Ten Lives Cat Rescue believes in another chance for every cat.
There are no genuine wild cats in Ireland, but there are hundreds of thousands of homeless cats who eke out precarious livings around the fringes of society. You can see them scavenging for food around housing estates, industrial sites, and waste grounds.
Feral cats are the offspring of stray or abandoned pets that are not spayed or neutered. Female cats can become pregnant at five months of age and give birth several times each year. Without early human contact, their kittens become feral and begin the cycle of breeding again. Feral cats are not socialised to humans and will often avoid all contact. They do not want to be pets or brought inside.
Stray cats were once pets and have either run away or been abandoned. Just like feral cats, if left unaltered, they will contribute to thousands of unwanted kittens being born in our communities. Many of these kittens die from hunger, infectious diseases and parasites soon after birth, and the ones that are left face a miserable future. Within a short time, a cat population of only a handful of cats can multiply to over a hundred and there is not enough food to go round.
It shouldn’t be that way. Feral cats have the right to live a long, healthy and safe life in their colonies. They deserve our compassion and protection.
Trap-Neuter-Return the most effective and most humane solution in an area overpopulated by feral cats. The cats are humanely trapped and brought to a vet. They are health checked, neutered, and treated for parasites, and by nicking the tip off the left ear they are marked for identification before they return to their colony. Cats and young kittens who can be tamed are kept in foster care until a permanent, loving home can be found. Some feral cats can be re-homed as garden and farm cats.
Quality of life improves dramatically for the cats when the colony consists of healthy animals. Over time, the number of cats in the colony will reduce naturally as no new kittens will be born. The unwelcome behaviours associated with mating, such as fighting, spraying and yowling are eliminated. In most communities, people are then happy to look after those cats, providing them with food and shelter. The cats repay that kindness by helping to keep the area free of rodents.