This is a repost of something I wrote months ago.
I am very glad to notice that some of the cats that visit our garden now have their ears nipped. For me, this means that neither myself or my neighbour are the only ones caring for the feral cats in our immediate area.
For those who don't know, if you see a feral cat with the tip of it's ear nipped, it usually means they have been neutered or spayed and cannot reproduce. This denotes that they are part of a managed colony. They have been trapped, neutered and released by some kind human souls.
They will usually look like the cat in the picture on the right. I am delighted when I see this, as it means there are other people out there recognising the plight of the feral feline population and doing something to stop the reproduction of unwanted kittens.
Some consider this ear tipping practice to be a little extreme and suggest something like micro chipping. They don't consider that chipping is expensive and that this money could be better spent on neutering and spaying. The money that is coming out of the pockets of people like myself and my neighbour to curb the feral cat population in the name of compassion. I think it is a great idea as it is a reliable and obvious way to tell if a cat is spayed or neutered. It can save a cat from being taken to a shelter and put to sleep if no homes can be found and if scanning hasn't been done. It can make it obvious that the cat is part of a managed colony and so being taken care of.
The cats that are looked after by myself and my neighbour, however, although they are neutered, do not have this ear nip. We had hoped that we could get collars onto the cats while under anesthetic and this would show that they were done. However, although we managed to get the collars on, getting them to stay on is another matter entirely! So far, out of Bubbles, Scribbles, Molly, Dolly, Pepe, Boris and Trixie, only Bubbles has retained her collar.
I worry that someone, not realising that they have been neutered and are being looked after by us, will try to get rid of them. I have even considered trying to trap them again purely to have their ears tipped so that hopefully, they will be left alone. I wonder if this is something that I should do? .....