Feeding the army – essentials

If you feel sorry for the homeless cats, aka community cats you come into contact with everyday, whether in your neighbourhood or elsewhere, consider this:

By simply feeding the cats, you are setting yourself AND the cats up for trouble.


Remember that the cat population will multiply, as surely as Singapore will get rain and thunderstorms And as your “kindness” remove the need to hunt for food, the cats you feed have more time for territorial fights and mating. This will increase the likelihood of complaints, and even if the people living or working in the area where you’re feeding is tolerant of the noise and the endless parade of kittens, your own feeding efforts will escalate in proportion to the population increase. You will end up draining your finances or you will abandon the cats to their fate. Neither is responsible.

Also, it’s not just the feeding, it is how you feed. The impact of feeding irresponsibly is REAL, good karma feeding does kill cats. To feed responsibly, use something to hold the food while the cats eat and for easy clearing up after they’re done. You can consider making paper bowls (like this step by step pictorial guide. Also refer to the Responsible Feeder Bag)

More info to ponder: Feeding Q&A from CWS

I have been told that feeding cats is illegal. Is this true?

No it is not. Feeding cats is perfectly legal. Littering is however illegal. Please make sure that you feed properly and that the area is cleaned up after you are done with the feeding. For more information, write to us at info@catwelfare.org, including your name and address and we can send you a brochure on responsible feeding. If you feel you have been harassed during a feeding session, do drop us an email; or if it’s an urgent case, call the police.

Doesn’t feeding lure cats into my estate?

Feeding does not lure cats into the area — food and territory are not the same. A cat may live in one area and eat in another.

Also, there are cats everywhere — these cats were already in the community in all likelihood before someone started feeding them. Imagine this — is it more likely that someone stood outside every day with a plate of food hoping a cat would show up one day, or that the feeder saw a cat or cats and started feeding them? It’s not fun to feed — to do it properly takes a lot of time and commitment. Most feeders do so out of a sense of compassion and would be happy to stop if there were no cats that were hungry and waiting for them.

But feeding makes them less likely to kill rats and cockroaches!

Feeding and hunting are two entirely different things. The hunting instinct is independent of feeding. In fact, Desmond Morris wrote about a study that showed that cats that were fed actually killed more cockroaches and mice because they had to travel less distance in order to eat. As such, they stayed closer to home, and killed more pests.

As anyone familiar with cats will tell you, they often kill the cockroach or rat, but they do not eat them, so it is not hunger that drives them.

Also, if the rat is beyond a certain size, the cat will not be able to catch and kill it either!

What happens if I call up and complain about a cat nuisance to my town council/management committee/residents’ committee/AVA?

If you are living in a town council and call them to complain, the cat is taken away and killed.

If you live in a private estate and complain to the AVA, the cat which is trapped is killed.

If your management committee or residents’ committee is trapping cats and is not part of a TRNM programme, the cats are again in all likelihood either being killed or dumped. Neither of these are good solutions.

These cats are not being taken to a nice shelter somewhere where they are looked after for the rest of their lives simply because there isn’t enough space to accommodate all these cats. They are being taken away and killed.

This does not mean that if you have a valid complaint that you must suffer in silence. Contact CWS and we’ll work with you to find an effective and humane solution.

(Created: May 07. Updated: 13 Dec 07)


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