Thank you for your October 28 article about Sammie the cat getting back to his people because he had an up-to-date ear tattoo. Unfortunately, about 90 per cent of any tattooed cats we find (during the course of trapping feral cats for neutering) have no current contact information so we are unable to reunite these cats with their people. We at CatSpan would like to recommend the following to help get more cats back home:
• Keep a record of the tattoo, as it needs to be updated by the vet clinic that did it. The tattoo number tells you which clinic to call.
• Google to find, and then bookmark the BCVMA tattoo code instructions for reading a tattoo.
• Difficult to read tattoos can sometimes be read at the SPCA or at a vet clinic free of charge.
• You can replace a completely unreadable tattoo with a microchip, which can be scanned at the SPCA or at a vet clinic. Microchips can be put in without the animal having to be put under. When you move you have to contact the microchip company (not your vet) to update your phone number and address.
• If you find an animal you think is lost, check the inside of the ear to see if there is a tattoo. Then use the BCVMA list to contact the clinic that did it or call the SPCA who can tell you which vet clinic to call to get the owner’s phone number/address.
If you adopted an animal from a friend or took in a stray, check their ear for a tattoo and update the information so that you, as the animal’s new owner, are the person to contact.
Best of all is making your cat an indoor cat (and have permanent ID in case of escapes). At the very least when you move, keep your cat inside in for a few weeks.
Cats need to know their new territory (where they will be fed) before they go out. Some are fine, others get lost. However, neighbors who dislike cats may not, as they are required by law to do, take unwanted trapped cats to the SPCA; preferring to dump them far from home in the mean spirited hope that cat and owner will never be reunited.
We find far too many terrified, starving, sick and injured cats, initially assumed to be feral, who turn out, sometimes after weeks of care, to be tame. A number of these have out-of-date tattoos making it impossible for us to reunite them with their human friends.
We doubt Sammie’s adventures were exciting (as you suggested under the photo). If he could talk he would tell you that he had been hungry and scared.
Jennifer Coleman, CatSpan Volunteer,Parksville