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Positions wanted - feral cats will hunt for food.

Byline: By Robin Turner Western Mail

WALES is undergoing an explosion in its feral cat population partly due to warmer winters which has extended their breeding season. Back lanes, abandoned buildings, bushes, car parks and ruined castles are housing colonies of wild cats. The colonies, up to 30 or 40 strong, often start from single, unwanted female cats abandoned by families.

In Swansea, the local cats protection league has come up with what it thinks may be an answer to the problem.

The volunteer group wants to re-home the feral cats they capture daily in humane traps on Wales vast acres of farming land.

Fran Christie, spokeswoman for the Swansea Cats Protection League said, We currently have a high number of feral and semi-feral cats we are desperate to find smallholdings or farms for.

As this is traditionally the time of year that barns and storage areas are overrun with rodents I thought it would be a good time to bring these very useful little farm workers to light.

After the summer when the rodent population increases dramatically when the weather starts getting colder the rodents have to look further for food and start becoming more visible.

For two square meals per day these expert mousers will keep peoples barns, food storage areas and smallholdings free from mice, rats and other rodents.

All they need is two meals a day, fresh water and somewhere warm to sleep.

Hunting is instinctive for these cats because they love the chase, though they rarely eat the mice or rats they catch.

Its a myth that if you feed them they will not chase mice. . . they do it for fun.

All the feral cats we find are neutered and then either returned to their former location (if feasible) or re-homed. We would like to hear from farmers and smallholders as we have plenty of mousers.

The Swansea Cats Protection League has found colonies of cats living in the remains of Swanseas medieval castle.

And it is currently dealing with a large colony found in the Crynant area of Neath.

The cats there are being captured, neutered and returned or found new homes. There are around 2.5 million stray cats living in the UK and just one un-neutered female cat can be responsible for 20,000 descendents in just five years. A cat can have up to three litters a year of five or six kittens.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 26, 2007
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