Thu, May 15, 2008
my paper
Sterilising is best way to prevent more strays

I REFER to the letters 'Fine for giving food to monkeys should apply to feeding strays too' and 'Stray cats near Temasek Poly' (my paper, May 14).

Responsible stray cat feeders do not leave food and then walk away. They wait for the cats to finish and they clear up the leftover food.

Those who leave food lying around usually do it out of pity for the cats or for some other reasons. They need to be educated on the proper and responsible way of feeding strays.

Cats have a natural instinct to bury their faeces and urine, and they are not usually known to urinate or defecate on concrete floor or near objects such as shoes. They might, however, do so on sandy areas and soil.

Cats may scratch trees or wood but they retract their claws when walking on smooth surfaces such as a car bonnet, so there won't be any scratches on the car when they walk on it.

The best way to prevent more stray cats is to sterilise them and, despite ongoing publicity to do so, I have met many cat owners who feel that it is a 'pity' to sterilise their cats. They think that it would deny them of having a happy family.

However, cats, unlike human beings, do not mate for enjoyment. They do so because it is a natural instinct that they have no control over.

The simple procedure of neutering the cat would also solve the issues of spraying and caterwauling at night. Neutered cats are quiet and they do not fight for territory as compared with an unneutered feline.

In short, neutered cats generally do not create a nuisance. The public needs to be educated on this.

Moreover, if you remove sterilised strays from one area, it would only leave a void which other stray cats would fill.

Adding to the problem of stray cats are people who buy or adopt pets on a whim, only to abandon them when they realise they don't have the effort, time or money to maintain them.

Mrs Grace Peh

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