True feral cats are the offspring of stray or abandoned domestic cats. They live wild and have little contact with people. They fear humans and keep well away from them.
They are regarded as pests by some but farmers and the owners of riding stables value their ability to keep the rodent population under control.
A healthy feral colony is more likely to reduce vermin to an acceptable level. Contrary to the widely held myth that hungry ferals make better hunters well fed ferals have proved to be more effective.
Neutering is beneficial to their health and helps to control the size of the colony. Whilst they are sedated the vet can check their health and treat them for parasites.
C.L.A.W.S. is one of a small number of cat rescue charities that help feral cats and does not make a charge for this service.
The word feral is bandied about indiscriminately, often being used when the cat in question is an abandoned domestic.
Recently we have identified a worrying trend : organisations responsible for placing "feral” cats on farms and at stables have, in fact, been placing abandoned domestic there.
ZIVA is a good example of this. Placed at a stables to help control the rodent population C.L.A.W.S. was contacted when she was badly injured. She was hospitalised, underwent major surgery and, with the consent of the stable manager, was released into C.L.A.W.S. care. At this time she weighed only 1.9 kilos.
Over the last 9 months she has made good progress. She has made friends with some of the other cats, learned to interact with her carers and now enjoys playing with her toys
Is this a photo of a feral cat ?
Now the challenge is to prevent this happening to other abandoned domestics.