Friday, June 17, 2016

2958. A dedicated stray cat catcher in Singapore

Sat Jun 18, 2016

At 11.30 am, I met this woman in her late 40s,  wearing a CWS black T-shirt with the white words of "Trap, Neuter, Release, Manage. "  She has 3 years of almost daily experience of trapping the stray cats and sending to the vet for sterilisation. The cat feeders will pay her for the sending the cat to the vbet.  She shared her experiences.

1. The traps come from the US. There are 2 types.
1.1  Long cage with food at the other end.  There is a long "tunnel" and many stray cats are cautious of the structure. The cat steps in and springs a trap door which closes down.
1.2  Shorter broader cage looking like a shelter with a transfer cage. These were present in her SUV which can accommodate 11 cat carriers.

"The trap door is at an angle on the top. So, the cat views it as a safe haven and enters the cage," she explained to me. "I will pull the rope to drop the trap door. "Must have good eyesight if your rope is very long and you are distant. There is a remote control but I don't trust it."

1. Good quality fish provided by some cat feeders. "The cat just will not eat it," she said. "The smellier the better and they are usually of lower quality and meant for stray cats. ."
"What brand you use?" I ask. 
"Aristocat. The bigger can. The cat just cannot resist it."

1. 4-6 hours of work to trap 6-8 cats per day. The other stray cats get wiser and will not be caught.
"What to do then?" I saw that she was very busy with her passion of daily cat trapping although she has a job. 
"I come back another day."
"Will the cats be wary of you?" I asked.
"Cats are not so clever. They see the broad cage I use as a shelter and the strong smell of Aristocat will just be irresistible!"   

$30 to neuter a male and $60 for a female, excluding hospitalisation charges.

1.  "The CWS needs $20,00 per month to sterilise all the stray cats in Singapore," she said. "Cats can hide inside drains unlike the poor stray dogs and so there are many more every day." Her cat feeders pay for the vet fees.

I notice many fewer stray cats near coffeshops nowadays. I suspect that the government and the town councils and pest controllers have culled them by netting.  They are many hiding somewhere.

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