Xanadu Nature Estate – December 2018

The National Council of SPCAs advises that businesses and residential premises should maintain healthy colonies of feral cats using feeding and sterilisation to keep rodents and snakes under control. This policy is also applied by Onderstepoort and at many business premises across South Africa.Feeding feral cats ensures that they remain healthy enough to keep rodents and strange cats at bay. Not feeding the cats is by no means a deterrent and instead of leaving, they will enter buildings in search of food. Feeding also facilitates sterilisation and this ensures a healthy balance between the number of cats and the environment.It is counter-productive to remove feral cats, since this creates the ‘vacuum’ effect, causing new cats to take their place. Research has shown that feral cats do not normally predate on birds, except on weak individuals. Rat populations soar following the removal of feral cats and it is important to note that rats predate on birds’ eggs, which has a more detrimental effect on bird populations.

Please note that poisoning any animal or causing it any suffering is a contravention of the Animal Protection Act, and should therefore not be considered at any time.Feral cats make an important contribution to the health of many premises. They are clean animals and keep the premises rodent-free without the aid of poison, which is environmentally unfriendly. The choice is simple: cats or rats.Humans cannot contract feline diseases. In fact, a number of hospitals countrywide maintain feral colonies.

There are presently 11 feeding stations in the estate. There are only 45 feral cats on the estate, a drop from 58 two years ago. The cats are fed approximately twenty 10kg bags of food per month. Since August 2016, 66 feral cats have been sterilised and 4 stray cats have been rehomed. The feral cats on the estate are easily identifiable by a tipped ear and each and every cat has been vaccinated against rabies.

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