If you know of a feral cat colony, even if it is a small group of only a few members, please do not talk about it to people. Very easily word of the colony’s existence can spread, and then it can become a dumping ground for irresponsible people abandoning their cats.
If you know of unfixed feral cats, tell us. We can help by getting the cats trapped and sterilized if someone is willing to feed them afterwards. If you know of feral cats that have already been fixed and are being fed, then everything is as it should be and tell no one about that colony.
Feral colonies should be fed cat food every day at the same time and same place, in dishes. The cats will still take care of rodent control. Starving cats are so desperate for a meal that they don't make good mousers, so a meal of cat food a day is essential.
Any leftover food should be taken away after 45 minutes so that it doesn’t attract other animals. Cats quickly learn the routine and will be on schedule for mealtime. A certain noise such as ringing a bell or blowing a whistle or banging a spoon on a tin can will work as a stimulus if the feeder wants to condition the cats to come promptly for food when they hear that noise.
The cats must have water available always, especially in summer.
Feral cats benefit greatly from having a shelter to help get them through the cold months.
Never place fabric in a cat shelter because a wet cat will sit on it, the fabric gets wet and stays wet, or freezes, or rots, and then the shelter is useless. No blankets, no foam, no towels, and no cardboard go in the cat shelter – nothing absorbent at all.
Simple items that can be made into cat shelters:
• Styrofoam boxes with black garbage bags taped all over (without the layer of plastic, styrofoam is not waterproof and it degrades). styrofoam insulates heat well, making it warm for the cats to cuddle against.
• Plastic storage bins that have styrofoam pieces fitted inside as inner walls, or are stuffed with straw (not hay – hay rots when it gets wet, whereas straw dries out).
• Re-purposed wooden boxes stuffed with straw or fitted with styrofoam pieces inside.
Please see our page titled Cat shelters for further information and links to tutorials about making them.