You might be happily going about your business when you spot a cute little kitty or cat. You might follow it ’cause you know’, it’s one and if you can find it, perhaps your partner/husband/mom/dad/boyfriend/girlfriend/auntie/uncle/landlord might let you keep it.
Then, as you raise your eyes up to the path of the kitty, you see not 1, not 2 but about a dozen cuties like it. Shit. What now?
Well, I was lucky, I was already feeding another colony so had a bit of knowledge as to what to do. You may not be this fortunately.
But why is it so important to help these babies?
Life is especially hard for feral cats who are not managed through TNR. They are constantly searching for food in dumpsters and garbage cans and may be hunting birds and other wildlife with or without success.
Un-spayed free-roaming cats can become pregnant as early as 5 months of age and typically only have one live litter per year with an average litter size of 3-4 kittens. Up to seventy-five percent of the kittens may die – from poor nutrition, disease, parasites, or predation – before they reach adulthood. Those who survive will become feral without socialization to people at a young age. Unneutered male cats will roam in search of food and will fight for mates.
What needs to be done:
1. Try and estimate how many kittens and cats you can see
2. Make sure that there is nothing that might be able to harm them.
3. If there is someone on the property that you can speak to with regards to how long they have been there, if there is anyone that is feeding them and if so what food and if they have shelter.
4. Make contact with any of the listed carers here
5. See if you can put out a plea for some shelters, bedding, feeding and water bowls
6. Start a feeding routine of kibble as well as soft food so that they get used to you feeding them
7. Find a feeding buddy if you can! It’s a lot of work for one person!
8. After a week you should be able to set a trap date so they can be TNR (Trap, neutered and returned) to the colony
9. Name the cats. It helps when you need to tell a fellow feeder about a particular kitty
10. Name your colony and love them!
Feral Carer Kit
It is always handy to have a ‘kit’ in your car for when you see a kitten or an injured cat or just for general purposes.
- Extra tinned food (Pilchards are always good)
– Tin opener
– Spoon (Pilchards can really, really stink!!)
– Wet wipes
– Toilet roll
– Scissors (either nail or big)
– Extra pouches of food
– 2l Ice cream container (at least 3) for water
– smaller bowls (like feta cheese or cream cheese one’s with lids) to put food in and close after if need be
– Black bag, for if you do come across a deceased kitty
– Towel or 2, if you do find a kitten or tame cat
– Blankets or 2, if you do find a kitten or tame cat
– Cable ties. Sometimes you need to help secure a trap or basket. These are SO handy!
– Cotton wool
– Water or container for water. The 5l plastic containers are great