Update 7 November 2012: we sterilised over 1,000 stray and feral cats in Dubai.
Feline Friends is only too aware of the devastation that un-sterilisation has on the cat population of Dubai. The numerous unwanted kittens born on the streets have a life of suffering, disease, abuse, and starvation waiting for them. Two cats (male & female) will produce 20 000 kittens in just 5 years, taking into account the kittens of the kittens, like a pyramid effect, and sadly there are simply not enough homes for all these kittens. Can you imagine how awful it is for these kittens to be born in an environment where they have no food, clean water and get sick because there are too many of them if we allow them to breed?
Most stray cats are not tame enough to be homed. These are known as 'bin' or 'street' cats since they survive by foraging for scraps of food that have been thrown out. The vast percentage of these cats want to stay out on the streets as that is where they were born and managed to survive to adulthood. We benefit from the stray cat population because they are essential to rodent control. Once one of these cats reaches maturity though (as early as 5 months), it will start to breed and the offspring will similarly have to compete for a piece of the scarce food supply that is available on the streets. Unfortunately, there is never enough to go round and it is normally the strongest that get the food. Consequently a lot of the kittens born on the streets die very quickly due to malnutrition and dehydration.
Feline Friends believe that the best way of controlling the stray cat population is by birth control. We actively encourage and perform trapping, sterilisation and release of the stray cats that live and forage around the streets of Dubai. Sick and diseased feral cats and kittens that are trapped are humanely euthanized. This ensures that the feline population living on the streets is healthy. Our mass sterilisation campaign was launched in November 1992 and is still active today. To ensure that this practice continues we provide humane traps, expertise in trapping and, if required, financial aid. The campaign is fully supported by World Society for the Protection of Animals. Feline Friends also works closely with Dubai Municipality’s Veterinary Section in implementation of the programme.
After being sterilized, cats living in colonies tend to gain weight and live healthier lives. Spayed cats are less likely to develop breast cancer and will not be at risk for ovarian or uterine cancer, while neutered males will not get testicular cancer. By neutering male cats, it also reduces the risk of injury and infection, since intact males have a natural instinct to fight with other cats. In turn, this reduces the risk of transmitting FIV; which occurs through deep bite wounds. Spaying female cats also means they do not go into heat and therefore attract less tom cats to the area, reducing fighting. Lastly, there is a decrease in transmission of FIV and FeLV by spaying females, since these diseases can be spread through breeding.
1) If you find a cat that may need sterilising then please contact the help line 050-4510058. This phone is answered by volunteers so please leave a message if no one picks up. We will call back as soon as possible.
2) Please read our article, What To Do If You Find a Cat, to know which cats are elligible for our Trap-Sterilise-Release Programme.
3) To understand more about sterilisation click here
4) Here is a link for more information on the subject www.friendsofthecat.co.za/catcare.htm
5) It is Feline Friends policy to spay / neuter kittens / cats that are older than 5 months.