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Sussex charity needs working homes for feral cats
7:00am Saturday 29th September 2012 in News
A three-legged stray and seven kittens are among a group of feral cats in urgent need of new outdoor homes after being taken in by Cats Protection.
Staff at the charity's National Cat Adoption Centre in Chelwood Gate, near Haywards Heath, say the felines have proved difficult to rehome and have now launched an urgent appeal to find new owners.
All the cats were born on the streets and because they were not handled by humans at a young age they are unable to be domesticated.
But while they will never be lap cats, the charity says ferals can be someone’ best friend given the right outdoor home.
Tania Marsh, deputy manager of the National Cat Adoption Centre, said: “When it comes to rodent control, there's nothing better than a cat or two.
“They are a cost-effective, efficient and eco-friendly way of keeping down vermin, and they'll work their socks off for their new owners.
“In the past we have rehomed feral cats to farms, stableyards, smallholdings, garden centres and pubs – anywhere where rodents can be a problem.
“They don't necessarily need to be rehomed to a working environment – someone with a lot of land may like to keep them to deter rabbits or just because they like having cats around.
“The needs of ferals are minimal – they need a dry shed or suitable shelter, regular meals and someone to keep a watchful eye over them. Ideally we'd like to rehome them in pairs or groups of three.”
Among the ferals currently in the care of Cats Protection is Daisy, who was found wandering in Hailsham with a terrible injury to her leg which resulted in it being amputated.
Tania said: “Daisy is only 18 months old but unfortunately she is proving particularly hard to find a home for.
“While she may only have three legs, we've no doubt she'll be just as a good a mouser and we hope to find her a home soon as she desperately needs to be outdoors.”
Other ferals include Flower and Spice who were handed into a vet surgery in London and Tito and Turner, who were found in Crawley – aged between four and five months they were all born to stray mothers and were found too late to be domesticated.
Also in the charity's care are Finn, Pookie and Berry who were handed in along with their stray mother after being found in Hassocks.
Although they were never domesticated, Tania said they were showing signs of being partially tamed so with the right owner they could take to an indoor home with plenty of outdoor access.
Tania added: “If you miss the small window of opportunity to tame a kitten when it is very young, then it is very unlikely they can ever become domesticated.
“With a lot of hard work and patience, the right owner may be able to make a feral less wary of people but it would be hard to see any of these cats becoming lap cats.
“Despite that they have a lot to offer to the right owner, and will certainly earn their keep.”
If you would like to offer a home to any of the feral cats contact the National Cat Adoption Centre on 01825 741330.