LET'S TALK ABOUT EARTIPPING!
Eartipping is part of a procedure performed on outdoor or feral cats during spay or neuter surgery to indicate the cat has been through a TNR (trap-neuter-return) program which means it has been sterilized and vaccinated. This is so they are not trapped again and undergo an unnecessary surgery. Often times this can actually save a cat’s life and prevent it from ending up in a shelter because the cat will not be seen as a problem due to reproducing.
DOES IT HURT THEM?
No, it doesn’t hurt the cat. When the cat is sedated for surgery, the vet will tip 3/8in of the cat’s left ear. This is a minor part of the spay or neuter procedure itself. Most vets, such as ours, give a pain injection that helps the cat not feel discomfort from their surgery. Most of the time we see little to no blood at the ear-tipping site.
WHY NOT JUST TATTOO THEIR BELLY LIKE HOUSE PETS?
Feral cats are not friendly cats who will just turn over to show their belly or even let you handle them to see if their belly is tattooed once trapped. Often times when a cat colony doesn’t recognize a new person (trapping volunteer), they run. Which is why the ear tip is so important as it can be seen at a distance and even with binoculars. This helps us avoid retrapping that cat and causing unnecessary stress for the cat.