Caring for your adopted SNIP feral cats.
The First Two Weeks
They will need to stay in their release pen for approximately 2 weeks. Please feed and clean them
out once or twice a day and ensure they are dry and comfortable and have fresh water daily. If you
experience any problems, or if the cats are fighting or appear distressed or ill, please ring us.
At the end of the period, feed them in the pen as usual but open the pen up, securing the door open
so it cannot swing and hurt them, so that they can start to come and go as they please. Early evening
is a good time to do this when things are quiet. Please make sure all dogs are shut away where
possible so the cats have a chance to find their safe areas. Continue to put food down by the release
pen twice a day and fresh water once a day. It is very likely that for a few weeks you will see no
sign of the cats. For the first few days they may not even eat the food. Please do not stop feeding
as they are very likely to be close by and will come back for food and water when it is quiet and
when they feel safe. Eventually they will show themselves to you, when they feel more comfortable
We recommend that you feed mostly wet food (pouches or tins) with a little good quality dry food
to keep their teeth clean (although ratting and mousing will also do that). Feeding dry biscuits only
leads to many health problems and should be avoided.
Please note that feral cats cannot survive on rats and mice alone, they do need to be fed. The better
fed they are, the more they chase the vermin and it is this that drives the vermin away, rather than
them being eaten!
Cats and Dogs
If there are dogs roaming freely, please release the cats at a time when the dogs are not around. The
cats will then have the chance to find places of safety they can run to when they feel under threat. It
can help if you develop a signal that there are dogs on the loose – a whistle or call when you let the
dogs off the lead will come to alert the cats to take cover!
When you adopt your feral cats they become your financial responsibility but feral cats rarely
run up vet bills the way domestic cats might as there is little that can be done for cats that cannot
be handled and become seriously sick or injured other than compassionate euthanasia. If your
cat becomes ill please do phone us to ask for advice as we may be able to arrange for the special
equipment to humanely trap cats that cannot be handled at no cost to yourself. We will always offer
what help and advice we can at no cost as we are grateful to you for offering our cats a chance at a
future they would otherwise have been denied.
This is a free service but any donation you might wish to make would be very much appreciated
and would be put towards helping other cats in the future. SNIP is run entirely by volunteers so all
monies are spent on animal welfare.
Many thanks for giving a London feral a home. Please let us know about your experiences and do
contact us for advice if your cat gets sick or injured or if you have any problems.