For some time now, Tahanan Village in Parañaque City has several stray cats all around its areas as confirmed to me by Tahanan Homeowners Association, Inc. (THA) officials and personnel I talked with over the past few years.
I recently visited the village and inquired if they still have a stray cat population problem going on. It turns out they still do and I easily spotted stray cats just outside the clubhouse and near the open-air basketball court.
I managed to meet and talk with former THA president Augusto Tejada and he said that the population of loose cats is real and remains difficult to solve.
To put things in perspective, stray cats are those that entered the village and roamed around endlessly in search for food, for places to explore (including the households) and interact with other cats (whether pets or stray cats) with whom they could mate with and produce infants. These loose animals also produce waste by urinating or releasing their feces around. When desperate for food, they tend to forcibly tear open plastic garbage bags.
Tejada told me that the association has already advised its members (households) to refrain from feeding stray cats as it will only encourage them to come back for more and, even worse, take residence in the household knowing food is available.
He said that dealing with stray cats is very difficult to do. Firstly, those loose animals are really difficult to catch or entrap due to their speed and agility. Secondly, the cats are intelligent and the physical environment around the village provides them many means of escaping.
“The stray cats are smart and they are able to find ways to survive and find a place to live in which are also hard for people to reach. I remember finding such cats living on the gutters of roofs,” Tejada told me.
Adding further challenge to catching the loose cats are the many trees around the village which can be easily climbed fearlessly. The trees also provide access over the walls of homes.
With regards to solving the growth of the population of cats – both pets and stray cats – it has been suggested that the methods of spaying and neutering be done. Spaying and neutering are ways of sterilizing cats by means of performing a surgical procedure on the males (removing their testicles) and the females (removing their ovaries and uterus). The procedure is done by a professional animal veterinarian while the cat is sedated. Cats that are at least 6-months-old are eligible for the procedure.
I found online the Philippine Pet Birth Control Center Foundation (PPBCC) which offers spaying and neutering services. They charge P500 for each cat (and dog) for sterilization as of this writing.
Theoretically, residents can have their pet cats sterilized so that their household won’t be overwhelmed by the potential multiplication of cats.
Still, this brings back the problem of how village authorities and residents could catch the stray cats which remain very elusive. There is also the risk of being scratched by the said cats when they react to people catching them.
Another thing to consider here is to determine how to catch stray cats not only efficiently but also doing it without harming them as there are animal rights advocates around. Here in the Philippines, there is the organization called the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) which advocates the prevention of animal cruelty through education, animal sheltering and advocacy.
It remains to be seen how the growing stray cat population problem will be solved in Tahanan Village.
Are you a resident living in village that has a growing population of stray cats? Are such animals bothering you? Do you wish to share something here at my website to help other readers? Please respond by commenting below.
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