Feral Colonies

Huddersfield Feral and Strays actively trap cats and kittens at many locations, however many people are not fully aware what makes a cat feral and what a feral colony is.

What is the definition of a Feral cat.
A feral cat is a cat that has been born to other ferals or from stray cats as opposed to domesticated cats. These ferals are unaccustomed to human interaction. Feral cats are usually considered to be distinct from stray cats, which are socialized cats who no longer live in homes, but could potentially be reintroduced successfully.

A lot of people confuse the two when contacting us regarding a feral cat. Quite often we find that we are dealing with the stray cats who once were owned and can successfully be rehomed after some rehabilitation.

What are the benefits of a feral cat.
Feral Cats whilst some people view them as being a nuisance can be of great benefit, especially in areas where there are large rodent populations. Feral cats are often placed on farms as working cats, they primarily live outdoors, sheltering in outbuildings.

They have access to food and shelter provided by their owners but they hunt rodents and other small animals who live in or around the farm and outbuildings. They need to keep rodents from consuming or contaminating grain, crops and animal feed.

What is a feral Colony and what are the issues surrounding them
A feral colony is where multiple feral cats live together in one territory, often near food sources and shelters. Some of the issues are that they will breed within the colony and this can lead to a rapid increase in cats and kittens.

Males cats will often fight over female cats to reproduce with, this results in female cats being raped by multiple male cats. This spreads diseases through injuries, mating and coming into contact with each other’s bodily fluids and secretions.

Male cats will urinate throughout their area (known as spraying) to mark their territory, this urine is extremely pungent and can cause issues especially when close to homes, shops and businesses.

feral injuries photo

Given the condition that some feral cats live in they are also prone to Ticks, if left untreated these can cause the cat numerous issues. Ticks will embed themselves in many places, including ears, between paws and underneath the tail.


How do Huddersfield Feral and Strays help with feral cats and colonies
When we attend a call to a feral colony, we first have to assess the numbers of cats and kittens, this is normally done when feeding is in progress. We then at the area and see where the safest place to put traps. We use humane traps to catch the cats and kittens.  Once we have trapped them we take for neutering.

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Ear Tipping
When a feral cat has been neutered they are “Ear Tipped”. This is basically where the tip of the ear is removed whilst the cat is under anaesthetic. This allows a quick visual indicator that the cat has been neutered and stops the cat having to be trapped and anaesthetised again to check for neutering.  The cat isn’t aware of the ear tipping process and causes no issues to the cats afterwards.

Once the cat has recovered from neutering, it will either be released back to the colony or placed on a farm as a working cat.


Active Colonies