In the month of November, Athlone Animal Welfare is raising awareness about often-neglected feral cats and the effective approach that can be taken towards them. According to stats published by Feral Cats Ireland during their feral cat awareness week in August, there are more than 200,000 stray cats in Ireland. More they breed, more difficult it becomes to feed or rehome them.
In order to have a better understanding of what needs to be done, it’s important to educate ourselves with authentic information. Feral cats are born to stray or abandoned cats. Since they’re born outside a proper home, they are not prone to much human interaction and therefore rehoming them is a challenge majority people don’t take on.
Even if feral cats are difficult to rehome, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve our care and help. There are various proposed solutions to handle a feral cat, such as trap/tame, trap-kill and trap/rehome but all of them are not practical as feral cat is not easily tamed due to it’s wary nature and it may take months for it to get accustomed to a new home. It is especially difficult to confine it in one place for atleast four weeks. Killing feral cats is not only cruel and inhumane; it is highly impractical as well. Feral cats seeing this threat will be forced to flee out of fear and confine themselves in a colony and their breeding can speed up. Therefore it is rightly concluded that prevention is better. AAW being a pro-rescue and pro-life organization supports trap/neuter/return approach, which is practical and convenient. Upon encountering a feral cat, AAW suggest to trap it in a box and take it to the local vet for neutering and a general health check up. Usually the vets remove tip of their ear to mark them as neutered, but you can ask the vet to do so. After getting them neutered, you can take them back to the same location and release them where they can continue to roam freely and being fed by caring people around.
Athlone Animal Welfare also provides educational talks on animal welfare topics so incase you need to find out more about TNR approach, a talk on this topic can be arranged. This month, AAW in association with Athlone Tidy Towns will be visiting St Aloysius college to collect feral cat boxes made by their generous students. AAW can also provide trap cages if you are deciding to act on TNR approach for feral cats. In case you are thinking about getting a feral cat neutered, Glasson vets, Daniel Murray vets (Moate) and Midland vets (McGuires) are offering two feral cat spays/neuter for a flat fee of €20 each to the public. You can contact us on our email, website or facebook for more details.
Athlone Animal Welfare would like to remind every pet owner and animal carer, to get them neutered and spayed if you haven’t yet. Not only this will give them a better future, it can actually save their lives.