Tennent, J., Downs, C.T., & Bodasing, M. 2009. Management Recommendations for Feral Cat (Felis catus) Populations Within an Urban Conservancy in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. South African Journal of Wildlife Research. 39(2): 137–142.
The ability of cats (Felis catus) to colonize most land habitats worldwide led to an increasing number of feral cat populations in many areas where food resources are easily available. High densities of feral cats in urban areas, particularly in conservancies, have the potential to impact negatively on both human and local wildlife populations. Of particular interest was the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a registered conservancy where there are differing opinions concerning the resident feral cat population. Consequently methods of controlling feral cat populations and the implications of these methods were reviewed. Despite various methods of feral cat population control existing there are two basic categories: either eradication or reproductive regulation. It is suggested that to control the feral cat population effectively in this urban conservancy, a suitable and ongoing sterilization programme, that is run in conjunction with a feral cat feeding programme, needs to be Implemented. Both programmes need to be long-term and overseen by management. The feral cat population needs to be maintained at a level that allows the lowest migration rate into the conservancy, as well as a predation rate that will not negatively affect the resident wildlife populations. This may require some removal of feral cats at the start of a programme. Whatever management actions are followed, a monitoring programme must be put in place to document how effective the actions are.