Feral cats at the Suncoast Casino Hotel in Durban enjoy their new “Happy Cat Hotel”

The feral cats at the Suncoast Casino Hotel at the northern end of the Durban (South Africa) Golden Mile got an ‘upgrade’ a few years ago when the development for the hotel spent R1.6 billion in 2017. The hotel now boasts Suncoast Casino’s Happy Cat Hotel, a perfect hangout and home for the feral cats who call the property their home.

feral cat hotel
Caregivers at the new ‘cat hotel’ (North Glen News)
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

It all began nine years ago when cousins Pauline Tribe and Rose Magic saw the cats crying for food when they parked to take a stroll. Cheryl Bradfield joined the caregivers four years ago when she saw the ladies feeding the cat colony as she took a jog on the property.

Kelly Graham, Communications Manager for Suncoast stated in an interview with North Glen News

“During Suncoast’s refurbishment project, there was a concern that the cat community could be unsettled, scared, hurt and possibly even scattered during the construction. Our Sun Cats are part of our family and we just knew we needed to do the best thing for them and provide them with homes that offer shelter, food and a sense of belonging. A friendly place where there is always fresh water and food.”

Since the cats don’t like lumps in their food (yes, feral cats CAN be picky), the ladies blend three varieties of wet food into a smoothie.  They spend about R10 500 per month (around $700 U.S. dollars) on the cats, not counting vet bills.

I wanted to share this story because it shows how a business can co-exist alongside a colony of feral cats. The cats likely do a good job of controlling the rat population. It’s almost a given the cats keep to themselves near their new ‘hotel’ because feral cats aren’t likely to mingle with (or intrude upon) the hotel guests.

Suncoast Casino main hotel
Suncoast Casino main hotel (wikipedia)

The structure wouldn’t be difficult to build. Scrap lumber should do it (best if not ‘treated’ lumber) for a small colony. I like the way enough space was made at the bottom to set up a feeding station that’s also protected from the weather.

It would be nice if all feral colony cats were treated with as much respect as these are. In the U.S., many colony caregivers have to feed in secret (sometimes in the middle of the night) because there are people out there who would harm the cats.

Cheryl Bradfield can be reached at 082 510 6762 if you have any questions.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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