Feral news

What is a feral?

A feral cat is one who is born wild or who has lived away from humans for so long that it can no longer be kept as a domesticated pet.  Ferals are still felines and are equally protected in law.  If you feed a feral cat and it 'lives' in your garden or shed etc., for more than 10 days, in the eyes of the law, it is yours.

What is the difference between a stray and a feral?

A stray is a pet cat that has been lost or abandoned, whereby a feral cat is born in the wild without any human contact.

Can a feral cat become tame?

If caught young enough, it is possible for some feral cats to learn to trust people and become domesticated pets who will go on to lead a normal and happy life with humans.  The growling and hissing behaviours (which are mainly due to fright in the presence of humans - is sometimes percieved as being aggressive), may change in time once the cat realises that it can trust someone who will provide food, water, shelter and care.

What can be done for feral cats?

At Cats Protection, we help keep the feral population down by implementing a trapping, neutering and returning programme.  This is where the cat is humanely trapped and taken for a thorough veterinary check to ensure it is healthy enough to live a free-roaming lifestyle within a colony.  While under anaesthetic, the cat will be neutered and ear tipped.  It will also be treated for worms and fleas before being returned to where it was originally found.

A neutered feral cat can be identified from a distance due to having its left ear tipped.  This means that if caught in a trap, it will be immediately released and be allowed to continue living within its colony.

Once feral cats have been neutered and checked by the vets, they can then lead a healthier life and not present as much nuisance within the neighbourhood.  Many of the unpopular behaviours associated with such colonies will be reduced dramatically.  The population of the colony can be kept at a manageable size if all the cats are neutered, thus preventing unwanted pregnancies.  If ferals are not neutered, this can lead to over-population in some areas and the chance of interbreeding becomes a great problem.  Food shortages due to increasing numbers of cats can lead to unwanted visitors in your household waste etc.

Life is hard on the streets for feral cats.  If they are unhealthy, they cannot survive on their own for long.  Some cats can be badly injured due to road traffic accidents or being attacked and pain can be insufferable for them. 

Burnley & Pendle branch of Cats Protection work closely with housing agencies and other community organisations to identify where feral colonies are based.  We can then carry out our trapping and neutering policy to help provide a healthier existence for the ferals and to keep such feline problems to a minimum.

If you are worried or have a problem with feral cats in and around your area, please contact our branch for advice ~
01282 693400 - LINE 3.

                                                                              ~ oOo ~








If you have a farm, stables, small-holding, allotment etc., and you need a good mouser, please contact us for further details…..


If you don’t have any of the above, but can provide warmth and shelter in your garden, shed or outhouses for a feral moggy, then give us a call on:


01282 693400