Mama Cat Trust is a North London based animal rescue working with all animals but mainly cats and foxes. We promote responsible and humane treatment of all animals.
The work with foxes has increased hugely over the last few years to meet the demand with so many urgently needing help . The main issue for foxes is mange which is extremely prevalent now in London and severely debilitating. It causes them a great deal of misery and suffering resulting in death if they are not treated for it. The link below gives advice on how you can help foxes with mange.
Sarcoptic mange in foxes
Comprehensive details about mange courtesy of the Fox Project.
In Spring and Summer, there can be a lot of fox action in our gardens as foxes are bringing up their young families. Almost all cubs are born in March and as the weeks pass, the growing cubs are very active and adventurous. Vixens often give birth under sheds and decking as they think it is a safe place. The male fox also takes an active part in bringing up the cubs so it can mean having quite a few foxes around at once! This can involve a lot of fox noises as they learn to communicate with each other and also accompanying boisterous activity and playing. This can sometimes be messy!
For those who do not want foxes and/or cubs in their garden, the most humane and effective solution is to encourage them to move on naturally. The idea is to make the garden less hospitable. This can be achieved in a number of ways.
You can apply products such as ‘Get off my garden’ and ‘Scoot’ which are available online or from garden centres. They have to be reapplied frequently especially if it rains but can be helpful as immediate short term deterrence.
Motion activated water sprayers are very effective but if you have cats or dogs, it will squirt them too!
You can keep moving things around and make a lot of noise in the garden-even a radio left nearby can be very helpful. The more you are active in the garden, the more likely they will be to move onto somewhere more hospitable.
For more long term solutions involving permanent exclusion eg professionally filling in spaces where earths have been dug, I recommend the humane services of Foxagon.
Sometimes people think that foxes can be relocated to a more suitable place but this is very cruel as you would be throwing them into the territory of other foxes. It is also illegal.
Removing foxes is never the solution as very quickly more foxes move into the vacated space.
Humane deterrence is the only effective method.
I can also give limited advice.
Cat sterilisation programmes in Spain
Mama Cat Trust is based in the U.K. but as well as rescuing animals daily here, also carries out some of its work with feral and street cats in the Cambrils area of Spain. This involves the implementation of neutering programmes focusing on feral and stray cats.
Trap Neuter Return
Unspayed feral/stray female cats spend the majority of their lives hungry and pregnant or nursing yet more unwanted kittens. Unneutered tomcats roam to find, and fight to win mates, often suffering potentially life threatening wounds in the process. Most kittens born in feral colonies do not survive their first year. This is a miserable life where it is a struggle to survive without veterinary treatment.
The solution is the trap, neuter and return method where cats are caught in a specialised and harmless trap. They are then given a health check, neutered and treated for any other problems. They are then returned to their familiar environment where they can live a longer happier, healthier, and less anti-social life. If the area has become unsafe, for example in cruelty or poisoning cases, an alternative habitat is sought. Where possible, loving homes are found for kittens and tame cats but there are always more kittens and cats than there are homes.
After sterilisation each cat is given an internationally recognised ‘ear tip’ which is a simple and completely painless procedure carried out under anaesthetic where the tip of the ear is removed. The type of ear tip does vary in different countries, sometimes a notch is removed from the side of the ear. An eartip identifies the cat as neutered and prevents further retrapping and an unnecessary operation.
We urgently need to raise funds in order to carry on with our work. I know a lot of people raise money by being sponsored to run marathons for some of the big charities and I wondered if any kind (and energetic!) soul would consider running for Mama Cat instead?