Sunny Harbour Feral Project
Harbour Feral Cats
Working cats in need of care....
Our Feral Project came about after we received a call about a cat with kittens under a portacabin. Closer investigation later revealed that the cat was in fact a resident feral and part of a colony currently residing on an industrial site next to a harbour area.
We contacted local rescue’s to find out if this was an established and managed colony and as we suspected this was not the case. At this time we decided that the colony could not be left to breed indiscriminately and we made plans to put in place our own Feral Management Program.
Suspecting the numbers to be huge we spent the first month watching the colony at varying times of the evening and night to establish groupings and routines. The snow could not really come at a better or worse time really as the snow helped us to find and follow tracks, but the temperatures were totally freezing and definitely not comfortable to sit in for 2-3 hrs a night.
We have begun this project working on the first group of 12 adult cats and 4 kittens. The important and primary objective was to capture the kittens of around 8 weeks so that we could bring them into Sunny Harbour for taming and therefore find them loving homes.
This proved rather tricky as mummy is a very sly little cat and in the end we managed to get 3 of the 4 kittens purely by chance and plain old good timing!
We are very pleased to be able to report that Lily (shown above) & her 2 siblings (Kali on right) are now undergoing the taming process and are coming on brilliantly as you can see in the pictures below of Lily and Kali playing.
Sadly the mainly black sibling Baby, lost half of her ear not long after arrival as we believe it had been chewed when she was a young kitten and the tissue had died away. She is now feeling much better with it gone and after a course of antibiotics which she and her sisters needed on their arrival.
The picture taken below is of Baby who is now very much enjoying being a pampered puss and sharing kisses and cuddles with Sarah.
It was important that our next step allowed us to continue to build up a routine with the adults so that we could then capture them for neutering, worming, vaccination and re-release.
Why Re- Release?
Moving the cats on to another location would not stop a new colony forming in the area. Cats are driven towards areas where there is a food source and therefore in the months following removal of this colony another would simply take up residence.
Another important aspect for these particular cats is that they have a job to do in the area. Thanks to these feral cats the rats and mice are kept to a minimum meaning that important fishing gear, bait and the area in general is kept safe and clear of vermin.
What does the Feral Management Program entail?
Often referred to as Trap Neuter Return or TNR it is a globally accepted means to managing feral colonies. Through the use of humane traps we can capture the cat(s) concerned and safely transport them to our vets for neutering, health checks and medical treatment as required.
Once completed the cat(s) are then transferred into carriers that we can release them from once they are fully out of the anaethestic and they can go back to living their daily lives.
The cats must be visited every day with fresh food and water. A 20 minute drive to the site means that this takes up a good 2 hours of our evening every night. Not to mention the financial implications of fuel and feeding so many cats and then their neutering, worming and vaccination prior to release and their ongoing management which includes: feeding, routine wormers and veterinary care when sick or injured.
How you can help us help the feral cats
This project alone has put a huge additional drain on our already low resources but it is a necessary step to prevent the cats in the colony from becoming sick and numbers swelling out of control.
Donations of wet and dry food for the ferals will be very very gratefully received and can be dropped off at the rescue at any time.
If you would like to contribute financially in any way then details can be found here regarding the different ways to make monetary donations to Sunny Harbour Cat Rescue.
With initial costs per cat of £70 plus the ongoing cost of the upkeep of the Feral Colony throughout the year we are very very grateful for any assistance you can provide.
Cats in Colony
(Estimate based on sightings)
3 to date
If you would like to donate food or help towards the care costs of the feral cats in this colony please click here for more details on donating.
Full contact details for Sunny Harbour Cat Rescue can be found here.
We would like to say Thank you for the support shown to Sunny Harbour Cat Rescue by our vets
Cameron & GreigCowdenbeath & Milnathort
Tel: 01383 611410
We are very grateful for their continued support of our rescue work, their help, advice and especially their assistance with the feral colony.