Feral Cats (Felis catus)
Feral Cats (Felis catus) are domestic cats that have gone wild or are offspring from such animals. They tend to live in colonies, often around industrial premises, hospitals or in residential areas. Some colonies are completely free living, whilst others are fed, at least in part, by people.
The Key Facts About Feral Cats
The legal status of feral cats can be difficult to establish. Surveillance work has found that in many cases, domestic cats will join feral colonies for a few hours at a time before returning home. Naturally, this poses quite a problem when pest control is concerned, as it is important not to take someone’s pet cat away when it is not a permanent member of the feral colony. For this reason, any management measures are considerate of this fact and measures are taken to ensure that domestic animals are released.
It is important to distinguish between stray and feral cats. Strays will have had at least some contact with humans in the past, and are often pet cats who have run away from home. Over time, as they become less and less used to this human contact, the strays will start to become feral. Kittens who are born into feral cat colonies will be feral from birth. Since these kittens will have never had any contact with humans, they will be even more wary of people and thus far likelier to flee.
In general, feral cats are fairly wary of humans. They generally won’t let people pet them or pick them up, and make their homes in places where they are unlikely to be disturbed. However, some colonies come to depend on humans for food. Due to their cute appearance, many people will leave scraps out for these cats in an attempt to tame them.
When managing sizable feral cat colonies which are reliant on artificial breeding, it is best for pest controllers to work alongside the feeders. Since the feral cats will be used to the presence of the feeder and no longer see them as a threat, they will be less likely to flee. Not only does this ensure that the pest control operation delivers the best results, but it also keeps the stress for the cats to a minimum.
Once the feral cats have all been caught, we then work closely with a respected vet and Cats Protection to make any decisions on homing, surgical sterilisation and release.
Feral Cats (Felis catus): The Significance of Control
Feral cat colonies can carry a range of diseases which can be passed to humans. This can be a particular risk when such colonies are close to hospitals, food manufacturing and preparation areas, and anywhere else locations where hygiene is a key concern. They can also cause contamination with their droppings, especially if they enter buildings in search of food. Since they are not used to humans, feral cats may frequently act aggressively if people enter the places that these animals call home. This is clearly an issue if the feral cat colony is in a place which requires maintenance work, as the cats could attack tradespeople attempting to access these areas. They will be a lot more aggressive when there are newborn kittens present in the colony.
The population management of feral cats involves cage trapping and surgical sterilisation of animals proven to not be domesticated. Following this, the aim is to rehabilitate and home where possible or release them back into the areas from which they were removed. This strategy can stabilise a colony and over a period of time, lead to a reduction in the colony size, as cats dying of natural causes are not replaced.
This strategy supported by Cats Protection and helps to manage populations in the most humane and least intrusive way. All trapping activities are carried out in compliance with the Code of Practice for the Disposal of Feral Cats as stipulated by the BPCA.
Call Pest Solutions to Get Rid of That Pest Today!
Pest Solutions have an experienced staff of Pest Management technicians who are here day and night to assist you with any infestation-associated challenges. We can assist with even the most aggressive of feral cats in a safe an humane manner, to ensure the infestation is dealt with in the right way. Pest Solutions have lots of local offices all over the United Kingdom which allows our highly professional service professionals in your area to react fast to help handle those unwanted Pests.
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