Keep­ing feral cat colonies un­der con­trol

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO NEWS - Tam­lyn Jolly

PROJECT Feral Cat (PFC) has grown its foot­print after spend­ing some time in KwaMbonambi ster­il­is­ing the feral cats at All­ways Tow­ing.

Eight feral cats liv­ing on the prop­erty were trapped, ster­ilised and re­leased, aid­ing in the con­trol of the colony.

‘We so en­joyed this cam­paign, and with cat names such as Gear­box and Prop­shaft, it is one I will not for­get,’ said PFC founder, Heilke Ack­er­man.

‘We are so grate­ful when busi­nesses not only take care of the feral cats on their prop­er­ties, but also when they take ac­tion and re­spon­si­bil­ity to sta­bilise the colony through ster­il­i­sa­tion.’

While in the area, PFC ster­ilised five other feral cats that are fed by KwaMbonambi res­i­dent, Namji Chetty.

‘There are still a lot of cats in the area and we are hop­ing to plan an­other day there in the near fu­ture.’

PFC is a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion re­ly­ing on pri­vate do­na­tions and spon­sor­ship to carry out its work.

This year alone, PFC has ster­ilised 395 feral cats and found lov­ing homes for 86 kit­tens. Six­teen cat houses have been hand-built and placed in strate­gic ar­eas to en­sure the feral cats are pro­tected against the el­e­ments.

To date, the NPO has re­ceived 365kg of cat food in do­na­tions for the larger colonies.

‘We had some good big cam­paign days to tar­get ar­eas in Al­ton, Ar­bore­tum Pri­mary School, KwaMbonambi, Ni­bela Lodge near Hluh­luwe, and even a farm out­side Amatikulu,’ said Ack­er­man. ‘It is so re­ward­ing when you man­age to do 10 to 20 cats.’

There are also some down­sides to Ack­er­man’s work, not least the few cases of an­i­mal cru­elty, in­clud­ing feral cats be­ing poi­soned, one homed feral cat be­ing shot with a pel­let gun and oth­ers be­ing trapped and in­ten­tion­ally hurt.

Ack­er­man is hold­ing a fundrais­ing raf­fle and is plan­ning some big­ger fund-rais­ing cam­paigns be­fore the year is out.

Do­na­tions of cat food, old blan­kets, cur­tains or even un­used cat toys are wel­comed.

For more in­for­ma­tion, PFC can be found on Face­book – Project Feral Cat.

Heilke Ack­er­man

One of the All­ways Tow­ing feral cats about to be re­leased after ster­il­i­sa­tion

‘Rango’ in­spects part of the cat house struc­ture be­ing put to­gether

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