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Clipped ear?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I guess this is the right thread to post this.

I've been noticing more and more Petco's adoption cages that house adoptable cats have a clipped ear, usually the left ear. At first, I thought it was because they got into fights with other cats and lost a piece of their ear.

then I realize that there was a lot of them with clipped ears the same way, straight across the tip. Is this something the vet/shelter do for some reason?

My only logical explaination is that these cats were once ferals and the clipped ear meant they were neutered/Spayed and vetted?
post #2 of 24
They were spayed, yes. In practice, presumably in a TNR-programme.

In such a case, they being homeless (dumped or astray, without immediate possibility for new home), semiferal or feral.


These cats do often makes the best new friends. Often shy to strangers yes, but they do become very attached friends to the adopter /adopting family.

Also, they only ones send for adoption are those adoptable; fostered or at very least, apparent good fostering candidates.
These who are not fosterable, are never send in for adoption.

Not by any reputable shelter, rescue group etc.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
thanks for the reply! I figured it might've been some TNR's or something. These kitties do seem to crave affection when I get close to the cages. Poor thing to lose the tip of the ear though!
post #4 of 24
Like this?



That's my Baby Cat.
She was ear tipped and tattooed when she was spayed as she was part of a feral colony, though not feral herself.

They do it while they are under for surgery and it is cut and cauterized with a laser so it's quick, painless and bloodless.
Its a visual notice to Animal control that the cat has been vetted. In most places it is enough to prevent AC from trapping them.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Just like that, though not as deep. beautiful kitty, and thanks for the information! I am not familiar with how they work ferals around here.
post #6 of 24
Some low cost clinics will also snip the ear of non-feral cats that are getting the feral cat price for a spay/neuter. If the person opts for feral package, which is usually lower in cost, they must get the ear snipped whether the cat is feral or not. I've been to 2 clinics like this.
post #7 of 24
What confuses me though is that I was under the impression that a tipped cat is a flag NOT to recapture the cat. So why would feral ear tipped cats be showing up in shelters for adoption? TNR programs I understood don't tip the kittens that they intend to adopt out. Hmmmm....
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducman69 View Post
What confuses me though is that I was under the impression that a tipped cat is a flag NOT to recapture the cat. So why would feral ear tipped cats be showing up in shelters for adoption? TNR programs I understood don't tip the kittens that they intend to adopt out. Hmmmm....
Because people like us, cat lovers, could take them, find a rescue to get them into loving homes - doesn't mean they are there for TNR again; they are there to find homes. Petsmart's/ Petco's cats come from rescues, not from Shelters....
post #9 of 24
There are some people who think that all spayed/neutered cats should be eartipped. . .especially spays, since there's no way to tell she's spayed unless she's marked somehow. Those rescue groups might be run by people who think that way. Personally, I think tame cats could be marked with a tattoo, so no reason to eartip. But it is handy to be able to tell just by looking at the cat.
post #10 of 24
The best solution will be GPS rather than RFID chips.

I just read that VeriChip has partnered w/ OrbComm for their next model GPS implantable chip. This should help prevent issue with lost or stolen pets and provide valuable information for animal control and wildlife studies, and is a much more elegant solution than tags that can tear off or chopping off kitty ears.
post #11 of 24
The humane society here where I volunteer has cats/kittens in the nearest Petco to us. No ear tipped kitties here, as no TNR programs. That said, we've had cats that have had almost purrfect "ear tipping" occur b/c of frostbite.

Some clinics that do ferals ear-tip any cat that comes through - feral or not. I've heard of people slipping in not-so-feral cats (like a cat abandoned & joining the colony)...maybe a cat like that gets caught by someone & made a pet?
post #12 of 24
I have one feral who was so wild at the TNR clinic that they told me to release her as soon as she came out of the anesthetic, instead of keeping her inside for a couple days like I planned. About a couple months after being spayed, she decided I was her new best friend, and now she's as tame as any housecat. So I do think some ferals might change their minds or maybe weren't really feral (just reallyreally scared, so much that they acted feral) in the first place, and could have ended up eartipped because of that. A few of my ferals appear to have been eartipped, but it's actually just from frostbite. And, in another neighborhood, there's a feral/stray who has a clear notch in one ear (the kind some TNR places do), and the other ear is tipped so cleanly I really though he had been TNRed, but he's very obviously a tomcat.

But if all the cats they have up for adoption are eartipped probably it's not by chance.
post #13 of 24
I've TNRd around 15 cats since November 2010 through two different organizations. Both organizations actually cut off a part of the the ear tip, not notch it. Some vets clip off more than others; in other words, on some cats it's more noticeable.
The procedure is done under anethesia so the cats feel no pain. I need these cats to be ear tipped (not notched); it's the only way I have of knowing which cats have been TNRd and who are new to the colony (and who I can release if I accidently trap those cats who have already been S/N).
I took Ritz (my love bug) in to be spayed under a feral cat program and said/wrote NO EAR TIPPING. So intead they notched her ear, barely noticeable.
post #14 of 24
I am not sure why some vets, shelters and rescues other then true TNR do the ear clipping thing. But many do, and it just shows the animal has been spayed/neutered/de-sexed/castrated.
post #15 of 24
When a "new" cat turns up, the trap comes out. We don't necessarily know if they're friendly or not before they're TNR'd, so they all get ear tipped. It can also be very difficult to tell the difference between a scared stray that's reverted to feral behavior and a cat that was born feral.

We have two friendlies in the colony right now - one must have been a stray, because even though very skittish, he became friendly far too fast. The other one we know for sure was born feral, but she's decided she trusts us. He's a candidate for fostering and then adoption: as soon as room opens up in the network, he'll go in. Hopefully within a few months, he'll be one of those kitties you see at Petsmart/Petco. The other little black kitty... we'll just have to see.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducman69 View Post
What confuses me though is that I was under the impression that a tipped cat is a flag NOT to recapture the cat. So why would feral ear tipped cats be showing up in shelters for adoption? TNR programs I understood don't tip the kittens that they intend to adopt out. Hmmmm....
In some cases it may be that the feral colony was dissolved for legal reasons. Our last cat was from such a colony, dissolved because the site was required for public housing, and he was the only cat they were unable to trap. We managed to more or less move him into our home (quite close to the colony site, and he moved into our yard of his own accord) over a very long period of time. The others all ended up in an open no-kill shelter, and some were successfully socialized and adopted out.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducman69 View Post
What confuses me though is that I was under the impression that a tipped cat is a flag NOT to recapture the cat. So why would feral ear tipped cats be showing up in shelters for adoption? TNR programs I understood don't tip the kittens that they intend to adopt out. Hmmmm....
It's a flag that they've been spayed/neutered. If a friendly stray is trapped, sterilized, and released (often hard to tell at first they're friendly), they OUGHT to be trapped to be brought in and fostered and adopted out. Removal of kittens and friendly cats from TNR colonies and getting them adopted out is an essential part of (most) successful TNR programs.
post #18 of 24
And sometimes it's a flag to animal control officers (the caring, evolved, knowledgeable ones) NOT to trap the cat. The ear tipping lets the ACO know someone is taking care of the cat and at least at one time had a rabies shot (required in my area when the feral cat is brought in to be spayed/neutered).
post #19 of 24
I got Luna as an 8 week-old kitten from a rescue and her ear was clipped. I had heard of feral cats getting spayed and released with their ear clipped so rescuers knew they were already spayed but I didn't realize they did it to kittens who were going to be adopted. I get asked all the time if she got frost bite.
post #20 of 24

There is no way we could love a cat more than our "Clipped Ear Betti Boop" any more than we do!!!  Oh, she is on the right!

post #21 of 24

Hmm, this is all interesting; I've just learned about this practice. Here, they use yellow plastic earrings (sometimes with a chip inside depending on the region) for that purpose. Mostly for dogs, but increasingly for cats also. There are groups, individuals, centers that register and follow stray animals in different neighborhoods in this way. They spay and vaccinate the animal, and return back for the next vaccination time. It is common that ordinary people take care of the stray animals by leaving food, water for them, and taking them to vet when they see they have health problems. These animals are usually friendly (as if they belong to the community), and families usually let their children play with them if they have such earrings. 

post #22 of 24

Thank y'all for the great welcome here!!  Any of you close to Cleveland Tn please support Dixie Day Spay and like them on Facebook! You will find a wealth of info and love! They also are involved with an underground foster home for abused animals to get them as far away as possible from the abuser. 

post #23 of 24

Some of these postings have made me feel a little better (not much though). I just had 2 cats fixed yesterday at a low cost spay/neuter clinic in our area. I just had a good look at them this morning (hiding) and the clnic clipped their ears! I am mad about it because they didn't even ask. I've taken other kitties to them - all with feral cat pricing/package - and they've asked about the ear tipping. I've got them all in a mobile home so it's not like I can't keep track of which ones have been fixed yet! We live out in the country so there is no animal control and if someone has a cat wonder up, they normally just feed it and life goes on! One of them from yesterday is a beautiful white boy with blue eyes and he's getting so tame and loving that I think he can be adopted. I'm worried who will adopt him with the tip of his ear gone though! From seeing you guys, it gives me hope but I'm still mad as heck about it!

post #24 of 24

I don't blame you at all for being angry. The least they could have done was ask you!!  We though adopted our little Betti Book cause she was so sick and that little Clipped Ear helped too. Listen, if you want to help ferals that have the upper respiratory virus a lot of them have, the Lysine treats work miracles!!!:kitty3:

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