Unemployed cats looking for work as pest controllers

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Looking for an environmentally-friendly solution to pest control? Then the Cats Protection charity reckon they have just the answer - a team of working, feral and semi-feral cats.

The Milton Keynes & District branch reckon the service is ideal for anywhere with room to roam and rodents to catch, such as farms, stables, warehouses, smallholdings, garden centres, golf clubs and shops.

And the charity also believe it can provide a better future for the cats too.

Branch co-ordinator Marie Gillin said: “Most feral cats prefer the freedom of a working life to a comfortable lap in suburbia. And we have had some very positive feedback in terms of reduced rodent problems.

“A pair of feral cats can provide a very efficient and environmentally-friendly alternative to chemical pest control. Anywhere where there is room to roam and rodents to catch they will provide working cats with a suitable environment in which to live and work.

“The cats are neutered, and we can offer vaccination and microchipping for a small fee or donation. Owners must be prepared to provide their feline employees with food, water, some shelter and veterinary care when needed.

“Contrary to popular belief, regular food and neutering will not affect a feral cat’s desire to catch prey. Volunteers from our branch will also provide ongoing support until the cats are settled into their new homes.”

The numbers of feral cats can increase rapidly if left unchecked, while the animals themselves can suffer without proper care. However the Cats Protection’s national network have been active in responsible feral cat management programmes for many years, developing considerable expertise in this area.

Although feral kittens aged up to 12 weeks can be successfully socialised and re-homed in a normal home environment, this is not usually possible with adult ferals. Once they have been neutered, volunteers return them to their colony, where a sustainable one exists, or find them a new home in a suitable environment where they can thrive and work hard doing what they like best.

If you are able to provide a home for a feral cat, email Cats Protection’s Milton Keynes & District branch at info@mkcats.org.uk Alternatively call 01908 318810 (option 2).