A Tipperary vet says there has been an increase in the number of pregnant feral cats in the region.
Mairead Leahy of Arra Vets says cats can have up to three litters a year, and cats as young as 4-6 months can produce their own litters, causing an influx of unneutered feral cats in the likes of Limerick and Tipperary.
She says feral cats live in groups, that they should not be confused with stray cats, and advised people not to interfere with cats who live in the wild.
Mairead told Tipp Today a colony of feral cats at Tipp Town’s Tesco were trapped, neutered and then returned to their environment, and that the same approach should apply to all feral cats.
“With feral cats, people carry out a thing called ‘Trap, Neuter, and Return’. It’s called ‘TNR’. You trap the cat, neuter them, and then you return them to their original environment. You’re not trying to domesticate them and get them into homes. Sometimes the kittens, at that age if they’re growing up in a feral group, can generally be domesticated. But, if there are feral cats there, you need to get someone on board to help you that has experience with trapping these cats and handling them in the right way. Especially in vet clinics, they’re not the type of cat you’d want to bring in a cardboard box.”