05/27/22 Trap, Neuter, Release: Saving Feral Cats

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May 27 is Feral Cat Spay Day

- Calling on local communities to finance cat neutering and organise feeding stations

On May 27, Feral Cat Spay Day, Animal Friends Croatia sent a memo to all cities and municipalities calling on them to actively implement the Trap-Neuter-Release programme. “The success of and the necessity for such a programme is evident from examples from around the world. Multiple cities and municipalities in Croatia as well conduct feral cat neutering following the same method. The City of Zagreb adopted a city decision, a book of rules and issued a call for the organisation of feeding stations for feral cats, as well as outdoor cat shelters to keep them safe,” says Svjetlana Prodanović, Dr. med. vet, co-ordinator of the Animal Protection Network project by Animal Friends Croatia.

Dr. med. vet. Prodanović referred to the current Animal Friends Croatia campaign, May – Feral Cat Neutering Month, joined by over one hundred veterinarians in Croatia, with the aim, among other, to increase the number of cities and municipalities (co)financing neutering of owned cats and dogs as well as feral cats. Animal Friends Croatia invited the public to inquire with their veterinarians on reduced rates for cat and dog neutering or on the possibility of co-financing neutering, and to book an appointment for the procedure in May.

“Neutering helps feral cats that give birth to multiple litters every year while protecting them from infectious diseases at the same time. Cats that have not been exhausted by giving birth have a much better immunity system and are, generally speaking, in better health while suffering fewer injuries,” stressed Dr. med. Vet. Prodanović.

Stray or feral cats are abandoned by irresponsible and callous individuals who leave the unwanted litters in the street where they continue reproducing. Unless their numbers are placed under control by neutering, feral cats are condemned to roaming, constant search for food, endless production of kittens that often die of disease or malnutrition, infections and untreated diseases, territorial fights, death from poisoning, car accidents, etc.

They are cared for by concerned citizens and animal protection groups, even though it is cities and municipalities who are responsible for the implementation of feral cat neutering programmes and the setting up of cat feeding stations. “Feral cats should not be relocated, and at the same time, it is difficult to rehome them. Subsequently, the only solution is to neuter them and to organise feeding stations. This should be determined at the local community level,” explain Animal Friends Croatia.

The example of Anastasia the Cat from Dubrovnik, ambassador of this year’s Feral Cat Spay Day, shows that a neutered street cat, living in a simple polystyrene shelter, can become a fantastic tourist attraction. Caring for feral cats is not only a legal obligation for cities and municipalities, but it is also an indicator of their compassion, nurture of human values and sensitivity to animal protection. Systematic action by local communities is necessary and Animal Friends Croatia are calling on them to finance the neutering of feral and owned cats for prevention but also as the most effective solution to the problem.

Further information can be found in the Neutering – Reducing Cat and Dog Abandonment brochure which details the correct way of marking neutered feral cats by ear-tipping. Anyone wishing to help cats can fill in the application form for cat neutering at reduced rates.

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