Whether you're curious or need advice, please read through the answers to the questions below
Q: How do you know if a cat is a stray?
A: We get asked this question fairly often, as people are unsure how we can determine whether a cat is stray or has an owner. We follow a process to determine whether the cat has an owner, and try our hardest to reunite all cats before we take them in. The usual steps are as follows:
- If a member of the public calls us out concerned regarding a potentially stray cat, our first port of call is for a volunteer to go out and check the cat for a microchip. Our volunteers have microchip scanners and the charity has access to microchip databases. If the cat is chipped, we will contact the owner.
- If the cat is not microchipped, the next step is to advise the member of the public concerned to 'paper collar' the cat. This consists of writing a message/phone number on a strip of paper, and secure it around the cat's neck. This way, if the cat returns to its owner, the owner will see a message and reassure the finder of the cat.
- If after a few days, paper collaring yields no results, we will take the cat in and get it veterinary treatment.
- If a cat is in immediate danger, or is seriously injured, we will always take the cat to get veterinary help, whilst also trying to locate the owner.
Q: What do you do with the cats once you've taken them in?
A: Once we have determined that a cat is straying, we will take it in and bring it to Hector's House. We have 4 purpose-built outdoor pens where the cats stay until they have received veterinary treatment. We will book them in for a health check and a neuter as soon as possible, and begin the cat's rehabilitation.
Once the cats have been neutered, they are ready to be assessed by our wonderful fosterers. Our fosterers care for the cats until they can trust humans again, we know their characteristics and we can then find them a suitable home.
More often than not, these boys become loving companions.
Q: Why are the pens outdoor pens?
A: Straying tomcats are usually unneutered. The result of this is that they tend to spray and cause distress to other animals. The outdoor pens are protected from the weather, have lighting, heated beds and are a vital step in the process of rehabilitation.
Q: Why do you neuter all of the cats?
A: With all pets it is very important to get them neutered. There are lots of diseases which can cause harm to our beloved pets which can be transferred through bodily fluids. An example of these illnesses are FIV (Feline immunodeficiency virus), and FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus).
Neutering also helps to reduce the number of stray cat colonies, thus reducing the number of cats suffering.
Q: What is FIV and FeLV?
A: FIV is Feline immunodeficiency virus. It is similar to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and spreads through transmission of bodily fluids. A cat with FIV can live a perfectly happy life, but their immune system may be weakened.
FeLV is Feline Leukemia virus; a more deadly virus which is inevitably fatal for cats who contract it, within at least 3 years. FeLV also weakens the cat's immune system, and causes other illnesses.