Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Feral cats seeking employment

We have out of work mousers looking for employment opportunities! 

Are you looking for an environmentally friendly rodent-control service for your stables, garden centre, factory, farm or smallholding? Our working cats are just waiting to pounce on the right opportunity! 

We currently have a lot of cats here at the centre that come from an outdoor environment that do not want to be someone's pet. In time they will learn to trust you and want to hang around when feeding etc. These lovely cats do not ask for much, just two meals a day and some shelter to sleep in. In return they will keep your barns, stables and food storage areas free of mice, rats etc.

Some of our cats in our feral garden (2014)

Feral/Working Cats - Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when my cats are sited? 

When your new workers arrive the CP staff member will either set up the feral pen provided or use your existing shelter. We can provide beds/hiding places, food and water bowls, litter trays, litter and some biscuits to get you started. The cats are then put into their new enclosure where they can be left to settle for the rest of the day. Paperwork will all be signed off at this point and donations gratefully accepted. Your cats will then need feeding daily, their water changed and litter trays emptied and replaced. We ask that the cats are then kept in this enclosure for 4 weeks before releasing. 

One of our feral pens once sited
Why do I keep my working cats in a pen?

We advise you keep your new workers in their enclosed environment for 4-5 weeks to allow them to get used to you and to know that they will be fed and cared for. This way when they are released they have no desire to run elsewhere if they have all the resources they could need. It's important to keep their environment as it was when you first let them out for some time so that they know where to return for food. You can then think about other shelters they may favour and feeding locations. It's a good idea to keep the beds they have been using so they can recognise their scents. 
The first 4 weeks is an excellent time for you to get to know the personality of some cats. If you have opted for cats that you are likely to see then you could spend time chatting with the cats this way they recognise familiar voices. 

One of our feral pens

I took on cats to hunt on my land, why do I need to feed them?

Although working cats are used to hunt to keep rodent populations down it's essential they are still fed for them to work efficiently. A hungry mouser is not a happy hunter.

I have just let my cats out of their pen/enclosed environment and I haven't seen them for a few days, now what?

It is normal for feral cats to disappear once let out of their enclosure. This is an important time for them to get to know their surroundings and establish territory. They should return and be seen in a few days but it is important to continue to have food down in their original enclosure for them. Some feral cats may never be seen by their owners but this does not mean they have gone. 

4-5 weeks later, these cats are released - our staff will collect the feral pen

My 2 working cats have settled well and doing a great job, can I keep more than 2?

Yes. As long as you have enough space on the land, separate areas to provide resources and your existing cats are getting along fine then we will happily home more mousers to your property.

If you are interested in one of our feral/semi feral cats or want to know more or to book your home visit today, please contact the centre on 01395 232377. Please note we only home in the Devon/Somerset area (UK). For more information about our adoption centre please visit our website www.axhayes.cats.org.uk. Thank you.


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