Walk around the streets of Singapore and you’re sure to spot a cat or two! With over 50,000 stray cats roaming around, Singapore is certainly a cat haven!
But is it okay to have strays on our streets? Is there any way we can help them? Let’s take a look at community cats in Singapore and how we can help them and their carers.
Are Community Cats a Problem?
Stray cats, affectionately named Community Cats, can definitely be a problem if their population balloons in numbers.
Having a large feral animal population can be harmful to public health and the environment. Community cats may also become nuisances as they scavenge in rubbish bins for food or do their business in public areas.
As a result, cat welfare organisations and feral cat shelters like SPCA sometimes receive calls from the public asking about community animals in the area. The reality is that these organisations have limited resources and are unable to assist every community cat.
That said, if you do see a sick, injured, abandoned or otherwise distressed cat, SPCA and other cat care organisations will be able to assist!
How Do I Help Community Cats?
The best method of reducing the community cat population is sterilisation programs.
These programs are the most humane and effective method for dealing with large groups of community cats, and will ultimately help reduce the negative impact of community cats. You can do your part by following these steps:
Keep an eye out for new community cats: If you spot a new community cat moving in, make sure to keep tabs on them. If you can, ensure that they have access to food and water. Most neighbourhoods have a dedicated community cat feeding group.
Check if they’ve been sterilised: Community cats that have been sterilised will be ear-tipped. This means that a small part of their ear will be clipped, allowing us to easily identify unsterilised cats
Contact relevant parties: If you do notice community cats that have not yet been sterilised, contact organisations like SPCA or the Cat Welfare Society for assistance. We will also discuss more about CWS’ sterilisation programme below.
Founded in 1999 by a team of friends, CWS is a non-profit organisation in Singapore that mainly focuses on running an effective sterilisation programme as well as community mediation with government partners to humanely resolve cat-related problems. In the last few years, CWS’ tireless work and advocacy has helped reduce community cat culling cases to under 1000 since 2015. When CWS was first founded in 1999, 27500 cats were being called every year.
CWS runs the SCSP with the support of the National Parks Board that helps to pay for 50% of the cost of sterilisation and microchipping per cat. The remaining amount is raised by CWS through donations and fundraisers. SPCA also runs the same programme under the same scheme.
If you do spot a community cat that needs neutering, you can contact SPCA or CWS partnered clinics for free sterilisations. You can make an appointment through CWS’ website here. This will also require you to trap the cat in a safe way. Make sure to contact SPCA, CWS or a professional trapper if you have no experience with cat trapping.
After a successful operation, monitor any newly neutered cats for infections or other complications and alert the appropriate agency or vetrinarian for assistance.
Can I Help In Other Ways?
Yes you can! If you love the community cats in your area, consider becoming a cat caregiver/feeder. These people play important roles by caring for the local stray population.
Other than helping to bring in community animals for sterilisation, cat caregivers also help feed community animals in a responsible way - that means no littering or leaving leftovers. Make sure to bring cat food like IAMS ProActive Healthy Adultdry cat food when you’re out on your rounds so you’re ready to feed any hungry cat! You can also consider bringing along treats like Greenies Cat Dental treats to give their dental hygiene a boost.
In the same spirit, being a cat caregiver also means helping to clean up after feral cats. In some cases, special tools like Urine Off’s Odor & Stain Remover can be vital to remove bad odours in common areas.
Cat caregivers also help to monitor the health of the cats in their area and alert the relevant authorities when necessary.
Through their advocacy work, cat caregivers can then help assist town councils, resident committees and other local governing bodies to resolve issues that occur due to these community animals.
If you’re able to, you can also help rehome community cats by fostering them at home or adopting them. You can also put up adoption ads to help get these community cats a new home!
With so many stray cats in Singapore, it’s vital for every one of us to do our part in taking care of the community cats in our area. This helps us to humanely resolve this issue - all while giving us the fulfilling experience of caring for community cats!
Tammi is an avid writer, but especially loves learning and writing about animals! She spends her free time visiting cat cafes, playing video games and having plenty of cuddle time with her pup.