Thursday, July 26, 2007

Permanent solutions or Bandaids?

The caregiver I was speaking with today mentioned how she was having problems with irresponsible owners in the area she manages. She said that she spoke with one family about their wandering male cat. As there is dumping in her area, she is concerned that there may be a new female cat that gets pregnant before she has managed to get it sterilised (I believe the other cats have all already been done). She asked the family to allow her to get the male cat done, but they refused. She asked them to then please keep it in. Again they refused because they said the cat never goes downstairs. Of course what happened is that the caregiver saw the male cat chasing some of the already sterilised females downstairs.

Someone else wrote in to say that his neighbour's cat was using his doorstep in lieu of a litterbox. He did not want the cats removed but said he was quite worried about what could be done. He had gone to speak with his neighbour but the neighbour had told him that it was impossible to keep the cat in. I told him that was clearly not true. He was grateful to be told he could try using crushed mothballs where the cat urinates and chopsticks for his plants because he felt at least this might help solve his problems.

Yet another person told us today that their neighbours were letting their cats out. One cat even had a collar. These cats come into his house and urinate on his doorstep. When he spoke with the town council, they trapped a cat - and guess what? The urination didn't stop. He's having the same problems he had before the cat was trapped. A caregiver spoke with the families involved yesterday - both insisted their cats did not urinate outside their homes though one was definitely feeding a cat upstairs.

Two issues here - one, irresponsible owners are a big, BIG problem. Something really needs to be done to tackle this - and HDB and TCs ignoring the problem of the owners does NOT make the issue go away.

Two, catching the wrong cat time and again has been shown not to help. Surely if the person comes back and complains again that the same problem of urination is cropping up days after the cat was caught must show that randomly trapping cats does not help (either that or it's proving the vacuum effect). Why then is it done? Does anyone look into whether these problems are actually solved? Or does the fact that some action was taken constitute doing the job? How much money, time and lives are being wasted here?

It really does worry me that band aids and quick fix its are being used. We have to look at this problem together - TCs, HDB, caregivers and other residents and address it together. Pushing it to someone else to handle, either by getting pest control in, or getting residents to take care of the issue without any help - is not going to work.

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14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will just send the tom cat in for sterilisation and the ear tip as well. Tell feeder there is a group going around sterilising as long as the cats are on the lose.

Why bother to convince or ask permisssion any more?

26/7/07 8:25 PM  
Blogger Surferket said...

Agree with anonymous. Since as per HDB rules, cats are not allowed to be kept in HDB flats, the tom's owner has no grounds to complain if the tom's trapped and neutered. Furthermore if the tom's released back to the owner after the "works" there can be nothing for him to say.
It's irresponsible for him not to neuter the tom and let him roam around. Un-neutered toms are very aggressive and are a definite threat to those tipped cats.

26/7/07 8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a dilemma. To speak to the family and risked being rejected and being identified or just go ahead and trap these free roamers. Thank goodness the two malay families in my estate agreed to have their free roamers sent to the vet for sterilisation. One family paid but the other family "buah bodoh" afterward. But it was good enough for us to see that the these free roamers now sport tipped ears.

26/7/07 8:46 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

The caregiver did do that - she was just wondering if she might get into trouble. As you guys have said, if it's wandering outside though, there's a good case to be made out for the fact that it DOESN'T belong to anyone.

Anonymous - good work!

26/7/07 10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Technically if the cat is wandering outside, it has 2 fates. One get trapped and put down or get trapped, fixed and ear tipped. Which one do you choose?

27/7/07 2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have same problem, a roaming tom in frequent heat, his escapade encouraged by his owner who proudly defended that he is the 'King tom' of the area, very cunning cat whom we failed to trap for years and generated episodes of heated arguments between various feeders with the owner...now we are keeping up with sterilising all the females and aborting the babies he has caused...and it goes on.
even poisoning him is impossible, he's movement is zorro...
koratmao

27/7/07 10:22 AM  
Anonymous huh said...

I no longer waste time with irresponsble owners who proudly insisted sterilised cats have no ' value ' or sex deprivation is cruel etc.

Once they stick to their view, I strike. Lure their free roaming cats around 2am for sterilisation. I will just say there are groups going around doing islandwide sterilisation and they could have come to the estate.

27/7/07 2:21 PM  
Anonymous zj said...

for me, last time there was an unsterilised tomcat at my area. he previously belonged to an irresponsible malay family who let their cat roam downstairs & make lotsa noise, & fighting with the sterilised community cat. it was a very fierce, evil & sly tomcat.
in the wee hrs of the morning 1 fine day, when no one was looking i trapped the cat & brought it for sterilisation. brought it back when no one was looking. how did the malay family react? i never knew & cldnt care less.
sometimes we simply do wat's best for the welfare of all the cats in the neighbourhood. we r busy pple with no such time to bother abt if irresponsible families like it or not.
they sorta asked for it anyway.

27/7/07 2:35 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

huh - I had to laugh with the image of the cat squad striking!

zj - you know sometimes since the families who are irresponsible don't seem to care about whether the cats are killed or not, one wonders whether the fact that the cat was sterilised or not will really bother them - or if they'd even know.

27/7/07 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did i read correctly??
"...and it goes on.
even poisoning him is impossible" posted by koratmao

Dpes the tom-cat deserve poisoning? And can you bear to think how dreadful to die from poisoning?

Unbelievable and you called yourself a "cat lover"??

28/7/07 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 9.05
I don advocate posioning cats, sorry for being vague, poisoning was nearly attempted by other feeders in the past who nearly got into pyhsical fights with the obstinate owner who is proud at her cat going around de-flowering young females.
I'm merely stressing there's no way to stop, steal and trap this zorro tom,
koratmao standing straight on no-kill, worry not)

28/7/07 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone do cartoons?
I think there is a lot of material for cartooning - i like the snip-snip squad ; ) Funny in a sad way that you got to nap cat for sterilisation which you have to pay.

28/7/07 9:44 PM  
Anonymous huh said...

poisoning of cats is as good as murder. It's a crime and extremely cruel trying to poison a free roaming tom cat. If you can't catch, get experienced caregivers from animal rescue groups to trap the tom. If you attempt to poison, you are no different from David Hooi, Bedok serial cat killer or Wong Geng Tong, the Kalling cat serial killer.

28/7/07 11:50 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes it's not the poor cat's fault that he has irresponsible owners either.

29/7/07 1:53 AM  

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