The importance of ear-notching, Part 15 (or more?)

We have been going on like a broken tape recorder about the importance of ear-notching or ear-tipping for 4 years now, because one of the first things we did when we started in 2009 was to emphasise ear-notching.

I’ll let Koo do the talking this time with his story of the “Pool Cat”.

Hi Dr Chan,

Just want to share my experience on the importance of ear notching of
stray female cats.

Yesterday, AL a condo resident e-mailed me to seek my help to
recommend a nearby vet for a stray cat that she has just rescued and
adopted. She has been following AnimalCare and saw the posts on my
TNRM efforts and that we lived in the same taman.

The condo management has being posting repeated warnings to cat
owners/feeders to voluntarily remove/relocate any cats on the premises
and recently, they posted a final warning that any cats found will be
handed over to the local council. All but one cat have been claimed.
AL noticed that there was only one stray female cat left which she has
been feeding for months and always hung around the poolside, hence her
name: Pool Cat. The cat which showed up months ago was initially
scrawny but bloomed beautifully with the care of the condo feeders.
However, she was overly-friendly and AL feared for her survival so she
decided to rescue and to adopt her.

I recommended a vet in Subang and an appointment was made. We
continued to exchange e-mails to discuss about the complete steps from
check-up to vaccination to spaying especially the possibility of Pool
Cat being pregnant.

However, after a thorough check, the vet gave a surprising revelation
that Pool Cat may have already being spayed despite her ear not being
notched. This is because the vet found no tell-tale signs that she has
ever been pregnant before despite her being estimated to be 1 1/2
years old, roaming around freely and stray cats’ tendency to reproduce
frequently. Even though AL offered to pay for any ultrasound or even
x-ray scanning, the vet advised against it as it will just be an
expensive yet still inconclusive exercise. He recommended that since
Pool Cat will now be kept indoors, AL should just monitor her for 6
months to see if she comes on heat. Pool Cat was vaccinated and
Revolution-ed to protect against ticks/fleas/ear
mites/heartworms/intestinal worms and this CNRM case was successfully
closed within a day.

Thus, the lesson learnt for is that everybody should notch the spayed
cats to avoid other kind-hearted cat lovers from unnecessarily putting
them through the spaying procedure again which might compromise the
cats’ health.  Ear notching will not hurt any cat nor does it
disfigure a cat.

Thanks and best regards,
Koo

IMG_0833a IMG_0836a

I too have a story to tell and I shall not name names since this ear-notching issue can really ruffle a few feathers.

I was talking to a certain officer from a certain department and I mentioned ear-notching when we discussed the benefits of neutering. He told me that much as they would like to do it, they cannot, because a certain animal welfare organisation purports that ear-notching is changing the natural look of the animal and this is a form of cruelty.

There will be pros and cons for all that we do, I suppose.

But we will still strongly endorse ear-notching so that neutered animals can be easily identified by sight AND more importantly, that the females will not be opened up twice (or thrice). To date, we have seen a total of NINE cases of already spayed female animals being opened up again.

2 comments to The importance of ear-notching, Part 15 (or more?)

  • Maneki Neko

    Pardon me, but “ear-notching is changing the natural look of the animal and this is a form of cruelty” ??

    Spaying and neutering is altering the natural state of the animals, but I think most of us (including the religious authorities) have acknowledged that it is the lesser of the evils — that it will reduce the amount of suffering both for the animals that we spay/neuter and their unborn offspring.

    Surely a rational person would also accept that although a notch or a tip removed from an animal’s ear is preferable to the trauma of unnecessarily repeated surgeries?!?

    That said, kudos to this vet, who took the time to examine this queen carefully enough to determine that she’s not borne kittens and advised the adopter to wait and see, provided that the cat is kept indoors and away from intact toms for six months. Lucky pool cat!

    I pray that those in the “animal welfare” NGO who oppose ear-tipping will do some soul-searching during that time.

    • Cindy

      Maneki Neko — I clicked LIKE, LIKE, LIKE for your response :)! Sometime I think these ‘so called person incharged of certain organization’ must be born in stone-aged. What is more cruel? Death or just a little cut?

      I would gladly have both my ears cut-off and live till 100 (healthy of course:)) … ‘sai he’ (wasting breath in Cantonese)!

      Cindy