If you have any suggestions…(Part 1) – the complaint (again) and my response

A neighbour has again complained in the group chat about people who feed stray cats thereby causing the cats to defecate and urinate in their house compound. They attached photos of the faeces in their porch and house compound. They are clearly very unhappy about it and has urged people who feed stray cats to be more considerate. Someone else replied telling them about sprays that could deter cats. Another started complaining about birds’ droppings.

I know that “the people who feed stray cats” meant me. So this is my reply to the group chat:

I am not sure who else feeds the stray cats around our houses, but lately, 2 strays have come around from the back street and yes, I have been feeding them because that was the only way I could catch them to get them neutered. They have already been neutered and hence, will not reproduce anymore.  Please see attached photos of their ear-notch (V-shaped cut on ear) to indicate that they have already been neutered. Feeding the cats will also prevent them from foraging for food in garbage bins or stealing food from kitchens. We also give them quality food so their faeces do not smell. 

Since we moved into this neighbourhood in Jan 2012, over the 10 years, I have got a total of 21 stray cats along our road neutered, some rehomed, some we adopted. I understand that there are often complaints in this chatgroup about free roaming cats, hence, we have already built two escape-proof enclosures within our house compound for the cats that we adopted (could not find homes for them, so we adopted them). They cannot escape from our enclosures.  Attached are two videos just taken. It is at night so it might not be clear. Please feel free to come over and take a look at our enclosures in the day time. None of our adopted cats are outside.  

The thing with taking in strays is that it creates a vacuum in the environment. Once there is a vacuum, other strays will come in and these strays might not be neutered. That is why in many developed countries, communities practise CNRM or TNRM whereby strays are neutered and returned back to the community to prevent other unneutered strays from coming in. But this can only be done if all residents agree to let the neutered animals live on. There are bound to be some inconveniences since animals do not understand the idea of “property” or that they should not urinate or defecate in people’s compounds. I am aware that not everyone can agree to this, hence, we have taken in as many as we possibly can.  

Please also be informed that I have seen some unneutered cats with collars and some are pedigrees. They belong to houses that allow their cats to roam freely.  I assure you none of these are mine as mine are all confined. 

As for the photos you showed, if you are able to take a photo of which cat does it, please share the photo.  I am currently only feeding two of them whom I’ve already neutered. In any case, whichever cat does it (whether it is the two I’m feeding or other people’s pets), please just text me or my husband (you have our numbers) and we will gladly come over to your house to help you clean up all the faeces or urine, but do give us a little bit of time as I’m looking after our grandson full time. Rest assured we will come over to help you clean up as soon as we can.  At the same time, I always try to look for homes for the cats that we neuter, but this isn’t a very easy task. 

We hope this provides an acceptable solution to your problem. Meanwhile, you could also try the cat-prevention sprays shared by neighbours. Vinegar might work too as cats do not like the smell of vinegar.   

Thank you.  

I don’t know what else I can do to placate them. The problem with my neighbourhood is that I am the only one speaking up for the animals. I know there are others who are also sympathetic, but they will not speak up. I am that lone voice.

My husband and I are willing to go over to help them clean up the faeces and urine. Our offer is right there for the whole neighbourhood to read.

The neighbour then proceeded to say that the stray cats also scratch cars and bonnets. I had previously suggested that they spray water in the direction of the cats. I have suggested putting aluminium foil on car tops, but this did not go down well too.

So just now, I took in Gerald from the porch and put him in Samantha’s room, but as you know, Gerald will not be happy. He started mewing loudly and that might disturb all the neighbours which would be worse.

I am not sure if Gerald goes in the direction of this neighbour’s house. I don’t think he does because Gerald goes in the opposite direction. So Gerald may not be the culprit.

Creamy has stopped coming to our porch now. He may come occasionally but not on a regular basis anymore. I think Creamy has a home in the back street. While I do miss him, I’m glad he has a home.

I actually see both Gerald and Creamy going to the street at the back. Gerald sleeps in our porch. I’ve put a litter box out for Gerald but knowing street cats, they prefer the grass or soil.

So I really don’t know what else to do now and would appreciate it very much if you could offer suggestions.

Gerald will not be happy being indoors as he is an outdoor cat. I even tried putting him in the catio, but the Monsters attacked him. Poor boy.

It also looks like my plan to get Samantha neutered and returned back to the colony will not be acceptable to the neighbours at all. I can try and put the princesses up for adoption, and Hiro too. But what if I cannot find any adopters? And what about Samantha? What am I going to do for her? She is clearly unhappy being indoors.

Where they are born is where they belong. Alas, this statement will not go down well unless the human is tolerant of the presence of street animals and accepts them. I was discussing this with a friend to see if we can come up with a solution but we could not. We understand that if one is intolerant of street animals, one will not be able to tolerate whatever “inconveniences” (as perceived by the intolerant human) created by the animals.

The concept of CNRM will not go down well with them. They will also not appreciate neutering to stop the breeding. Neither will the fact that historically, it was our ancestors who chose to domesticate the wolves and wildcats and this is why dogs and cats live amongst us now. None of these reasonings will go down well with them.

Vintage engraving showing an Eskimo dog sledge, 1873

Their complaint is: The animals are a nuisance and they want the animals to go away. Those who complain about street animals have actually suggested that all street animals be taken to shelters.

But what about the fact that by taking the animals away, it will create a vacuum for new unneutered animals to come in? They do not want to talk about this.

In the Netherlands, they only managed to clear the streets of dogs after 200 years. They did not manage to do the same for cats. But the Dutch are generally kind and compassionate, so the people and their government allow street cats to continue roaming the streets. They neuter and vaccinate them.

But Malaysians are not the Dutch. The culture is different.

I feel really sad when this reality sets in, that no matter how we explain, how we plead for some empathy, it will just fall on deaf ears. Their minds are set in stone.

My friend told me that I have to try and put myself in their shoes. They already do not like animals, so how do I expect them to be tolerant and accepting? That is true. How? Please tell me how.

That is why compassion and acceptance of street animals must start from young. It must be inculcated from young so that they grow up to be adults who can accept and tolerate (I sure hate using the word, though) the presence of street animals and will not view them as pests or as a nuisance. This must be inculcated from young. Animals are animals; we cannot expect them to behave like humans.

For that matter, aren’t there also human communities who also do not tolerate other humans who are different from them? It can be difference in race, religion, political ideology, etc. We call that racism, bigotry, apartheid, etc. It is the same as humans who cannot tolerate the presence of animals. It is the inability to accept anyone who is different or choose to live life differently than them.

It all boils down to intolerance. That is all.

Now I do worry if the survey by MBSJ will yield favourable results. Have you filled it up yet? If not, here it is again. Please fill it up and share it widely. We definitely need the numbers. And since it is in BM, please help the non-literate to fill theirs up too.


MBSJ is working together with Selangor State Government to conduct a survey to get inputs from various stakeholders towards understanding your point of view on stray dogs. These data can help the authorities create better policies.

Assalam / Salam sejahtera

👇🏻 Use this link if you are an individual who is concerned about stray dogs.

Soal Selidik Forum Pengurusan Anjing Terbiar Selangor 2023

Soalan untuk Komuniti

Assalam / Salam sejahtera

👇🏻 Use this link if you are a NGO active in caring for stray dogs.

Soal Selidik Forum Pengurusan Anjing Terbiar Selangor 2023

Soalan untuk NGO

This is a great opportunity for us to make a difference and stop the killing in our lifetime. Please let us make it happen.

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