Colin Feral the cat rules the Wellington Dog Shelter


We’ve all heard of working dogs – but what about working cats? Wellington’s Moa Point Dog Shelter has a feline assistant in the form of chief temperament tester Colin Feral, a former stray who now lives big.

Wellington City Council animal control officer Steph Simon told Morning Report that the shelter was looking for a new shelter cat when Colin was caught in a colony of feral cats while he was a kitten.

They were after a ginger and he fit the bill, so they kept him and quickly put him to work testing how different dogs up for adoption react to cats.

“When we adopt dogs, people always want to know if the dog is going to be good with cats, and we can safely test those dogs on Colin.”

Colin didn’t really react to the dogs, meaning the staff could just sit him in a swivel chair and then bring a dog in to see his reaction.

“Usually it’s pretty good, weirdly a lot of dogs are pretty good with cats, but we get the ones that, you know, are going to be the hunters.”

Simon said Colin had a bit of an ego and seemed to despise dogs, but there were a few dogs that belonged to shelter workers that he played with.

Other cats were out of the question though.

Simon brought Colin home one evening and while the couple were out he spotted the neighbor’s cat and charged it.

She thought he might be having a little identity crisis.

“When you grew up with dogs, I think you think you’re a dog.”


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