The Solution (How you can help)
There’s a saying that goes, “If you can’t adopt, foster. If you can’t foster, volunteer. If you can’t volunteer, donate. If you can’t donate, educate.”
The root cause of stray or community cats is abandonment and unlicensed home breeding. If you already care for your community cats by petting or feeding them, here’s what more could be done to help these cats not have to live a difficult stray life (hunger, abuse, road accidents) by tackling the root issues.
There are a plethora of ways to help improve cat welfare in Singapore. Would you do what you can?
1. Sterilisation – The Root Solution
Wait- shouldn’t we discourage sterilisation if we are cat lovers? Not at all, this is a misconception. If there are enough homes to go around, and every cat that is born lives a good life, then there is no issue. Right now, there are not enough homes for all the cats that are reproduced. Cats can reproduce 3-4 times a year, and they can have up to 6 kittens each litter.
We love animals… But it won’t be pretty.
Stray animals live a difficult life – prone to hunger, abuse, road accidents, and other dangers.
Be it community cats or pet cats, sterilisation helps reduce the stray cat population and their suffering. A common excuse for abandoning pet cats: “I have too many cats!”
For stray or community cats, you can help support TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return/Rehome) efforts. TNR is a humane method used worldwide to manage stray populations. Spot a stray cat without a tipped ear? You can arrange for sterilisation by booking a slot here. Learn how you can start your own trap and neuter here.
For pet cats, you can help by encouraging other pet owners to sterilise their pet cats and not breed them. If they would like to care for a cute cuddly kitten, they can adopt or foster a rescued kitten. 🙂
In 2018, Belgium introduced a law for mandatory sterilisation of stray and pet cats in a bid for better cat welfare, to control its stray population and to reduce the burden on shelters.
Adopt from shelters and fosterers to save a life, don’t buy from breeders and support the pet trade.
Encourage others to do the same.
Adoption takes a cat off the streets, while buying encourages breeders to continue breeding, and creates more kittens when there are already too many homeless kittens and cats.
In 2020, a bill was passed in New York that would prohibit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits from commercial breeders in pet shops. It would allow pet shops to only display shelter animals.
3. Support rescues (Foster, volunteer or donate)
Support rescues by fostering, volunteering or donating.
Foster an abandoned cat or kitten, volunteer at shelters, or donate to rescue work to keep them sustainable.
Spot an abandoned or injured cat? STEP UP! Bring it to the vet and foster it while it finds a loving home! Post about the cat in cat adoption groups on social media. See our guide on how to rehome a cat responsibly.
Report irresponsible cat ownership – the abandoners and home breeders – to AVS (formerly AVA) using the OneService app. Abandonment and unlicensed breeding and selling of pets are illegal in Singapore and carries a fine. Our authorities need data on how rampant abandonment and unlicensed home breeding are to see the urgency to act. In social media platforms, cat abandonment is posted about daily, but few cases officially get into the records of our authorities. If enforcement action or warnings are given to the errant abandoner or home breeder, it acts as one more deterrent to the others. Don’t be embarrassed to report – you are doing your part to help pave the way for better cat welfare in Singapore.
At least 100 pet cat abandonment cases happen every month as reported on social media but according to AVS’ public archive, there are only about 7 pet cat abandoners prosecuted in a year.
Encourage and educate others to:
- Adopt instead of buying
- Cat-proof or mesh their home for safety (High rise syndrome in cats)
- Not let pet cats roam out of the home (Roaming pet cats)
There you have it! These are 5 major ways you can help the cat situation in Singapore. Which ones are you currently acting on and which would you choose to do?