Sohar: Animal welfare group Tiger By The Tail conducted Sohar’s first-ever trap, neuter, release (TNR) campaign recently, in an attempt to reduce the number of feral cats in the city.
TBTT neutered and released 18 cats in Sohar, and plans to conduct similar campaigns every few months, saving pet owners in the town the need to come to Muscat to treat their pets.
“The concern in Sohar is that there are no veterinary specialists for small animals, such as cats,” said Kaveri Dewan of TBTT’s Sohar welfare centre.
“They normally specialise in farm animals, such as horses and cattle, and pet owners needed to come to Muscat to treat their animals, and this was expensive and time consuming.
“There are so many feral cats in Sohar, and sometimes they struggle to survive, so this is the only humane way to reduce their population,” she added.
“I have many pet cats at home, and they live a comfortable life, but how can I provide them that, and not help the strays who are unable to survive? We have a responsibility to help them survive. The cats we help may be unsure of what we are doing, and they may sometimes attempt to bite or scratch us, but we have to be prepared for this, and it is part of our duty.”
Jaison Mathai, founder of TBTT, was also pleased to see the turnout for the TNR.
“TNR is a worldwide concept to reduce the number of feral cats, because many times these animals don’t have access to clean food and water, and sometimes they carry diseases because of malnutrition. This also means that mother cats cannot provide for their little ones,” he explained.
“Neutering female cats can take us about half an hour, while operating on a male takes 20 minutes,” added Mathai.
“It took a while for us to organise this, in collaboration with our partners at Capital Vets. The number of feral cats in Sohar is increasing, so we decided to take this step to reduce that number. I want to thank all our hard working volunteers and partners, who made this possible.”
Also assisting the neutering team was Beverly Moss, who has an advanced certificate in TNR practices.
“TNR is the only humane way to deal with the rise of feral animals, because otherwise, they are simply put to sleep or poisoned, and then other animals occupy the territory previously occupied by the ones that were put down, and they begin reproducing again, so the cycle just continues,” she said.
“Animals are highly territorial, so after neutering, they will continue to occupy the areas they were previously in.
“This also improves their health, because they live longer and become less aggressive when it comes to searching for a mate,” noted Moss.
“In addition, cats that are neutered have a lower risk of spreading disease, so this is good for them, as well.”