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My Advice On Helping Feral Cats in London, UK

My Advice On Helping Feral Cats in London, UK

by Claire
(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.


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My Advice On Helping Feral Cats in London, UK

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Mar 11, 2011 Hi Claire
by: Connor

This is very good advice! I was just wondering if you had any advice on where to find stray/ feral cats in london. I love cats and I’m looking to find and tame/ care for a feral/stray cat. feral kittens or stray cats/kittens would be best as I don’t think I have time to tame a full grown feral cat. So, where can I find feral/stray cats in London?

Thank you for your advice and time,

Connor 🙂

Nov 23, 2010 Cats Protection
by: Ruth

Hello Claire, did you contact Cats Protection ? You can find your nearest branch here:
I was a volunteer for our branch and even if we couldn’t help immediately we’d always get back to people when we could.
Having said that, each branch is only as good as its co-ordinator and volunteers and it’s a struggle for most cat charities nowadays.
But it’s in their interests to make TNR a priority as that cuts down on the number of cats needing help and kittens being born.
The secret is to use ‘pester power’
Our co-ordinator would send us out quite quickly to people who kept on phoning her !
Sadly our branch folded as many small ones do due to lack of volunteers and funds.

Nov 18, 2010 Hi Claire
by: Michael

First, you can’t live that far from me as I live in West London – Barnes/Putney border to be exact.

Second, thank you for sharing your experiences. Could you tell us which charities you contacted and why they want to help a pregnant female cat and ignore the others? I presume it is because she will give birth to kittens that can be sold. Is that correct? Also it appears that they have no room to rescue all feral cats and have to be selective.


Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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