Ear Tip: Identifying Community Cats
Eartipping is an effective and universally accepted method to identify a spayed or neutered and vaccinated feral cat. It is the removal of the distal one-quarter of a cats left ear, which is approximately 3/8 inch, or 1 cm, in an adult and proportionally smaller in a kitten.
This procedure is performed under sterile conditions while the cat is already anesthetized for spay or neuter surgery. There is little or no bleeding, it is relatively painless to the cat, and the eartip does not significantly alter the appearance or beauty of the cat.
An Ear tip is the preferred method used to identify spayed or neutered and vaccinated feral cats.
Because it is difficult to get close to feral cats the identification must be visible from a distance. Feral cats may interact with a variety of caregivers, veterinarians, and animal control personnel during their lives and so immediate visual identification is necessary to prevent an unnecessary second trapping and surgery.
No other method of identification has proven to be as safe or as effective as eartipping. Alley Cat Allies and other humane groups across the country do not support the following methods:
Tattooing is not effective because the tattoo is not visible until cats are trapped and anesthetized.Eartags are ineffective because they can cause infection, drop off, or tear cats ears.
How To Get Cat Hair Out Of Ears
Before you start tidying up your cats ear hairs, perform a gentle clean. Then, have a look inside to see if there are any obvious issues. This includes dirt lodged in the ears, excessive wax, sores, discharge, redness, or inflammation.
Check for the presence of mites. They look like small, black dots. Where mites are present, youll also discover a smelly reddish-brown discharge. In addition, mites are itchy, so cats will scratch their ears excessively if they have an ear mite infestation, thus alerting you to the fact that somethings wrong.
If the ears are free from mites, you can proceed. If mites are a problem, your cat should be seen by a vet. You can give your cats ear hair a trim yourself. Dont cut too much hair off your cats ears only the tiniest amount is required.
- Alcohol-free ear cleaner
Dont use an ear cleaner that contains tea tree oil, essential oils, or benzoyl peroxide, as these are toxic to cats.
Can A Untreated Worm Make A Cat Unwell
Untreated, worms can cause symptoms such as a dull coat or a potbelly, but it is rare they make a cat seriously unwell. Getting rid of worms is relatively easy with the correct worming medication, and with a little knowledge, its also easy to determine if your cat might have worms.
Don’t Miss: What Is 3 Years In Cat Years
Why Tail Docking Started
In 18th century England, a tax was implemented on working dogs with a tail.3
Many people docked their dogs tails to avoid this tax, and one shudders at the image of herders and pet owners with knife in hand as they took to the task.
The tax was later removed, but tail docking continued.
In addition, working dogs were more susceptible to tail injury because of their jobs.
- Herding dogs would have their tails docked so that livestock would not trample it, or so it would not get caught in a gate or fencing for containing the animals.
- Others docked the tails for dog fighting purposes. If a dog didnt have a tail, an opponent couldnt bite it.
Another reason for tail docking comes down to appearances.
Tails are docked to conform to an expected breed standard or even to conform with the rest of the litter when a genetic abnormality prevents some of the puppies from having normal tails.
Wondering about cats?
The tails or stumps of Manx cats, for one, used to be commonly removed4 to conform with the rest of the litter, who are usually born without the appendage.
What Is A Feral Cat
A feral cat is an outdoor cat that has not been socialized to people. For this reason, feral cats are often skittish around humans and are not adoptable. They live and thrive in all types of communities, from the big city to open farms and live full, healthy lives with the same life span as pet cats. Along with pet cats, they are protected under state anti-cruelty laws.
If found young enough, feral kittens have a chance to be socialized and become adoptable, but rarely does an adult feral cat appreciate close interactions with humans.
The main problem with feral cats is population control. The population can only be controlled through spaying and neutering.
You May Like: How To Stop Cat From Scratching Door
Like Love Meow On Facebook
Cats can reproduce at an incredibly high rate. A cat can have up to 5 litters a year. They can have six or more kittens each time. That’s approximately 30 kittens or more a year from one mature female cat.
That explains why the Trap-Neuter-Return program can really help put the feral cat population under control. However, how can we tell which cats have been taken in for fixing at a distance?
Often many rescuers do not know that a cat has been fixed until after he is sedated and shaved. Cats do not deal with stress well. Some cats can even develop respiratory illness under duress. So if a fixed cat carries an identification that can help people distinguish him from afar, the rescuers will make sure that he will not be re-trapped.
Many rescue centers recommend that all feral cats while under general anesthetic for spaying or neutering, have the tip of their left ear removed. This is called ear tipping which is NOT equivalent to ear cropping for cosmetic reason for dogs. It is a universally accepted practice for identifying sterilized feral cats.
However, the procedure should be done with care by a trained professional. A feral cat that is ear-tipped shows that the cat comes from a managed colony and will not be re-captured for spaying or neutering.
“Eartipping has been used around the world on thousands of feral cats for 4 decades” said Alley Cat Rescue.
I’ve Spotted A Cat With The Tip Of Its Ear Missing What Does That Mean
If youve ever spotted a cat with the tip of one of their ears missing, you might assume theyve been involved in a fight or had an accident. However, its more likely that it has been removed in a common procedure called ear-tipping or ear-notching, a humane way of signifying that a feral cat has been neutered.
You May Like: Blue Cat Food Reviews
Well I Know It Has Been Fixedso It Doesnt Matter
Sure, you know that you got that cat fixed but what if that cat came up to another persons house or trap? He/she will assume that it hasnt been fixed yet because it doesnt have an ear notch. So if you are releasing the cat back outdoors , please remember to get an ear notch for the cat! In addition, it would be traumatic for the cat to go under the surgery table AGAIN!
Cats Exclusives Spay/Neuter Clinic offers ear notching as a free service. Please notify us when you fill out the paper work/drop off the cat that you would like his/hers ear notched.
Why Do Feral Cats Get Their Ears Clipped
Ear-tipping allows them to tell from a distance whether or not a community cat has been spayed or neutered. That tipped ear saves the cat the stress of being trapped and anesthetized a second time. Ear-tipping can also help anyone who is feeding the cats keep track of them, and notice if a new cat has joined the gang.
Recommended Reading: How Old Is A 12 Year Old Cat
Why Are There Slits In Cats Ears
That little slit is called Henrys pocket Yes, it does have a name! There are three theories why our pets have them. One theory is that Henrys pocket may help animals to accurately locate a sound. This is essential for a predator to give it a better chance of detecting prey, as well as predators they need to avoid.
Do You Have To Cut Doberman Ears
There are those who insist that ear cropping is a part of the breeds identity. Others will state that cropped ears allow the dog to hear better or reduce the risk of ear infections or deafness. However, the only reason to have a Dobermans ears cropped is to comply with show standards or for aesthetic purposes.Sep 11, 2019
You May Like: How Old Do Cats Have To Be To Have Catnip
Why Some Think Its A Bad Idea
Tail docking is banned in many parts of the world, including Australia and the U.K. In the U.S., these procedures are unregulated — meaning they are not banned or controlled. But they are highly controversial. New York and Vermont have considered legislation to ban them, but neither state has so far.
The American Kennel Club says the practices are integral to defining and preserving breed character in certain breeds. But the American Veterinary Medical Association opposes docking and cropping. The most common reason for cropping and docking is to give a dog a certain look. That means it poses unnecessary risks, Patterson-Kane says.
Docked tails can also develop a neuroma, or nerve tumor. This can cause pain and make your dog snappy if their tail is touched. Studies show that dogs communicate emotions like anger and excitement by wagging their tails, so docking may interfere with your dogs ability to interact with other dogs, says Andy Roark, a veterinarian at Cleveland Park Animal Hospital in Greenville, S.C.
Was Your Pet Food Recalled
One particularly heartbreaking case, despite weeks of nursing, was not able to poo or pee for himself, and with great sadness we eventually had to let him go.
All of which is a comment on the inhumanity of some humans.
No one was ever caught or brought to justice for this rash of crimes. One day these awful cases stopped as suddenly as they had started. One can only wonder why.
Recommended Reading: Are Dragon Trees Poisonous To Cats
How Do You Catch A Feral Cat Without A Trap
Alternative Methods. A carrier comes in handy, and a large carrier usually works best. Put some food in a carrying case, advises Judy Levy, director of Animal Friends of Connecticut. And while theyre busy eating, slam the door. Or you might want to try coaxing the cat into the carrier by laying down a food trail.
What Does It Mean If A Cat Has A Clipped Ear
By FMG Digital
Have you ever seen a cat with the tip of an ear missing and wondered how it happened? Or why it was so cleanly squared-off? Most likely, the cat you saw was feral and the tipped ear was from their participation in a trap-neuter-release program. Ear-tipping is an important, mostly painless procedure to help identify cats that have participated in these programs. It is a vital signal for the community and allows organizers to manage the feral cat community better.
Also Check: Is Blue Buffalo Good Cat Food
Why The Eartip On Outdoor Cats
If youve noticed an outdoor cat with a part of his ear missing just the top of the left earthats the sign of a cat who is healthy and cared for! An eartip is the universally recognized symbol of a cat who has been spayed or neutered and vaccinated. Eartipping is a standard part of most Trap-Neuter-Return programs, because its simply the best method to let everyone know at a glance that a cat has gone through a TNR program.
Because cats are eartipped while theyre under anesthesia for spay or neuter surgery,everything is safe, clean, and painless. The top 3/8 inch of the ear is removed. The ear heals quickly and no further attention is needed. You might be worried about the cat looking different, but the eartip doesnt hurt her, and it could actually save her life.
Eartips are a critical safeguard for outdoor cats. Some outdoor cats prefer to keep their distance, but most eartips can be seen from even several feet away. Plus, no matter who interacts with the cat , they can all tell that she has an outdoor home. Thats a big deal when it comes to animal control agencies and sheltershaving an eartip could prevent an unsocialized outdoor cat from being admitted to a shelter where she would end up being killed. An eartip also allows a caregiver who is setting traps to know this cat has already been neutered.
There are hundreds of TNR programs in the U.S. The protocol of some of these programs is tipping the cats right ear, as is sometimes done on the west coast.
What Are The Benefits Of Cropping A Dogs Ears
Animal BenefitsIt has been suggested that dogs with cropped ears are less likely to suffer from infections of the ear canal. Although the development of some serious infections has been linked to the presence of a heavy hanging ear8, there is no evidence that cropping prevents or successfully treats these infections.
Don’t Miss: Is Blue Buffalo Good Cat Food
Would It Be Better If Feral Cats Were Euthanized
- a growing population of cats
- frequent and loud noise from fighting and mating behavior
- strong foul odors from unneutered male cats spraying to mark their territory
- flea infestations
- visible suffering from dying kittens and injured adults
- higher intake rates of cats into shelters due to the rescue of feral kittens and the capture of feral adults
- higher euthanasia rates for all cats due to the unadoptability of feral adults and the necessity to euthanize adoptable animals due to limited cage space
- higher animal control costs due to trapping efforts and/or costs associated with caring for and euthanizing feral cats
- a constant rate of nuisance complaints about feral cats
What Kind Of Worms Do Feral Cats Have
They have tapeworms. And if they have tapeworms they must have been exposed to fleas. All in all, tapeworms are the nicest worms to havewell nicer than the blood sucking hook and round worms. Over time, tapeworm infestations will lead to weight loss which is why some people have turned to them to help shed a few poundsyuckand not without risk.
Recommended Reading: Is Blue Buffalo Good Cat Food
The Akcs View On Ear Cropping
The world generally calls procedures like ear cropping, tail docking, dewclaw removal and debarkingconvenience surgeries meaning they are convenient for the human or they fulfill an aesthetic appearance for the human.
The general veterinary consensus is that all these procedures carry a certain degree of pain and suffering for the animal.
The AKC disagrees with this opinion.
It wants to dispel the myths about any pain, suffering or convenience, supporting all these procedures. It does not consider them surgeries of convenience:10
- AKC: Tail docking and dewclaw removal are performed shortly after birth, when the puppys nervous system is not fully developed the puppy feels little to no pain.
- What I know: They scream. They cry. There is medical evidence to suggest lasting neurologic and psychological damage can occur.
- AKC: Many believe these procedures are painful, performed purely for convenience or cosmetic reasons. This is completely false. Each of these procedures is a safe, humane standard practice and in the case of ear cropping preserves a dogs ability to perform its historic function.
- What I know: Nothing could be farther from the veterinarians perspective.
In fact, heres what puppies go through when their ears have been cropped:
These pups lose weeks of happy puppy life because they have gone through a cosmetic surgery of having their ears cut off.
And the final insult?
Do People Take Care Of Feral Cats What Do They Do
- If the cat is tame, the person should take steps to find the cat’s owner. If unsuccessful, the person should take steps to find a permanent home for the cat.
- If the cat is feral, unapproachable and wary after several days of feeding, the person should find out if there are any groups in their community that are currently doing TNR and consult one of the many resources to learn about Trap-Neuter-Return .
Read Also: Is Blue Buffalo Good Cat Food
Why Clip Cats’ Ears
Nine Lives are often asked why our vets clip cats ears when they are being neutered.
A clipped ear is an easily recognizable mark that shows a stray cat has been neutered. It is painless for the cat and does not blur or come off or cause accidents .
Vets cannot tell before sedating and clipping and sometimes not until actually making an incision if a female cat has already been spayed, so unfortunately female cats without clipped ears are sometimes picked up and the operation started before it becomes apparent that she has already been spayed. This of course causes unnecessary stress and risk to the cat.
Males with clipped ears can also avoid being picked up a second time, although there are also obviously external signs that a male cat has already been neutered.
The clipped ear has been adopted by European animal welfare groups as the simplest, most humane and most efficient way to identify neutered stray cats. For reasons to neuter please visit our Why Neuter? page.
People who have cats at home may not like the clipped ears but Nine Lives programme is for stray cats only and not homed cats. Cat owners are of course encouraged to neuter their pets but not under neutering programmes for stray cats.
If you neuter a stray cat and then decide to keep it in your house or in your garden, this benefits the cat and we thank you!
Charity Registration No 2157/08