My Advice On Helping Feral Cats in London, UK
I have been feeding and helping a group of feral cats for two years now. I have had some success, surprisingly, because they were adults, and have successfully trapped and rehomed three so far.
I have encountered lots of problems along the way, and have been amazed how little help there seems to be in West London. I had to phone for over a year, every week and they still would not help until I realised she was pregnant, then they wanted to come they same night.
My advice for anyone wanting to try and help these cats is that I do believe they can be tamed to a degree, but it’s only if they decide they want the help. I would suggest that anyone considering doing this work should have no expectations and a lot of patience.
I would say the hardest part is getting from the feeding and hand feeding stage to the touching stage, as these cats have never been handled.
My technique is to speak to and engage the cat as much as possible. I use blinking, showing them different foods etc, touching has been achieved using cream in the can and on my hand, which she licks off; while she does this I am then allowed to touch her with the other hand. It’s not ideal to give cats cream but there is mainly air in it, and I figure, she would be eating from dustbins normally anyway.
I have now got to the stage, where she does spend periods of time in the house, and have decided there is not much else I can do on my side and the rest is what the cat decides, but its taken 18 mths to get to this stage.
My last piece of advice to anyone struggling to get the charities to help, is say you think its female, as it took me a year to realise that this is the main priority of animal shelters, as soon as I told them this they could not wait to help, after a year of calling them, and please understand that though most of them do a great job , not everyone is perfect, so call lots of people and get as much advice as you can.