FERAL & STRAY 

CATS

Feral & Stray Cat Fact Sheet

Infestation Identification:

Feral and Stray cats are the same as domestic house cats.  

 

Common Names:

Felis catus (Cat)

 

Diet:

Feral and stray cats eat any meat or pet food, they will also eat crickets, worms, birds, rats, mice, rabbits and many more live animals.

 

Habitat:

Feral and stray cats will be seen are in woodlands, towns and cities.  They will find shelter in dense bushes and if they have access, they will live in sheds and garages.

 

Prevention:

It is very difficult to prevent cats from entering gardens because they are agile climbers and can squeeze through small gaps. It is recommended that proofing spikes are installed onto fences, shed and garage roofs and anywhere cats will be able to climb onto to gain entry in gardens. We recommend feeding pets indoors, because cats will be attracted to the food and they take every opportunity they can to get a free meal.

 

Life Cycle:

Many feral and stray cats living in colonies and female cats can come into season approximately once every 3 weeks. Pregnancy last between 63 to 67 day, litters will consist of 1 to 10 kittens. After 6 months the kitten will then become a junior, at 3 years old they enter their prime cat stage. When they reach 7 years old, they become mature and 11 years and over they enter their senior and geriatric stages. Feral and stray cats can live for up to 16 years old, depending on their environment and food source.

 

General Information:

Feral Cats are members of the domesticated cat species that have reverted to living as wild animals, they are often mistaken for stray cats. Feral cats are extremely difficult to tame and have very little or no contact with humans. Feral cats are usually the offspring of a stray or abandoned cat. They are equally protected by law as domestic cats, they require neutering to reduce the size of the colony, Cats Protection may be able to assist with this. Only minor ailments can be treated in feral cats and sometimes they have to be euthanised on welfare grounds if they have significant illness or injury. Cats catch Toxoplasmosis from eating infected raw meat or rodents, however they quickly build immunity to this after 2 weeks.

Cats which are been neutered have their ear ‘tipped’, this is where between half and one cm of the tip of the left ear is removed under anaesthetic. This serves as a permanent visual mark from a distance to show the cat has been neutered.

A controlled, healthy and stable numbered colony will deter other feral cats from moving in and will keep vermin levels down. In very rare instances, relocation may be necessary but should generally be avoided. Relocation of feral cats is extremely stressful for them, as they are dependent on the familiarity of their environment. Feral cats should be released in an appropriate habitat and the cats need a period of adjustment while they learn where they can find food and shelter. Remember, cats are protected by law and killing a cat constitutes an offence.

For more information and help, please visit www.cats.org.uk or https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/cats/straycats or contact us.

 

Treatments:

There are not treatments for cats which can be carried out. We offer a trapping service, this is where we set live traps in the garden which are baited with meat or a food they are used to eating. All traps which are set must be checked at least once a day. When a cat is caught in the trap, it is important that we are called to remove it immediately. We will relocate or rehome the cats which are caught.

 

Quick Facts:

  • Cats are protected by law and killing a cat constitutes an offence.

  • Feral and Stray cats are the same as domestic house cats.  

  • They are agile climbers and can squeeze through small gaps.

  • Cats can come into season approximately once every 3 weeks.

  • Litters will consist of 1 to 10 kittens.

  • Cats can live for up to 16 years old.

  • Toxoplasmosis infects cats but they quickly build immunity to this after 2 weeks.

  • Feral Cats are members of the domesticated cat species that have reverted to living as wild animals.

  • Cats which are been neutered have their ear ‘tipped’.

  • Relocation of feral cats is extremely stressful for them

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PEST CONTROL

 

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