XploreAsia’s dog rescue program is now giving some much needed attention to cats! There are approximately 60 cats living in a small makeshift cattery at the DogChance center. Stray cats, like stray dogs, face a harsh reality on the streets of Hua Hin, and Thailand as well with malnutrition, parasitism, disease and untreated injuries. The team at XploreAsia’s dog rescue program is in the starting phases of rolling out a treatment, vaccination and neutering program for these neglected cats.
We start laying the groundwork by giving each cat a unique identification code so that accurate medical records and complete treatment can be administered to each individual. The method we will develop ideally is safe for the cat, able to uniquely identify each cat, remains on the animal reliably, and of course cheap to implement, reducing our initial cost and the chances of material theft. We will first test a colour coded cloth and numbered washer system.
Each cat will be examined by a veterinarian and given appropriate treatment where required.
The second part of the plan is a double vaccination of SC MLV F3 and rabies as per AAFP standards. These cats present an extremely high risk for an outbreak of contagious diseases due to their unvaccinated status and very close proximity. The F3 and rabies vaccines will prevent an outbreak of respiratory tract diseases (rampant in catteries and dusty conditions), panleukopaenia (a serious immunosuppressive condition with neurological consequences) and rabies (a fatal neurological disease with the potential to spread to humans and hence present a public health concern).
After the animals are healthy and vaccinated, the next injection of funds will go towards providing sterilisation surgery. While the vaccination program is underway, the team will put in place preparations for the next stage of the program. The cats will continue receiving adequate nutrition, disease and parasite preventatives and treatment for ongoing conditions. The males and females will be housed separately before the spring time, which is the cats natural mating season. The logistics and protocols will be fine tuned for the most humane method and highest standards achievable for the procedures to be carried out.
Field surgery for the neutering of the tom cats is definitely on the radar for the near future, given the procedure is extremely safe and quick when done correctly. With the right pharmaceuticals, equipment and protocols, the procedure can be done safely and humanely with minimal facilities. The team hopes that the initial funding can help to get all the males neutered and stop increases in the cattery population.
While we still do not have suitable facilities to provide sterilisation for female cats, we hope that this can change as XploreAsia’s program grows. Spaying female cats will definitely stop the cats from ever getting pregnant, helping to control stray cat populations. For the spayed animal, there are significant health benefits that come with the procedure, and an increased chance of adoption as adoptive families do not have to worry about unwanted kittens.
Ultimately this CATPLAN aims to provide the 60 cats at DogChance with the medical attention to achieve a healthy physical condition. Combined with a re-homing program, we hope to maximise their chances of finding a loving family.