Feral cats were once domestic cats or the descendants of domestic cats who are now feral. These cats often form colonies wherever shelter and a ready food supply are available, e.g. farms, industrial estates, hospitals, abandoned buildings, landfill sites, etc. Urban feral cats can usually be seen congregating near dustbins, markets, or anywhere there is a ready source of food. Where there is one feral cat, there are sure to be others.
Damage Caused by Feral Cats
Feral cats create a mess around rubbish bins, scrape lawn surfaces, kill plants, defecate, and create noise at night, especially at breeding time – which is constant with feral cats. If they take up residence under your house, decking, or shed, they can cause a horrendous smell.
Feral colonies act as reservoirs of diseases that can be transmitted to domestic cats as well as to humans. These include Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii), Tapeworm infection (Pipylidium coninum), Salmonellosis (Salmonella spp), Campylobacteriosis (Campylobacter spp), Cat Scratch Fever (Bartonella henelae), Roundworm (T cati) and Yersiniosis (Yersinia enterocolitica
If left uncontrolled, feral cat numbers can increase to such a degree that they the whole colony can become unhealthy through continual breeding, interbreeding, disease, poor nutrition, and habitual fighting.
They can also be very aggressive if cornered. In order to protect both yourself and the cat, and management control should be carried out by experienced specialists.
Feral cats are not a protected species in Ireland and may be controlled in order to prevent health and safety hazards.