in the future.
The only way difference between wild cats and domestic pets is lack of human contact and fear. Feral cats only occur when domestic pets have been allowed to stray unneutered and breed. The only way to prevent this kind of suffering, starvation and inbreeding is to neuter your pets.
For more information about our work with feral cats, or to become involved yourself please call our branch line. We are always looking for help with trapping and releasing as well as the domestication of kittens or financial support for this vital part of cat welfare.
Download Cats Protection leaflet on FERAL CATS here.