Caring For Our Community Animals

Community (street) animals live within our environment, whether in the urban areas, or outskirts of Singapore. Most of them have dedicated caregivers.

Occasionally, the SPCA receives calls from the public to pick up community animals in their neighbourhood. But due to limited resources, we only pick up sick, injured, abandoned and abused animals, or animals in distress.

The SPCA does not round up healthy community dogs and cats. We believe that sterilisation is the most effective and humane way of keeping the population in check, and ultimately reducing the population while allowing the animals to live out their lives naturally.

Removing these animals from the neighbourhood will only encourage others to move in to fill the vacuum. You can read more about our sterilisation programme here.

A sterilised community cat will be ear-tipped (do not try this at home; please seek a professional vet for ear-tipping).

You can help us change more lives by looking after an animal in your neighbourhood through responsible feeding, arranging for its sterilisation (free at SPCA) and ensuring that it is in good health.

How You Can Help

What can I do as a cat caregiver/feeder?

Caregivers play important roles in caring for community animals, including:

  • Feeding community animals responsibly (do not litter or leave leftovers)
  • Sterilising community animals (click here to read about our free sterilisation programmes or read this page on Cat Welfare Society’s website).

Sterilised community animals will have their left ear tipped to mark that they are sterilised. Ear tipping is done under anaesthesia. This will ensure that the animal will be easily recognisable as having been sterilised. This can often save the animal’s life as unsterilised animals might be rounded up by town councils and management committees.

  • Caring for the animals and monitoring their general health

Should a community animal need medical attention, the best thing a caregiver can do is to take the animal to a private vet as soon as possible. Injured or sick animals often hide and it may be difficult to find them at a later time. Alternatively, call our 24/7 hotline, 6287 5355 Ext. 9, as soon as possible. However, do note that we must prioritise emergency cases due to limited resources.

  • Mediating when issues arise in relation to the community animals

Caregivers often assist town councils, residents committees, and management committees in solving issues that may arise in relation to community animals. Most of these cases involve issues on animal defecation, animals running into homes, and litter left behind by feeders who do not clean up. Mediators often meet with the complainants, explain why the animals are there and why they should not be removed, and offer suggestions to help with the issues that complainants have encountered.

In some groups, the responsibilities are split up, whereas, in other areas, one caregiver may do everything. It’s best to work with a group of caregivers as there may be occasions when another caregiver’s help is needed. It’s also helpful to show the town council or management committee in your area that there are residents who care for these animals.

Who is eligible for the Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme?

The SCSP programme is available to community cat feeders who are 18 years old and above.

Under the programme, community cats in Housing and Development Board (HDB) estates can be taken to the SPCA clinic or participating veterinary clinics for free sterilisation strictly by appointment only.

Community cats living beyond the confines of HDB neighbourhoods, such as those in industrial and private housing estates, or farms and outer fringe areas, can be sterilised for a nominal sum of $25.

How can I rehome a community animal?

  • Foster the animal at home or place it in a boarding kennel while you look for a suitable home for it
  • Ask friends and relatives if they can help to foster or adopt the animal
  • Put up adoption ads in Facebook groups, Classifieds sections, and on bulletin boards found in supermarkets and vet clinics
  • Fill in our Rehoming Noticeboard form details

 

Concerns

My community cat is troubling me. What can I do?

If you are experiencing issues with community cats in your neighbourhood, here are some suggestions on what do to.

For many animals, the streets are the only homes they have. We seek your kind tolerance and hope the matter is resolved soon.


For those living in HDB flats/condominium apartments

  • Try to determine if anyone is feeding the community animals. If so, it would be best to speak with these caregivers. Many responsible caregivers will be happy to help resolve any issues you may have with the cats
  • Some of them may not be aware of how to responsibly care for the animals, which involves sterilising them, feeding them away from areas of high human traffic such as lift landings, car parks, and void decks, and making sure that all leftover food and containers are cleared away
  • Print our brochure on responsible feeding
  • If there are no caregivers in the area, consider getting the animals sterilised
  • Ensure that all food is disposed of properly to keep animals from being lured into the area

For those living in a landed property

  • Cover holes in fences and drains to prevent animals from easily entering into your compound
  • Keep windows and doors closed when you are out
  • If there are animals defecating in your garden or in your flower pots, placing small pebbles or satay sticks in those places may help. Place them in areas where cats have already defecated as they will be drawn to the same spot because of the scent. Daiso also sells mats called “Don’t Cat” for $2 each. These can be placed in areas where you do not wish the cats to defecate.

Other information

  • Use sonic devices to repel cats from your property safely. Here is one such device that can be bought online from Amazon.
  • For vehicle owners, use car covers or sonic devices to repel cats safely

For more information, call us at 6287 5355 during office hours or email us.

My neighbourhood cat is noisy/caterwauling. Can you help?

Due to limited resources, we only rescue sick, injured, abused, abandoned, lost animals, and animals in distress. If you see an animal in need, please call our 24/7 emergency hotline, 6287 5355 Ext. 9.

Caterwauling is often due to unsterilised cats. Hence, we recommend all pets to be sterilised.

For years, we have advocated for HDB to lift the cat ban. If we ban cats and do not officially accept their presence, it will be impossible to create a proper regulatory framework. Without making microchipping of cats compulsory, people can easily abandon their pets, causing poor welfare outcomes and eventually resulting in more complaints from neighbours.

SPCA also advocates all cat owners to mesh their windows and doors so cats do not escape and enter neighbours’ homes. If you see neighbours letting pet cats roam, politely let them know that they should keep cats indoors if not cats can be removed if neighbours complain.

Ways to help

To work together as a community, SPCA offers free sterilisations for community cats (min. 2 months old) that are brought in by members of the public, under the Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme (read more here). To book an appointment, kindly email clinic@spca.org.sg. or call 6287 5355 Ext. 14.

Sterilisations will help reduce the population humanely and will allow the remaining animals to live out their lives. However, we currently depend on kind caretakers and feeders to bring in comm cats for the free sterilisation programme. Our TNRM programme is funded by AVS for trapping dogs only.

Alternatively, members of the public often engage private trappers for cats. Or approach CWS (Cat Welfare Society) for trapping services at low prices. There are various cat forums/Facebook pages with neighbourhood feeders who might also be able to help.

Resources

Responsible Cat Feeding Flyer