MORE than 50 feral cats have been given a chance to find a new home thanks to the efforts of nuclear workers.

Sellafield is home to colonies of feral cats and has been for more than 40 years.

While it is normal for large industrial sites to have colonies of this type, recently 20 to 30 cats began congregating close to offices and change rooms.

Staff at the nuclear plant decided to carry out a humane capture and relocate the animals to rehoming centres.

Nick Curry, environment adviser for Sellafield Ltd, said: “Congregations of cats pose a health hazard in some areas of the site.

“Like any other landowner, we have a duty of care to manage them and their welfare.

“Unfortunately, the problem has been exacerbated by people feeding them, despite warnings not to.

“The capture and relocation programme has been very successful so far, with the help and support of on-site personnel.

“We’re thankful to West Cumbria Cats Protection for their expert advice and assistance with neutering and medical care.

“It’s really satisfying to know the fostered cats will get the love and care they need to live the healthy and happy lives they simply don’t experience while feral.”

So far 59 cats have been removed.

A number of these have already been fostered, including Oscar (pictured) who was taken in by a Sellafield Ltd employee.

Colonies of cats at Sellafield date back to at least the 1970s and numbers have remained relatively stable over the years.

Sellafield’s relocation programme for the cats involves the animals being carefully captured and monitored before being relocated to an off-site rehoming centre.

Anyone interested in fostering a cat should contact: Animal Concern Cumbria, on 07712 330 829,,; Eden Animal Rescue, on 01931 716114,; Animal Rescue Cumbria, on 01539 824293,