Feral cats are the result of female
domestic cats that are either lost or abandoned mating with unneutered
male cats, when the kittens are born they don't get handled and socialised
so are very nervous of human contact. This situation is usually the
start of another feral cat colony.
The best way of controlling the number of cats in a feral colony is
to trap the cats and neuter them, they can them be returned to the colony.
They are "ear-tipped" during the neutering which is the removal
of the very tip of usually the left ear so the cat can easily be identified
as having been neutered. The colony numbers are then controlled and
will eventually reduce in size. The cats will be healthier and can then
be fed and monitored.
If the kittens are trapped they can be tamed but the younger the kittens
start to be socialised the easier the process is. Adult feral cats can
sometimes be tamed but this can be a very slow process and they usually
remain very timid. Another option is to rehome them to farms, stables
and smallholdings etc.
For more information please visit the following sites:
Hammond Animal Trust