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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

If you come across an injured or sick stray cat

What do you do?

First, do you know the person who takes care of this stray cat, i.e. the cat feeder (caregiver)? If so, you should inform the caregiver first. This is because the cat may already have been taken to the vet and could even be on medication at the moment. Also, the caregiver needs to know that the cat is not well if this is a new observation. If you know the cat caregiver, work in tandem with the caregiver to provide medical attention for the cat. If you don't, or know that there is no fixed caregiver, or that the cat-feeder is not concerned with the health of the cats, then you can proceed to act on your own. Also, if the cat is in severe condition and warrants immediate response, act first and inform the caregiver after.

There are two actions to take. First is to inform SPCA to allow them to trap, transport, and provide medical attention. They can also investigate if the case involves abuse. The SPCA 24 hour hotline is 62875355. Remember to take pictures of the cat if it is really suspected abuse, before moving it.

The second action, is the one also recommended by SPCA itself:
"Should a community animal need medical attention because it is sick or injured, the best thing a caregiver can do is to take the animal to a private veterinarian as soon as possible. Injured or sick animals often run to hide and it may be difficult to find them at a later time.
"We also have an emergency service that attends to injured community animals. However as we are responding to close to 200 emergencies per month involving mainly community animals, it would be impossible to treat every one of them in view of our limited facilities (we do not have hospitalisation facilities) and the prohibitive cost involved."
What you will need to do is to move the cat into a cat carrier which you will need to get from home if you are nearby. A cardboard box will do if it is sturdy and will not allow the cat to jump out (cover or tape the top tightly). Please be aware that cats when ill or injured, might be aggressive even if usually tame. Handling the cat should be by the scruff.

If you are not confident that you can handle the cat and put it in the carrier by yourself without scaring the cat off, you will need to call a cat trapping service provider. Our go-to service provider is Acodia (Damy, 93390481) and if he is not able to meet you and the cat soonest possible he can refer you to other trappers. You will need to wait until the trapper arrives at the time you and he both agree on. This means making sure the cat does not run off and hide. If the cat runs away without your knowledge, or dies while you are waiting for the trapper, inform the trapper so he does not have to make the trip down anymore. The trapping service costs $80-120. Please arrange to have cash on hand.

You can also call SPCA's 24 hour service, but ask them to pass you the cat upon rescue and trapping, instead of them bringing the cat back to the SPCA veterinary clinic.

If you are unable to bring the cat to the vet, you can email us and we will meet the cat at the vet to make the veterinary decisions necessary as well as use our Stray Cat Fund to pay for the veterinary expenses. This however depends on 2 factors:
  1. We have sufficient funds in the Stray Cat Fund at the time the cat is rescued by you.
  2. The cat is rescued at a time where our vet The Animal Clinic Telok Kurau is open. We are unable to afford veterinary fees at off hours (the consultation for regular clinic times 10am to 8pm weekdays is $37.45 before discount at The Animal Clinic, and $214.00 before discount at Mt Pleasant off hours clinic at night or on public holidays). 
Should we be unable to help because of these 2 factors not being met, you can still bring the cat to the vet (any one you choose) on your own, and pay for the cat's vet bill.

If you are unable to shoulder the cat's entire veterinary expense, you can thereafter submit the bills and case details to Cat Welfare's Special Appeals so that the public can help chip in to share the costs. This includes the trapping costs, the transport costs (even if by cab). Therefore you need to keep all the receipts pertaining to the rescue case. Please note that Cat Welfare Society is unable to shoulder the costs on the cat's behalf. Their role is to publicise the rescue case and the costs so that various donors can help. You will still be required to pay the veterinary bill at the clinic for the cat first. Love Kuching will also help you to publicise the special appeal you submit by directing our followers to the post put up by Cat Welfare.

If the cat needs intensive care after being treated, including but not limited to dressing of wounds, application/feeding of medication, if our foster home has space we will take care of the cat, limited to cats without airborne contagious diseases. This will eliminate the per-day hospitalisation costs at the vet. What we cannot do at the foster home includes oxygen therapy and IV drips. That will still need to be done at the clinic.

If the cat's condition is treatable and it gets well, we will return it to the site the cat is originally from when it is assessed to be able to go about its daily functions without pain. If the cat was unfortunately assessed to have a condition it will not survive from, such as cancer, kidney failure, diabetes that requires daily pain management among other intensive care, we can also take the cat in if there is space and the illness is not contagious. This is to still provide quality of life for the cat even in its last days. When the cat is nearing the end of its life and treatment no longer eases its suffering we will euthanise it if the option is available. We will also arrange for its cremation.


We hope this knowledge helps you so that you know what to do when you see a sick or injured cat. Do spread this information so that the people in your social circle also know what to do to save lives.

How can you help if you don't come across any sick or injured cats that need rescue? Give to our Stray Cat Fund. This makes rescue more of a possibility, for more cats. Many stray cats are not treated when sick or injured because of cost, eventually go through more pain and suffering than is necessary before they die. You can change this. Make a deposit to our Stray Cat Fund by crediting our account POSB savings 188-52652-7 and email us to inform us your contribution is toward the Stray Cat Fund. 

Questions? Leave a comment or email us.


Give financially to our cause by depositing to our bank account POSB savings 188-52652-7    
Sponsor a foster kitten's vaccination through our Sponsor-A-LoveKuching-Cat Scheme  
Give food and litter at charity rates through our corporate sponsor The Water Dish 

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