Northern Ireland: No killing of feral cats. Rehomed Instead

This is a very positive story about how to look after feral cats. It comes from Bangor, Northern Ireland. There is a planned development on a piece of land near the seafront to regenerate the area. There are also around 60 feral cats on this piece of land. Instead of trapping and euthanising the cats, the local government decided to trap neuter and rehome3 the cats with the assistance of a local charity, the well known Cats Protection, which does such good work in the UK.

“The cats are the priority here…but the cats have not held up any development here”…says Councillor Austen Lennon

We love to hear that sort of thing from a local government Councillor. It sounds exceptional but perhaps it is not. He is the sort of local government officer that one wants (for me).

Councillor Bangor N.Ireland

Another man who loves his cats (I am presuming at the very least Cllr Lennon is sympathetic towards cats), is Dennis Cassidy who feeds the feral cats.

He wisely says that the cats do a service for the community by keeping the rodent population down. He is sad to see them being rehomed. He has been feeding them for years.

“The cats are doing the area a good turn because without the cats the place would be crawling with rats and mice…Even if you took all the cats away, probably 6 months down the line another colony will appear…”(Dennis Cassidy)

He is right about the rodents but I don’t think he is correct about another colony appearing if the development starts as soon as the cats are rehomed because the whole area will be severely disrupted.

Feeding feral cats

Cats Protection have trapped and rehomed ten cats so far. The work takes time and will probably be completed by March 2014.

This is the way feral cats should be treated – with respect. I have to mention that, as usual in society, there are people in Bangor who object to the excellent treatment of these cats. I suppose they just want rid of them.

Here is a photo of one of the cats, which by the way, look in good health.

Bangor feral cat

This is where Bangor is:

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  1. Note: My thanks to Ruth aka Kattaddorra for pointing this story out for me.
  2. See the video from which the photos come.
  3. Note: I believe that “rehoming” in this instance means relocation but it needs clarification.
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Northern Ireland: No killing of feral cats. Rehomed Instead — 12 Comments

  1. Such a lovely story and yes we could do with many more Councillors as kind. I’d think rehoming really means relocating to a feral farm or somewhere similar where there are people willing to feed the cats.
    It’s so nice to hear of cats being cared for so well, how I wish the USA had a Cats Protection organisation too so that no feral cats there were shot at and killed as a nuiscance.

    • I am the same as you Ruth. Relocating feral cats can be done without interfering with development and making money. It is far better for society if people treat animals well. Or to put it another way if people treat animals well it is a symptom of a good and civilised society. The opposite is true as well.

  2. Coolest thing happened the other day. I was driving down our street and as always I looked around for any signs of cats left on our street and??? I finally had to admit to myself that it’s been too long. There are no more cats on our 1/5 mile long street. I turned to my nephew and said: “Well, I guess there are no more cats…” when a beautiful dark point Siamese ran across the road! How about that! Just the cool thing ever. :)When I recovered from the shock I explained it all to my nephew. He loves cats too.

  3. I may be exaggerating but the 100% TNR of all those cats is an enforced extinction of that complete colony spread over time. I understand very well that excess numbers must be controlled in a humane way instead of by nature’s way of starvation and premature death from sickness and accidents. Has it been determined that they are excessive? Will there be replacements when they die out of old age or accidents so that their task of keeping rodents down will not be halted? I have just read that a single cat effectively preying on rats can prevent the spoiling or loss of 250 tons of grain p/a. Seems a lot but predation by cats not only kills existing rats but curtails future generations which otherwise reach thousands very quickly.

  4. Oh I see the plan is to re-home them. What cats will take their place where they have been doing a good job of rodent control? Perhaps just a few should be left there.

    • If they are planning a development on that land they won’t want feral cats around, not everyone is very kind about them.
      It must be some sort of waste land they are living on, so when that’s taken over and building work starts it would be dangerous for any cats left there.
      It’s like when they built the Olympic Village, all the cats had to be relocated or they’d have been driven away and homeless, if not killed by the machinery.
      The kindest thing is to relocate them, a new colony won’t form where there will be so much activity.

    • The site where the cats are is probably semi-derelict or in need of development (shopping centre perhaps). So the cats are being relocated where they hopefully can settle down and continue to do their work of keeping down rat numbers. I get the impression that the new development will be unsuited to a feral cat colony.

      However, it will be necessary to start development as soon as the ferals are relocated otherwise a new colony will be created.

  5. What a heart warming story is so good to hear of animals coming before development for a change. I think the beautiful healthy Tabby and White cat is down to the guy that feeds them he will no doubt miss them 🙁

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