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Whether to ear tip--not sure where to put this

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ginger the stray I took in pregnant is getting spayed on Monday. As it stands she will be an outdoor cat because no one has adopted her and she cannot come inside here--unless obviously necessary for a short period of time.

At the place that is spaying I have the option to ear tip--Ginger is not feral and will have a tattoo on her belly after the spay, would it be worthwhile to ear tip as well?

Do you think that would turn people off in adopting her in the future?

I do have a strong feeling she will remain with us and not be adopted simply because the demand is so high for kittens and so many people are giving up their pets as it is.

Thanks

Leslie
post #2 of 24
I say have the ear tipping done. It will let others know she has been spayed and not cause her undue trapping and stress. As far as being adopted with an ear tip, I doubt most people would notice except those who know what that is.
post #3 of 24
I agree.

Besides, I understand a common problem for many spontan adopters is, they are willing to give help and shelter to this semiferal/homeless, but paying at once a full price for spaying is just too much...
So is often in Sweden, I presume so can be in other countries too.

- Pity there is no recognized mark to say, this cat IS adoptable...

I want to believe her chances for an spontan adoption, or at least, as someones "protected semiferal", will be clearly better if it is apparent for everybody she is neutered.

Likewise the risk for "mercy-killiing" is lesser, if it is apparent someone already did decided she will do all right living a semiferales live.


Edit. I saw on another forum you will yourself keep her as your "protected semiferal". Thus the problem is solved. And IF someone wants to adopt her as theirs indoor pet, it is easier if they know for sure at one glance she is already spayed.
post #4 of 24
Personally I wouldn't ear-tip a tame cat. Well, except in certain circumstances where it might be necessary, like if they were farm cats, all looked alike, and you had to have some way of keeping track of them. Or something like that. But if she'll be your outdoor pet, I don't think it's necessary. The tattoo on her belly will be proof that she's spayed, if you ever need proof. I would put a collar and ID tag on her, though.
post #5 of 24
I had my friendly stray ear tipped when spayed to save her the stress of capture by AC as you cannot see a leg tattoo without shaving.

Ear tipping is visible by AC and alerts them that the cat has been vetted without stressing the cat with capture.

Of course my stray has since moved in and decided to join my gang.

I do not like collars on outdoor cats as too many nasty things can happen...even with saftey collars.
post #6 of 24
I think the ear tip would be a good idea. You can't know what kind of situation she may get herself into in the future. I would want to make sure everyone knew she was already spayed.

Also, around here at least, if AC captures a cat with a tipped ear they assume it is part of a managed colony and will release it rather than take it to a shelter.
post #7 of 24
I agree with ear tipping her for her own safety. Where I live, there have been several cases where the shelter has neglected to scan for a microchip and put a tame, outdoor cat who was, in fact, microchipped to sleep.
post #8 of 24
the eartip will probably be fine, though I am on the fence about it for tame cats. the group I work with usually eartips all cats just in case, but much of the time it's not necessary. They eartipped a Turkish Angora cat that was clearly not a feral and will never live outside (somebody dumped him if you can believe that). but of course it's all cosmetic I suppose. Some cats looks pretty good with an eartip, rather rakish
post #9 of 24
Still quite pretty with her tipped ear, it's not straight as it looks though, in person it's more rounded.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the comments. I decided not to ear tip. Deep down inside I want to continue to believe that Ginger's life as an outdoor cat is going to be short and that she will soon be an indoor cat and felt that due to her friendly personality there was no reason to ear tip. She will be microchipped soon and for now will wear a collar with id. Her surgery went well and she looks much more at peace now--like she did when she came to us pregnant--before the responsibility came!

Leslie
post #11 of 24
I have never heard of eartipping!! Is this a universal sign for cats?? How do anti-docking/cropping people feel about eartipping? Just curious.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allmycats View Post
I have never heard of eartipping!! Is this a universal sign for cats?? How do anti-docking/cropping people feel about eartipping? Just curious.
Ear tipping is used to identify that a feral cat has been spayed/neutered. Otherwise a female feral might be trapped repeatedly and cut open just to discover she is already spayed. You can tell before cutting on males that they have been neutered but they might still be put through the not inconsiderable trauma of being trapped, transported to a clinic and anesthetized before it is discovered that they are already neutered.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
Ear tipping is used to identify that a feral cat has been spayed/neutered. Otherwise a female feral might be trapped repeatedly and cut open just to discover she is already spayed. You can tell before cutting on males that they have been neutered but they might still be put through the not inconsiderable trauma of being trapped, transported to a clinic and anesthetized before it is discovered that they are already neutered.
Well that's interesting! It does make sense. Just wondering, do rescues and shelters country-wide know this? Is it the standard? I once fostered a dog for Brittany rescue and we did not know whether she had been spayed or not; we had to wait to see if she'd come into heat or not. She did and then we had her spayed. With feral cats this obviously is not feasible. Thanks for explaining it to me, I'd just never heard of it before now!
post #14 of 24
It's not universal.....my local Humane Society has no idea what ear-tipping indicates. There's been issues with them euthanizing ferals as "unidentified strays" even though they're ear-tipped. But most people who do TNR will recognize what it means and then the cat won't have to go through the whole trapping process again (or, if he/she is trapped again, can just be released).

I'm against docking/cropping, but I don't think this is the same at all. It's not for cosmetic reasons, it's to protect the cat from going through the TNR process again, and possibly preventing euthanasia.
post #15 of 24
We ear tip here. they also notch the ear. The female (smokey) had her ear tipped when I had her spayed as she was going out to the barn with the others that have been TNR'd. I don't even notice it anymore. She does stay in the house 24/7. The male was ear notched, (from a different vet), and in all honesty, I can't tell where it is. He was a feral male who did nothing but fight and mate. He has so many slices in his ears that I don't know which one is the notch. It does make it easier when we trap females that have been caught before, we can just release them and replace the trap. By the way, it's only a small tip of the ear that is removed. Not even any blood.

PS> that is her in the pic. it's her left ear that was tipped. you can't even tell.
post #16 of 24
Our Animal Samaritans automatically eartips the ferals. They really don't take much off the ear, and you have to look twice to see the tipping.

We have three "inside" cats, and I often think that if they ever got outside and lost that it would be much better if they had been ear tipped. They have chips, but so often people don't know to check for chips, or they have the wrong brand of machine, or ....?

Really, it's a statement to anyone who sees them with the tipped ear that someone has cared enough about them to get them altered ... I'd chose ear tipping. Also, when someone notices the ear and questions or comments on the tipped ear - it's a good conversation starter.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
Thanks for all the comments. I decided not to ear tip. Deep down inside I want to continue to believe that Ginger's life as an outdoor cat is going to be short and that she will soon be an indoor cat and felt that due to her friendly personality there was no reason to ear tip. She will be microchipped soon and for now will wear a collar with id. Her surgery went well and she looks much more at peace now--like she did when she came to us pregnant--before the responsibility came!

Leslie
I'm glad you didn't have her ear tipped. Honestly, this is the first I have heard of this, and think it's a cruel physical disfigurement for human purpose only! A ear tip trimmed off will also be a target and sign of weakness when it comes to self defense in the wild, or great outdoors. If a tattoo on the belly, which is questionable, plus a microchip, on top of a collar, isn't enough, then we are hopeless. How much more help do we need to help ourselves keep helping those in need.....
post #18 of 24
I respect the choice the original poster made for her particular situation, especially considering the kitty in question is tame and will be microchipped.

That said, I felt the need to add that ear tipping is completely humane and considered to be the most reliable way to identify fixed feral cats by most individuals/groups involved in TNR.

Here's an article from Alley Cat Allies that explains why:

http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/eartipping.html
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
I'm glad you didn't have her ear tipped. Honestly, this is the first I have heard of this, and think it's a cruel physical disfigurement for human purpose only! A ear tip trimmed off will also be a target and sign of weakness when it comes to self defense in the wild, or great outdoors.
Wrong on both accounts.
Before you condemn a practice, you should research it.
It most certainly isn't for human purposes, it's to save cats from the stress and trauma of repeated trapping, repeated shaving and in the case of females, repeated incisions.
It is a quick visual marker that tells people that the cat has been vetted and altered.
There is no pain, as it is done while the cat is under for surgery.
It is usually done with a laser so the cut is clean and cauterized, and it heals completely within 3 days.

As for a target? No.
Intact toms have ears in far worse shape and they are not targeted any more or less than any other tom.

Do some TNR work and then tell us if you'd rather your colony's girls repeatedly trapped and sliced open or ear tipped.
post #20 of 24
The two vets in the area I'm working with had no idea what ear-tipping was. I called the Humane society for the city and they also had not heard of it. So what do you guys think? Is there any chance of me getting them to start this practice?
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
Wrong on both accounts.
Before you condemn a practice, you should research it.
It most certainly isn't for human purposes, it's to save cats from the stress and trauma of repeated trapping, repeated shaving and in the case of females, repeated incisions.
It is a quick visual marker that tells people that the cat has been vetted and altered.
There is no pain, as it is done while the cat is under for surgery.
It is usually done with a laser so the cut is clean and cauterized, and it heals completely within 3 days.

As for a target? No.
Intact toms have ears in far worse shape and they are not targeted any more or less than any other tom.

Do some TNR work and then tell us if you'd rather your colony's girls repeatedly trapped and sliced open or ear tipped.

DITTO -well said
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
A ear tip trimmed off will also be a target and sign of weakness when it comes to self defense in the wild, or great outdoors...
I don't see how this is true. Cats lose their ear tips all the time to frostbite or fighting, and it's certainly not a "target" or "sign of weakness". My ferals had their ears notched at the clinic, and I don't think any of them even noticed, and it certainly isn't any kind of disadvantage in the neighborhood.

But like I said, I don't see the point in ear-tipping a cat that's tame enough to let you see her belly tattoo, so I do think you made the right choice.
post #23 of 24
I see ear tipping as one of those "beats the alternative" procedures, but I'd like it to be unnecessary. I don't think it's awful, but it can't be quite as nice for the cat as not getting sliced there.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Wow I never thought this would turn into a inhumane/humane debate. Let's please not take it there. As the OP I would like to end that debate. I firmly believe that the benefits of ear tipping out weigh the "risks" of ear tipping. Perhaps until you work with a stray or feral colony or just stray or feral cat you don't firmly understand the situation. It isn't like ear cropping or tail docking, it is done solely for the benefit of the cat.

I ultimately wanted to do what was best in Ginger's situation. I do feel I made the right choice for her. For those who haven't read my updates otherwise--Ginger is healthy and healing well after her surgery. She has taken to a harness well and is learning to explore outside of the cage in a safe and secure manner while she continues to heal. She does continue to be frustrated with continuous cage confinement, and I know in my heart that living here outdoors she stands a better chance at life than at our kill shelter. She will show aggression in her cage when frustrated and I know our shelter would euthanize because of her aggression. When out of the cage she is the sweetest most loving cat in the world though. I do believe that her furrever home will be with me--I fear someone else will not have the patience with her and understand her like we do. I understand her frustration and don't see her swatting and nipping as aggression but as frustration--and as I said it only happens inside her cage.

Leslie
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