Feral Cat (Felis catus): Recognising Feral Cats
  • Feral animals are domesticated animals that have escaped and gone wild, e.g. cats, pigeons, donkeys.
  • Feral cats can look like ordinary domesticated cats, but tend to be short-haired and black, tabby or tortoiseshell. They may breed with indigenous wild cats (e.g. African Wild Cat).








Feral Cat (Felis catus): From introduction to invasion
  • Cats were domesticated in the eastern Mediterranean about 3000 years ago. They have spread around the world as people’s pets and as pest controllers (to catch rats and mice), and become feral.
  • Cats are the most carnivorous of all land mammals. They prefer live prey like small mammals, birds and lizards. On islands and at the coast, they can become a threat to nesting seabirds.
  • Domestic cats can produce two litters of kittens per year from the age of six months (feral cats produce fewer kittens). Even one breeding pair of cats introduced to an area can have a significant impact on the population of small indigenous animals.
  • Feral cats are a serious problem in Cape Town’s small urban nature reserves.








Feral Cat (Felis catus): Controlling Feral Cats
  • Pet owners must sterilize their cats to prevent them having unwanted kittens, which may become feral.
  • If you want to protect urban wildlife, think twice before getting a pet cat! If you live on the urban edge or next to a biodiversity network site you should not keep cats as they will soon kill the local wildlife.
  • Feral cats are controlled by hunting, trapping and by introducing viral disease like cat ‘flu.









Feral Cat (Felis catus)
Terrestrial plants:      Aquatic plants Terrestrial animals: Aquatic animals
Kikuyu Grass Water Hyacinth Argentine Ant Largemouth Black Bass
Port Jackson Willow Parrot's Feather European Starling Common Carp
Rooikrans Spanish Reed Feral Cat European Mallard