A sizeable group of feral cats is in need of a new home and the volunteers who are helping them don’t want to see them split up.
According to Jess Byer, animal care director for Critteraid, a non-profit animal sanctuary based in Summerland, approximately 30 cats are living on a rural property in the Shuswap, and with the property’s tenant being forced to move, the cats are in need of a new home as well.
Byer said the feral felines could serve as excellent rodent controllers while adding life and character to a rural property. She said the cats are showing signs of being semi-feral – they are not totally scared of or hostile towards people.
“The more the cats get used to having people feeding and coming to visit them, the more they’re going to come out and the more they’re going to socialize,” Byer said.
“They’re never going to be like lap cats.”
Once a willing property owner is found, Byer said the plan is to trap the cats and have them spayed or neutered so the colony does not increase further in number in their new home.
There will be an adoption fee that could come in form of a donation to Critteaid to help cover the costs of spaying and neutering the cats. It costs Critteraid approximately $150 per cat for initial veterinary care such as spaying, neutering and de-worming.
Byer said the property owner will have to supply an outbuilding that will have to be closed for the first month the cats are living in it to get them accustomed to regular feeding. It is hoped that the month of confinement will stop the cats from scattering once they are let free.
Byer said along with finding a safe home for the cats, Critteraid’s goal is to start a conversation about the way a feral colony can help owners of rural properties if the colony’s population is adequately controlled. Because cats breed so quickly, she said a 30-at colony like the one Critteraid is seeking a home for is not exceptionally large.
Those interested in making a home for the cats can contact Byer at 250-488-3226.