Our Feral Colony
The ideal situation is for feral cats to be altered and returned to their home turf. They need someone there who will put food out for them regularly, and they need a dry, safe place to sleep. When those needs cannot be met on their home turf, and the neighbours just want them gone, we take them to the shelter. But feral cats are wild animals. If they’re trapped before the age of about four months, they can be socialized fairly easily and grow up as part of a human family. The adults, however, will get to know us and even learn to like us if we bring them treats and food. But they’ll never allow themselves to be cuddled.
With hundreds of unwanted cats who yearn for a new family to cuddle them, these feral cats have little chance of being adopted even if they wanted to spend their lives in a human home. So we take them to live in a fully fenced area on a volunteer’s property outside of town. They have a little cabin there that serves as shelter during bad weather. It’s furnished with perches, posts and beds, and it’s heated in the winter time. The have several feeding stations around the area with crunchies available to them all the time, and they get treated to soft food twice a week. They have woods and an open area to explore, play, and sun themselves. There are several little huts and dog houses throughout the woods with bedding inside that serve as private nests. For a feral, it’s a good life.
We humans domesticated these creatures. When we abandon unaltered pets, their offspring grow up in neighbourhoods, industrial complexes and commercial districts where they’re unwelcome, yet it’s the only home they know. They reproduce rapidly, perpetuating a cycle of wild, urban creatures doomed to short, harsh lives. Trapping, neutering and releasing (TNR) where they can live out their lives in peace is the least we owe them.
This is their cabin with a view of the inside.
It has an attached, enclosed porch like the communal rooms at the shelter, and it has various entrances for the cat in addition to the main door used by the volunteer when she goes in to clean.
The property has about 5,000 sq. ft. of grassy areas, bushes and trees. The volunteer who monitors the ferals sees them flitting through the bushes, chasing bugs in the grass and even snoozing perched in the trees.