Saturday, 28 May 2016

Feral home success story - Arnold and Clancy

Here at Exeter Axhayes Adoption centre, it’s not only friendly socialised cats we take in each year, we also take in Feral/Semi Feral cats. The term “feral” describes members of a domesticated species that have reverted to living as wild animals. True feral cats are the offspring of stray or abandoned domestic cats. Feral cats have had little or no contact with humans which make them fearful of humans and will avoid them.

Feral cats live alone or in groups called colonies – and are found in towns, cities and rural areas. The best solution for feral cats is for them to be neutered and returned to their familiar environment. On occasions this isn’t always possible to return them back where they came from, so we find them an outdoor home. Farmers, stable owners and smallholders often value them as working mousers. A healthy feral colony is far more likely to keep vermin levels to a minimum.

Despite their wild nature, to remain healthy they do need a certain level of care including:
Regular feeding: regularly fed ferals make better hunters than hungry ones!
Shelter: they need somewhere warm and safe to rest.
Neutering:  this has major health benefits and controls the colony population.

We are always looking for owners to help recruit some mousers. Once you’ve had a home visit – chosen how many cats you would like. We come and set up a feral pen, then after six weeks the pen is opened so the cats can come and go.  Then we come and remove the pen, and the cats get on with their new lives. 

One of our feral pens

This is very successful, and we have many people who are delighted with their mousers, or just enjoy giving cats like this a home. We have recently been contacted by Arnold and Clancy’s owners, which were two of our feral cats – although Arnold is more semi-feral. Whilst Arnold was in the feral garden, he liked to follow the CCAs around hissing. Arnold was very different to our usual feral cats, he isn’t afraid of people at all. During our assessments prior to his arrival he wasn’t suitable to go into a domestic home.

Arnold and Clancy in their new home

Their new owners have said “Arnold and Clancy are settling in really well. They never stray too far and Arnold in particularly likes to be close to people. He is still hissing but we are making good progress, feeding him by hand and starting to stroke him. The photo is of them both in one of our polytunnels where they love to sleep during the day.” We would like to thank Arnold and Clancy’s owners for getting in touch with us and we’re so pleased they’re settling in well. If you would like to recruit any mousers for your farm, stables, small holding etc. Please get in contact with us, or telephone 01392 232377 (please note - you need to live near Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom). Thank you.