While most of the cats and kittens handed in and re-homed at Whinnybank are regular domestic pets Sue Hancock also does a lot of work with feral cats.
She gets call from farms, hotels and other places with feral colonies that are getting out of control. Knowing that the council no longer traps cats and that if they are called in they arrange for the colony to be indiscriminately exterminated (often leaving kittens to starve if the mother has been killed).
Sue spends many hours and a small fortune on petrol, trapping the cats and getting them checked and neutered by the vet. The council often put calls on to Sue from people asking for help with feral cats but they are unwilling to help in any way, not even with the costs. The Cats Protection League do not do large-scale feral work but they do sometimes help Whinnybank with a grant or donations of cat food. If a feral colony gets above 15 cats nature is cruel and cat flu often sets in so the vets bills can be huge.
Very often a few neutered cats will be returned to the original location, ensuring that the colony will not get out of control again. If kittens are trapped at a young enough age, our kitten fosterers work hard to tame them so that they can be homed. The other adults and untameable kittens then spend the rest of their lives running free at the Sanctuary, unless we manage to find new homes for them at farms or stables. It is hard, expensive and often frustrating work but definitely worthwhile!