What To Do When Stray Cats Take Over Your Building Premises?
In the year 2018, Ajay Arjun from CUPA in Bangalore, launched the Trap Neuter Release program in order to deal with the rampant overpopulation of cats in gated communities in the city. With the support from various donors & cat lovers CUPA has successfully neutered 3000+ community cats till date. The program is completely volunteer driven & instills a sense of responsibility in the community to care for stray animals and take positive steps to improve their lives.
Stray cats multiplying prolifically in building premises has become a common issue faced by several residential communities. Cats tend to hide in warm places such as car bonnets, on the seats of two wheelers & in parking garages. This results in scratched scooter seats, cat poop & pee in public areas, noisy cat fights & accidental injuries to cats that come under moving cars. Often, residents grow annoyed & take inhuman or ignorant measures to deal with the rising cat population.
Why does this problem exist?
The increasing density of human settlements in cities leads to creation of concentrated food sources - such as fish markets, restaurants, dumpsters. Stray animals come in closer contact with other cats - males & females, leading to scuffles or mating. As more kittens are born, they reach sexual maturity in a 6-8 months & give birth to a further litter of 3-4 kittens causing a population explosion if left unchecked. This also causes “territory compaction” where the individual space or territory that each animal needs is reduced because of increasing density, causing male cats to become territorial & violent. If we recognise this as a purely human generated problem, borne out of densification of human settlements, we must also resolve to be part of the solution.
As a cat lover, it is our duty to take initiative & guide our communities to take the right steps. The best way to deal with an increasing cat population is “TNR” that is Trap in a cage, Neuter with a subsidised Vet or a local NGO & Release back to the original location.
How to trap cats that you feed outside your home:
- Try befriending the cats over a few weeks to get used to human company. The best way to do this is to feed them.
- Maintain a regular feeding routine, away from common public areas
- In a couple of weeks, start feeding the cat in a cage to get them accustomed to it
- After a few days, shut the cage when the cat walks in for a meal. Ensure the cage is locked, secured & covered with a cloth to reduce the cat’s stress.
- Ensure you book your cat surgery appointment in advance
- Post operative care involves securing the cat in the cage for 3 days (for females) to restrict movement & for speedy recovery. Male cats may be released after 1 day once the anaesthesia wears off.
- Check with the vet if long acting antibiotic injections can be administered to reduce the need for oral medications later on.