Friends of Ferals is a Pro-life, Non-Profit Organization (NPO 202-559), which focuses on the plight of feral and stray cats. Their miserable, short lives are spent scavenging for food, dying from starvation, in pain from one or both infectious and fatal cat viruses, injured, or systematically being killed. The dire situation of the over-population of ferals in South Africa is the product of society, through the gross neglect of failing to sterilize pet cats. This problem affects society and is the responsibility of society, as a whole.
We officially opened our doors in November 2017, as a result of the cat boarding facility, Cottage Cats, having helped with numerous pleas from individuals, business owners and/or employees in assisting with the capture of pregnant, sick or injured ferals. These cats were homed at Cottage Cats till kittens attained the age that they could be homed. Their injuries or sicknesses were healed and then the sterilized, healthy adult cats were returned to their office or factory homes.
I don’t think there is a better feeling in the world than the sense of euphoria and delight, when rehabilitated kittens, from feral mommies, are found loving homes, or when feral, sterilized adults are returned to their office or factory homes. Business owners and employees accept these furry residents as a natural part of daily life and provide them with shelter and food.
These adult cats are examples of how TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return) is a successful solution to both cats and business/factory owners. Controlled feral colonies keep their environment free of rodents and discourage the influx of other ferals.
By the end of 2016, with 17 special-needs ferals and strays in “boarding’, it became a matter of urgency to have units separate from the boarding facility, in which to house the more long-term ferals and strays. A generous benefactor, Jeanette, who boards her cat every December, sponsored the building of 6 large units. Also, two outdoor Cabanas were built, each with its own 6m x 6m completely enclosed garden, and each unit with its own hut.
Those ferals and strays who are sociable, test negative for HIV and Feline Leukaemia, have been sterilized and vaccinated, enter the homing programme and are housed in the cabanas. Long-term resident cats need the fresh air, sunlight and space of the cabana gardens, to achieve, as close as possible, a life of in- and out-doors as they would have in a real home.
In a wooded area, behind the cattery, are two large dog houses and a 1962 Volkswagon combi, which are home to 13 sterilized, healthy ferals. They are a family unit, free to roam, but they tend to remain close to their home and food.
Friends of Ferals and the cat boarding facility, Cottage Cats, operate from the same premises and all proceeds from boarding support Friends of Ferals. We are truly passionate about cats and their well-being. Every life matters. And each one is loved – from the spoilt, fussy border to the hissing feral. We understand that the only difference in their attitudes towards humans is the circumstances under which they were born.
Mission Statement and Main Objectives
- Sterilization: (TNR Programme ) To Trap, Neuter, and Return healthy ferals back to their environment. Those ferals who are ill or injured will be homed at Shelter, under medical care, until such time as their health is restored, or when the quality of life is compromised.
- Awareness: To create awareness of the plight of ferals through visibility, as well as our interaction with the public at markets, shopping malls, animal-related events and functions.
- Feeding: With the help of community members and business owners, feeding programmes will be initiated in those areas that ferals that have been trapped and neutered, have been returned
- Education: To educate learners about the importance of cats in our society and emphasize that they serve a valuable function in society. To impart the knowledge that cats are unique individuals, with unique personalities, who make loving pets and good companions. To impress that the killing of a cat is inhumane, unacceptable and frowned upon by society. To teach learners that we should all have the grace to allow life to walk its path on Earth – as we do – and to have the attitude of ‘Live and Let Live’.
- Homing: Captured pregnant or lactating feral mothers with their babies will be homed at Shelter until the kittens are old enough to be homed, and the mother cat, after being sterilized, will be released where she was captured. Orphaned kittens, under 6 weeks old, will be fostered-out, until ready to be homed.
Our dream for 2018/2019 is to raise the much-needed amount of R38 000, to build a 5m x 8m Garden Cabana for HIV positive ferals and strays. Many HIV cats are healthy, although positive, and not suffering from full-blown AIDS. They deserve the chance at a life of peace – for however long as they are ‘healthy’, as life at the shelter is the closest they’ll ever get to having a home and being loved.
Ways in Which the Public can Assist
Donate a once off payment towards our planned HIV unit, or donate a once off R250 for the sterilization of a feral. (Use the reference number HIV or Steri.) Become a monthly sponsor to help towards vet bills, medication, cat food, cat litter, traps and fuel.
If you’re not in a position to give financially, consider donating your time, or enrolling as a foster mommy. If you’re too far to visit the shelter, please visit our Facebook page and share our Adoptions, Posts and Feel Good Stories.
Farm Portion 144, R511 Highway, Hennopsrivier. (19 km from Fourways )
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 066 2179 952
Friends of Ferals, FNB, Savings Account Number 627 5435 9852