Help for stray cats in China

There is a large numbers of stray cats in China. Beijing alone is estimated to have 20,000 stray cats living in the city, according to the Capital Animal Welfare Association (CAWA) survey in 2007. The increase in stray cats has created public and governmental concern because of issues such as disease transmission, environmental pollution, noise, traffic accidents, etc. Large numbers of cats were killed in Beijing prior to the 2008 Olympics. A major reason for the increase in stray cats is abandonment by humans, for reasons including moving house, pregnancy, rebuilding of old residential areas, and concerns about zoonoses such as SARS.

Encouragingly, there are increasing numbers of cat rescue groups in  China. The groups catch the cats, provide basic medical treatment, neuter them, and finally return them to the community. If the cats are suitable for adoption or cannot survive in their original territory they are re-homed.

In 2006, ACTAsia’s Executive Director met the group SZCats in Shenzhen. SZCats is one of the most effective cat rescue groups in China, and they invited us to observe how the group caught a semi-feral cat.

Following this visit, and on observation of other groups, we found that most of the rescue groups did not have proper cages to catch and transfer the cats, and the resultant handling caused distress to the cats, as well as making their work more difficult.

The groups were eager to obtain more humane cages, but there was nothing available locally. ACTAsia recommended cat traps and transfer cages to local groups and showed them what is being used in other countries for humane catching. Mrs Angela McCarthy kindly donated a set of cages after hearing about the situation. SZCats Director Zhang Yuan Yuan stated: “the cat trap and transfer cages are so useful for our rescue work. Now we can catch cats and transfer them more effectively so animals are much less distressed during the process and they panic less at the vet clinic. Our volunteers helping on this project also feel so much better.”

We have now found a local manufacturer who can produce humane traps and transfer cages. When the cats arrive at the clinic, the transfer cages can be used to restrain cats to make administering injections easier, before they are taken in for spay/neuter surgery.

We have already been able to distribute 100 trap and transfer cages to various groups across China. But we are receiving more requests from animal protectionists to help the stray cats in their area. If you would like to help out, please make a {cms_selflink page=’get-involved’ text=’donation’}. By providing these cages, more cats can be helped, in a more humane way!