Caring for a colony of feral cats is the best option for these cats. It keeps them out of traditional shelters where they are most likely to be euthanized or no-kill shelters that are often overcrowded and just cannot take on more cats (no matter how much we want to).
This should also mean that the cats in the colony are healthier. In a cared-for cat colony, the cats are trapped and spayed/neutered. Fighting among the cats is reduced when they are not competing for mates, and spayed/neutered cats have much lower incidents of cancers and other diseases.
When the cats are trapped for spaying/neutering, the vet will check over their general health. This is only the beginning though. If you are thinking of caring for a cat colony, you need to educate yourself on monitoring the cats’ health on an on-going basis. Fleas, worms and other parasites may seem like harmless nuisances. But, they can actually be deadly – especially to young kittens. Monitoring behavior and checking with a vet applies to feral cats as much as it does to our pets. Severe malnutrition, anemia, dehydration and secondary infections are all possible as a result of these parasites. Treatment is vital.
We’ll talk more about the resources available to cat colony carers in upcoming blogs. And we would still like to hear from people who are caring for feral cat colonies. Please send us a message to tell us about your experience.