These programs do not get a lot of attention but they do change lives, and save lives, and are worthy of support.
Please help us to raise support, funds and awareness and to continue to make a difference.
Trivia: A group of domesticated/house cats is known as a clutter, clowder or glaring. A group of wild cats is a dowt or destruction, and a group of feral cats is a colony.
Feral cats have a right to life and actually aid in the control of rodents and other vermin that may otherwise contaminate and destroy crops. Whilst they aid in the population control of vermin, unfortunately, the population control of feral cat colonies also needs to be managed and there are various programs around the world which do this. Many simply capture and euthanize, but fortunately most South African organizations which handle feral cats - and most certainly our Foundation, being pro-life, believe in TNR as a solution (trap-neuter-return).
The life of a feral cat is hard and very short. The fatality rate for kittens is 50% and for those that survive the life expectancy is only estimated at 2 years. Feral kittens once caught can often be socialized and rehomed, but adult feral cats have generally had little to no human contact and whilst they usually attempt escape, they can be aggressive if cornered and may be carriers of rabies.
Whilst the trapping and capture can be very traumatic, once caught cats are spayed/neutered, treated for parasites, vaccinated and given any other medical assistance needed. When given a clean bill of health these cats are released again to the same area they were originally caught from. During the sterilization process, while under anesthetic, the left ear of the cat is clipped. This sounds cruel, especially as a fairly large piece is cut away, however, this allows all other people involved in TNR programs to easily see exactly which cats have already been sterilized, and thus prevents the cats being unnecessarily trapped again.
There have been a number of cases where, between capture and recovery, a cat caught within a feral colony has shown signs of human socialization. It’s our belief that these previously domestic cats, due to abandonment or abused, have joined a feral colony to survive. With love, patience and time, many of these cats do learn to trust again and can eventually be rehomed.
For some cats and kittens the TNR programs offer a second chance at life. For others it at least offers human treatment and the potential for a longer life expectancy.