May 2013 Letter from the Executive Director; Leslie Moss

Dear Friends of PB Island Cats,


Cats can reproduce at an incredibly high rate having up to five litters a year with possibly as many as six or more kittens each time. That’s the potential for approximately 30 kittens or more a year from just one mature, breeding female cat.  And this explains why a well executed Trap-Neuter-Return program like Palm Beach Island Cats can really help keep the feral cat population under control.

But there is the problem for volunteers of knowing if a cat has been sterilized from a distance since feral cats run and hide from humans.  In years past, too often rescuers have trapped a cat and taken it to the veterinarian who sedates and preps the cat for surgery to discover the cat has already been sterilized.  It's too late at that point to save the cat from stress (not to mention the waste of the vet's time)!  Cats do not deal with stress well and some can even develop respiratory llness under duress, so avoiding undue stress is important. A universally accepted practice to identify a sterilized feral cat evolved years ago and is implemented by PBIC - ear tipping.   

This practice is done by trained professionals while the cat is under general anesthetic for surgery and is the removal of the tip of the cat's left ear.  It is NOT equivalent to ear cropping which is done for cosmetic reason for dogs.  This is a signal to anyone observing the cats that the cat is from a managed colony and is sterile; the cat will not be re-captured for spaying or neutering.  Any cat that is new to a colony whose ear has not been tipped is readily identified and trapping begins for a trip to the veterinary clinic.

PBIC is active everyday in Palm Beach trapping the homeless and feral cats to control the population.  Anyone citing a cat in the colonies whose ear has not been tipped is asked to call 512-4884 to provide a description and location of the cat.


Best Regards, Leslie Moss