Mayhew’s Trap, Neuter, Return programme proves to be a lifeline for feral cats in lockdown

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Mayhew’s Animal Welfare Officers are still out on the frontline, caring for and saving the lives of animals in our local community.

Last week, we got a call from a long-term feeder of two feral cats, who had been looking out for the pair ever since she first spotted them in her garden over eight years ago. The feeder was concerned about the female cat, who she had named Moshi, who seemed to be in significant pain.

  • Moshi had an open wound on her foot, and obvious fur loss at the base of her tail.
  • She wasn’t putting any weight on the injured foot and was holding it high, avoiding contact with the ground, which indicated it was causing her a lot of pain.
  • In order to avoid the risk of further infection, we arranged to safely trap Moshi and bring her into our Community Vet Clinic for a full assessment, ensuring social distancing protocols were adhered to.

Once Moshi had been securely trapped, Animal Welfare Officer Tania Mazzoni drove her straight in for her vet consultation. Thankfully, the wound on her foot was not yet infected and there was no evidence of any lasting complications, so our on-call Vet Emily carefully cleaned the whole area before giving Moshi a long lasting antibiotic injection.

Emily also advised that the fur loss around Moshi’s tail was likely due to a flea allergy, and so administered a Broadline spot on treatment to clear up the infestation. She noted that Moshi otherwise looked to be in excellent health, especially for a feral cat of her age, which shows how important neutering and community care is for these animals.

Once Moshi was ready to be released, Tania drove her back to the garden she was collected from, and advised her feeder how to manage flea and worming treatment going forward.

Moshi is incredibly lucky to be watched over by someone who cares so much about her and her companion, as it has ensured that we were alerted to her injuries in enough time to treat them, preventing Moshi from further pain and suffering.

Our Trap, Neuter, Return project is an incredibly important part of our community outreach, and one that we are proud to be able to continue even in lockdown. We are keeping in close (virtual) contact with known feeders across London to ensure they are receiving the support and advice that they need, to best care for the feral cats in their area.

In a time where many of us are unable to have close contact with loved ones, it is particularly heartwarming to know that these feeders respect and are looking out for cats like Moshi, and that even though they cannot cuddle or stroke feral animals at all, they still feel bonded to them and care about their health and wellbeing.

To find out more about our Trap, Neuter, Return programme, please visit our website here.

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