Although 7th Heaven was founded to deal solely with domestic animals, we are increasingly being asked to help out with feral cats. We have therefore started Project Wildcat to help address the situation.
Under Project Wildcat, we will provide waterproof kennels, free of charge, to anyone that has feral cats on their land and is happy to let them stay. We will also help cover the cost of neutering, but unfortunately as we are a small animal charity, do not have the resource to trap them & take them to the vet ourselves.
As we operate a strict ‘no kill’ policy, if a feral female is found to be pregnant whilst at the vets for spaying, the operation must be stopped immediately and she must be allowed to continue with her pregnancy. If we have space available, we will take the mother in with us and, when the kittens have been born and weaned, the mother can then be spayed. We will then return the mother to where she came from and rehome the kittens.
If we do not have space, the mother will have to be returned until she has given birth and weaned the kittens. She can then be re-trapped and spayed. We will try to take the kittens after weaning for re-homing but it is essential that the kittens are handled as often as possible from about 4 weeks onwards to enable them to be domesticated; otherwise, they too, will turn feral.
If a female has already given birth, and the kittens are still feeding from her, you must wait until the kittens stop feeding before trapping the mother for spaying, this will probably be when the kittens are about 6 weeks old. If the mother is spayed before the kittens stop feeding from her, they will die. Again, we will try to take the kittens in for re-homing if you handle them frequently so they don’t turn feral. If the kittens have already turned feral and cannot be domesticated, then you must wait until they are at least 5-6 months old before neutering them, as early neutering could be harmful.
If the kennel is no longer required or being used, can you please return this to us, so that it can be used for other feral cats who are in need.
October is 7th Heaven's Feral Cat Month
7th Heaven have designated October to be Feral Cat Month. Feral cats are frequently ignored, considered pests and treated very cruelly by some. 7th Heaven simply see them as felines that like living al fresco. During October, some of the cat food donated to us, will be used to feed Feral and Community cats. Any donations received specifically for them will be used to buy them food and shelter if needed. We feed over 100 cats each year through this event and our Project Wildcat Scheme.
If anyone is currently caring for ferals and needs our help, please contact us.
If anyone would like to donate food to this good cause, we have donation points at Sainsbury's Carrickfergus and Forestside, Belfast stores and at Jollyes Superstore, Newtownabbey
We will continue to highlight their plight.
How You Can Help
Most people view feral cats as a nuisance and want them removed from their land or garden. Unfortunately as it is very difficult to find somewhere to re-locate them, we are always looking for people willing to take neutered ferals. If you are happy to care for a few feral cats please let is know. You would need to have a reasonable area of land away from dangerous roads and a shed or outbuilding in which they can sleep and find shelter. This would need to be lockable as the cats would have to be closed in for a few weeks initially or they would simply run off. You must also be prepared to feed them daily.
Remember, feral cats’ lives are precious too.
Project Wildcat in Practice
Project Wildcat Latest YouTube Video
Gallery of some of the Feral and Community cats we have helped
Some of you might have heard about the 2 ladies being banned from feeding feral cats in Stormont grounds after 30 years of doing so. We know that the Belfast Telegraph and other have been championing for permission to allow them to return to feed.
7th Heaven also send requests direct to those involved offering support of shelter and ongoing supplies of pet food through our Project Wildcat scheme.We also highlighted the important where possible to leave them in the habitate that they are accustomed to, particularly if they have lived there for many years. Moving them at this late stage in their lives is likely to cause them trauma and it would not be likely that they would settle elsewhere.
We bare delighted to report that we have received good news about this situation from the Stormont Estate Manager, Estate Management Unit:
'Firstly, can I assure you that there is no intention of moving the cats from their current habitat. In relation to your offer to provide food/shelters for the cats you might wish to contact Edna and Carol directly, however, I understand the cats have been provided with appropriate shelter within the grounds of Stormont House. I would also like to reassure you that there is no intention to interrupt the feeding of the cats. Further, while the security of the Estate is paramount, there has never been consideration of any of the parties as posing a ‘security risk’; rather the issue is one of legitimate access to areas of the Stormont Estate. I have recently met with both Edna and Carol and trust that the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned.'
We are delighted that everyone came together to resolve this matter and show compassion to animals in need in Northern Ireland. In particular it helped highlight the plight of feral cats here and how everyone involved kept the best interests of these cats in mind. There is more than enough animal abuse here.
While we don't have direct contact with Edna or Carol, if any one does, could you please pass our details to them & ask if they would want to contact us for ongoing support of pet food or shelter.