Feline rescue charity Cats Protection are encouraging farmers and stable workers to consider using feral cats for vermin control.
Described as an “environmentally-friendly” alternative to pest control, the charity said outdoor homes were suitable for feral cats who are not properly socialised and therefore cannot be homed in a domestic setting.
The charity said feral cats were “exceptionally efficient” at controlling pests and added that sometimes, the presence of these cats was enough to keep rats and mice away. Provided with shelter, regular food and water, ferals are happiest to be kept outdoors at farms, stables or smallholdings, where they will keep rodents at bay.
Cats Protection’s events manager Emma Osborne said: “We have many feral cats in our care that would be ideal for a working home where they can lead an independent life in a safe and secure setting.
“Not only will they work their socks off to keep pests at bay, they can also be very entertaining pets and many owners comment on how much enjoyment they get from watching the antics of their feral cats.”
She added: “Although some ferals can become semi-tame, they will never crave or need the companionship of people or an indoor home, and don’t miss the luxuries that domestic cats enjoy. However, while they are perfectly content to live outdoors, they will need to be provided with food, shelter, water and veterinary care.”