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The Mews: February 2015
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Make a difference to the lives of our island's cats

 
There are people who think that cats are pests and they are worthless, and they want the cats to be removed/culled. Others took advantage of the trusting ones and these cats became easy victims of abuse…some survived but many found dead. Cats can’t speak for themselves or defend themselves, so we have to do it for them.

Cat Welfare Society (CWS) sincerely seek your kind donations this Lunar New Year - Give to Inspire everyone around you to give community cats a future. Without you, they don't have one.

    
  

Anyone can be a cat owner but are you a responsible cat owner? When you’re out, how sure are you that your furball is not wreaking havoc in the house or has sneaked out for a date with the handsome stray that has been eyeing her? Well, here are 8 tips to keep your kitty safe and neighbours happy!

1. Kitty-proof the house. Ensure that all wires are hidden or and possible choking hazards like loose string or plastic are thrown or kept away in an unreachable place.

2. Ensure that all windows are meshed properly. Safety is number one. By doing this, you can rest assured that your cat is napping on his or her comfy bed instead of “living life on the (l)edge”.

3. Sterilise your cats. It lowers the risk of cancer (yes, cats can get it too) and also, prevents unwanted litters if your cat frequently ventures outside for his or her nightly date.

4. Keep your cats indoors. You never know what kind of rubbish your cat might eat or what kind of people they might meet. Fleas and ticks also lurk around outside waiting to hop and crawl on your unsuspecting kitty. Don't forget that not everyone out there might be receptive to cats, and any excuse might lead to them calling animal control.

5. Cleanliness is the best policy. Do not leave your cat’s litter box in a mess. Clean up the pee and poo every day. Don’t want your house to smell bad? Your cat probably doesn’t either.

6. Food, water and everything nice. You get hungry, so does your cat. Ensure that clean drinking water is provided for your cat (a water fountain works best.). Feed your cat every day at least twice a day. A little snack in between the day doesn’t hurt too. You need your Wang Wang crackers; well your cat needs her Friskies Party Mix.

7. Exercise is key. Ensure that your cat has enough toys to provide not maintain his physical shape but mental as well. A steralised cat can tend to be a bit chubbier so make sure that there is enough space in the house for your cat to run around and play.

8. Love is the way to go. Yes, you have done all of the above. But are you giving your cat enough of that tender loving care? Half an hour from your busy schedule to give your cat a few pats and to play with them seems like a short time for you but your cat will definitely appreciate it. Expect even more affection from them in return as thanks.

Read our tips? Agree with them? Go on and take a step further to become the responsible pet owner your cat wants you to be now!
  

Much has been said about why it is important to keep your cat indoors, and as a cat-owner, I rarely heeded them because I thought I knew my cat best and was complacent in my belief that she would be fine. I also thought I was a responsible owner – I gave her a good diet, spent time with her, let her sleep with me – but of all things, I neglected her safety.

Well, she was fine for 12 years until a month ago, when she left for one of her usual jaunts – and never came back. First night, I thought this wasn’t unusual; she would come home tomorrow when she was hungry. Second night, I got anxious and went searching for her. Third night, I was finally in a panic and went around putting up posters to ask for information. Unfortunately, I had to leave for a work trip for the next three nights and could only rely on my friends to help me continue the search.

It was only when I came back that I realized I had missed out so many steps I should have taken immediately when I knew she was missing. It was through the help of our community feeders who advised me that I started to reach out to wider groups to help in the lookout for her. However, they all came to naught. I even hired an animal communicator to try to locate her, but the clues were too vague to be of any help.

Today, I wish so much I had listened to all the advice about keeping my cat indoors. I am sure many of you already know these, so I shall not repeat them here. But take it from someone who is still reeling from the pain and regret of losing her cat of 12 years; these aren’t empty advices, so heed them. Unlike popular belief, cats are not naturally meant to stray outdoors. They can, and are perfectly happy and content indoors, as long as the right environment and stimulation are provided and of course, if they are neutered. Also, even if your cat is an indoor cat, make sure it is microchipped and has a collar so they can be traced back to you if they go missing.

If you run into the unfortunate and heartbreaking situation of losing your cat, do not panic and do these immediately:

1. Contact CWS and ask if they can put you in touch with the feeders in your neighbourhood. Cats are territorial and rarely stray far. Reach out to these feeders and seek their help to look out for your cat – they are out and about feeding the cats every day, so they would be your best eyes and ears.

2. Post a missing cat notice with CWS, AVA and SPCA immediately. If you aren’t aware, animals that end up at AVA will be checked for microchip. If it has a microchip, they will return the animal to its owner. If not, they will keep it for a week, after which they will euthanize it. This is why it is absolutely important to lodge a report with AVA immediately. As for SPCA, the initial procedures are the same, but instead of euthanizing, they will leave it in their shelter for adoption, for as long as they need to.

3. Reach out to as many animal shelters as you can. Send them information and photos of your cat and ask if they have it in their care and if they can let you post a missing cat notice on their Facebook pages. The cat community is a kind and helpful one – many will help to share once they see a missing cat post.

4. Put up posters around your neighbourhood and even outside your neighbourhood if you can. There have been cases where cats have been found a distance from where they were lost. Rewards tend to give your posters a higher chance of being noticed, but beware of scam calls.

At the end of the day, prevention is still better than cure, so please, keep your cat indoors where they belong.
  

Many strays in Singapore are fortunate to have a network of caregivers who willingly give their love and time on a regular basis. They have no support from charities and frequently pay from their own pockets. Therefore, when these cats fall sick, they bear the brunt of the hefty vet fees. The Cat Welfare Society Special Appeals platform allows caregivers to seek donations to help defray the costs of medical treatment for rescued cats. Managing the Special Appeals page requires dedications as more than 10 appeals can be received in just one day. After an entire day of teaching, Eunice comes home to manage appeal enquiries late in the evening. 

Why did you choose to manage the Special Appeals platform?
Essentially because I want to be able to commit and contribute on a regular basis. Special appeals allow me to work at my own free timing which basically is late hours. I guess also because I am very comfortable using the various software and website. 

What does your job entail?
I liaise with the caregivers to ensure all the necessary information are provided, draft a grammatically correct and more objective appeal based on the info given before posting it on the website with the correct images. Besides posting appeals, we also coordinate with the accounting company who manages the donations coming in. 

What keeps you going?
Prior to working on special appeals, I was unaware of the extent and seriousness of illnesses, injuries and abuses that some of the cats suffered. It was kind of heartbreaking for me when I first started working on it and seeing all the pictures. On the other hand, it always makes me smile to know there are big hearted people out there who are willing to spend that time and money on these helpless cats and ensuring they recover fully! 

Special Appeals Spotlight

Twinkle is a community cat from eastern Singapore. She was found constantly squinting her left eye. The eye was also wet and cloudy. Twinkle was sent to the vet for treatment.

The vet diagnosed an eye infection due to flu and she was given oral flu and eye gel medication. Twinkle’s eye started to get very red and swollen soon after applying the medication. She was immediately rushed to Animal Recovery Centre and underwent surgery to release the pus that was accumulating behind the eye ball. The vet diagnosed that the eye infection started with a scratch on the cornea and developed into uvetis and glaucoma. Fortunately, the timely emergency surgery helped to save her eye ball from popping out from its socket caused by the pressure built up.

During recovery, Twinkle’s eye had to be cleaned and eye lotions had to be applied 3 times daily. It took Twinkle 2 months to fully recover from the eye infection.

Twinkle is now blind on her left eye. She has been released back to her territory, however, the caregiver has to keep a lookout for her as the other community cats tend to chase and bully her.

The total medical cost incurred was SGD 633.90.

Click here to find out how you can donate to Twinkle's appeal.

Baby is a cute community cat from western Singapore. She fell down from a tree and couldn’t walk at all.

Baby was brought to the vet. The radiograph showed that both her hind legs were broken. Baby got medication and was hospitalised for several days.

Baby’s status has since improved, and although she is still not able to jump, she can already walk slowly. Baby was therefore released back to her territory.

The total medical cost incurred was SGD 311.40.

The caregiver is appealing for donations to help defray the cost incurred for Baby, with the appeal amount at SGD 311.40.

Click here to find out how you can donate to Baby's appeal.

Many more special appeals need assistance on our Special Appeals Board.

Adoption Spotlight

Deaf cat
6 years old
Female

This community cat is deaf, may be caused by degeneration of the inner ear.

Her deafness raises safety concerns if she is left outside.
We are looking for a kind soul who can adopt and keep her indoors.

She is 5-6 years old, very tame and gentle.
She has a good appetite.

Click here for more details on adopting Deaf Cat

Snow White
10 years old
Female

Snow White is a rescue from the house of a deceased person. She was found with roach bites and was very malnourished. She is now recovering, fattening up and her fur is growing out. She has no teeth but has gums of steel and likes kibble. She is also playful. Best suited in a solo cat environment.

Click here for more details on adopting Snow white
Miao Miao
5 year old
Female

Miao Miao was abandoned by her former owners when they moved away. She is a sweet and beautiful calico cat who deserves a loving family. She has been sterilized and has had her ear clipped.

Click here for more details on adopting Miao Miao.
 
CWS Adoption guidelines apply.
Many more cats are available for adoption on the 
Public Adoption Bulletin Board.
                             



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The Mews is brought to you by CWS Volunteers Denise Tham, Qiuling Low, Emi Matsumoto and Vicki Teo.
Header Photograph by Gerald Paul Tan.
 
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