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Feral & Domestic Cats

Feral Cats Program

Feral cats are sometimes called ‘community’ cats because many were once domesticated but have been abandoned or lost. Unsterilized females can become pregnant as young as 5 months and have litter after litter of feral kittens which form colonies of cats.  One feral female can produce 2 to 3 litters of up to 8 kittens per year, so if not controlled, the feral cat population can grow exponentially. Although they are great survivors, feral life is tough and not ideal, as they cannot be treated when ill, and often overlooked and unwanted by the community. 

Passionate and committed cat lover, Jodi Kruger, is one of St Francis Animal Rescue’s Cat Ladies, and it falls to her to single-handedly manage our ‘Trap, Neuter & Return’ program. Once trapped, cats and kittens are brought to Aloe Vet where Dr Nerine Botha sterilizes healthy cats, and quietly puts sick cats to sleep. Sterilized cats have their left ears notched to identify them as being spayed or neutered. Once healed, the cats are released to their colony.

If feral kittens are 8 weeks or younger, they are removed from the wild and tamed by Jodi and her foster team, after which they are adopted to loving homes. 

Feeding stations are set up and filled weekly by Jodi and other kind volunteers. Good quality cat pellets are provided to ensure the cats are well fed and therefore less likely to catch birds, reptiles, and other small mammals.

Feral Cat Gallery

Domestic Cats Program

Stella Plantinga, another of our dedicated Cat Ladies, works in Sea Vista with residents who own kittens and cats. Stella goes into the township every week to provide food where it is needed and monitor the health and well-being of the cats in the area, thus building relationships with cat owners.  This allows her to educate owners and encourage them to sterilize their cats.

Cats are collected the evening before their sterilization and kept overnight to ensure they do not consume food 12 hours before surgery (this prevents the possibility of aspiration during surgery). After they make a full recovery, they are returned to their homes in Sea Vista. 

When cats are surrendered by owners who can no longer keep them, they are put into foster care before being adopted into loving homes.

Domestic Cat Gallery

Foster Moms

Because SFAR do not have a physical shelter, Jodi and Stella rely on our dedicated team of volunteers to foster any incoming cats and kittens. The women and men who foster for our charity do it for the love of felines and are vital as a dedicated support team.

Our foster parents treat our rescued kitties as their own, giving them all the love and care they need, until we can find homes for them.

There is no substitute for rescued kittens and cats being taken into foster care. Only in a loving home where there are other cats and dogs, children, and adults, do these kitties begin to adapt to normal life. The hardest part of being a foster parent is saying goodbye. There is, however, always gratifying fulfilment in knowing you’ve helped change the lives of vulnerable, innocent, and often abused cats and kittens and given them love, hope and tenderness on their way to a better life.


Foster Moms who take care of new-born kittens are very special indeed. The task is hugely demanding yet incredibly rewarding.

Because they are so fragile, they need to be kept warm and their vitals and weight monitored carefully.  Feeding requires the proper technique and feeding bottles to ensure they do not aspirate on formula.  Depending on their age, feeds need to happen every 2 to 6 hours. By 3 weeks, soft solid foods can be introduced alongside formula until they are fully weaned.


Feral kittens have never had contact with humans and take a lot of loving patience to learn how to trust.  The younger they are, the easier they can be tamed. Taming adult cats is near impossible (although there are exceptions).

Feral kittens need a lot of gentle physical touch as well as vocal reassurance.  To speed up the process, we sometimes need to split feral kittens into smaller groups between our foster homes to ensure focused attention and taming success.

Foster Moms Gallery