We would like to thank the "HM Vet Sterilization Scheme" involving both Midlands and Howick Veterinary Clinics, Dr Peter Johnstone, Dr Trish and their staff for their kind help with the feral cats at the complex where we live.
In general, there appears to be an absolute lack of interest and sympathy towards the challenge of feral cats which makes the whole problem overwhelming. Research has shown that if one is able to establish a colony of sterilised cats the number of cats remains static in preference to removing them which then encourages non-sterilised cats to move into the area and continue multiplying. There are dozens of cats in our complex, and our property shares a boundary with a rural settlement which too must have their own multiplying cat population. Our first approach was through the SPCA's and we are pleased to let readers know that the Howick SPCA was the only SPCA in the neighbouring towns who showed interest in helping, but it still would cost over R150.00 per cat, which, although a dramatically reduced fee,(for which we salute them!) it is just not feasible for us as individuals to afford, when there are so many cats.
It was by chance that we spoke to Lindy, the practice manager of Midlands Vet (our vet) who told us that they had a sterilisation drive going and thus far we have been able to successfully catch and release to three cats, after being sterilised, vaccinated against rabies, bathed and had an application of Front Line Tick and Flea treatment. It is a long slow process, but it is important to us that Midlands Vet (and Howick Vet) are recognised for their efforts in dealing with these extremely difficult and very wild animals for us.
We have kindly been lent one trap which we only set on the nights when we are going to Howick but this is a slow and arduous process. If there is a reader who is able to help us we would be extremely grateful.
Regards Don and Hazel Johnson