What is SoCCS?
SoCCS is a new charity dedicated to help the Sotogrande Area deal with the numerous feral cat colonies in and around Sotogrande.
SoCCS was set up after a previous charity, apparently having suffered from infighting and other legal problems, abandoned Sotogrande leaving several cat colonies, in established feeding zones, without food.
What does SoCCS do?
SoCCS focuses on two tasks:
- Trap, Neuter and Release of feral cats to reduce the cat population over time
- Feeding cats in established zones to make sure that feral cat colonies are healthy and, consequently, an effective natural force to control rats and mice, thus helping minimise the use of poisons that are both cruel to the animals and detrimental to the environment
Does SoCCS run a refuge?
We simply do not have the facilities nor manpower to help in this regard.
Does SoCCS Charge for Its Services?
SoCCS is a Charity and it works with a group of unpaid dedicated volunteers.
As a Charity, of course, we are grateful for donations and help with fundraising.
There is obviously a cost to neutering and the post-neutering care of cats by veterinary clinics.
SoCCS works with several local veterinary clinics and we have managed to get very good prices with some of them.
SoCCS will gladly recommend several veterinary clinics to any person or entity requesting SoCCS assistance with cats if asked. For the sake of transparency, we recommend that all financial arrangements be dealt with between the person or entity requesting help and the veterinary clinics.
SoCCS does not have any financial interest in any veterinary clinic and does not receive any financial support from any veterinary clinic.
What is the process?
SoCCS has all the necessary equipment to trap and transport the cats safely to veterinary clinics.
SoCCS works with food baited traps combined with transport cages. No harm of any kind is done to the cats.
Depending on the number of cats, trap, neuter and release actions can take days and in some instances, difficult cats can take a long time to trap. Patience is key in some cases.
Cats that are neutered stay at the veterinary clinic between 24 and 48 hours. After that, SoCCS collects the cats and releases them back to their usual environment.
Why not release cats elsewhere?
Experience shows that cats return to their usual “home territory” even if released in good, calm nature rich areas. We have had cases where cats have walked over 10 kilometres to get “back home”.
We are aware that certain organisations claim to “relocate cats”. We recommend extreme caution with such claims as experience shows it really does not work well and, in some cases, apparently it was not done at all (yet they charged for this “service”).
Can feral cats be placed in homes?
Generally, it can be said that:
- Feral kittens, if caught young, can usually become domestic pets and adapt well
- Adult feral cats, however, are almost impossible to turn into domestic pets and they often turn into emotionally unstable cats when this is tried. Therefore, it is not recommended that it be done
SoCCS urges caution if anyone claims to be able to place adult feral cats in homes. It rarely works, and it will almost inevitably end with the cats being abandoned or being put down. Therefore, it is far more humane to let them live out their relatively short lives as neutered feral cats in their normal environment.
How long do feral cats live?
Pet cats well cared for at home can live up to 20+ years.
Feral cats, however, have relatively short lives, and a “long life” for a feral cat is probably around 5 to 6 years, and most do not even live that long.
After release, what then?
It is important to monitor the cat colony. All neutered cats will have a small “V” clip in one of their ears. Cats without that little clip should be caught and neutered.
SoCCS also recommends using the local cat colony as a tool in the control of rats and pests. This is best done by having a healthy cat colony and we therefore recommend establishing a small feeding station for the cat colony where they are given proper food once a day and supplied with fresh water. This helps keep them healthy and therefore keeps their natural hunting instinct strong.
Can SoCCS help with injured or sick cats?
To a limited degree, yes, but we generally do not have funds available for such situations unless we have a sponsor for a specific case.