How a cat goes from being doomed to Superdoomed

When this photo of a cat in Orange Co, FL was posted on Facebook, some people complained about it and others offered to help. I snipped out some of the comments to give you the gist of the overall discussion.  (Click any image to enlarge it.)  I don’t know what happened to the cat but if this was the only group advocating for him, I imagine he’s in the landfill.

24 thoughts on “How a cat goes from being doomed to Superdoomed

  1. So what CARE so nicely says is that only earclipped cats deserve to live and this beautiful baby doesn’t deserve to be saved!!! Not all feral cats have been trapped and neutered! That obviously doesn’t mean he is not a feral cat?!! Another great (sarcasm) group that picks and chooses who deserves to live!

  2. So what CARE so nicely explains is that only ear-clipped feral cats deserve to live? Just because he isn’t ear-clipped doesn’t mean he isn’t feral! Maybe he hasn’t had his day at the vet yet! So this beautiful baby doesn’t deserve an advocate?! Just another group who picks and chooses who has a right to live.. Man with so many GODS how can this not be heaven!!

  3. This poor cat is terrified and because he is not ear-tipped means he likely is dead. What a sad commentary on people – especially those who are supposed to be on the side of ferals.

  4. Should we be assuming all hissing cats in strange situations are feral and should be TNRed? Which brings up the good question of how DO you tell the difference between a scared kitty and a feral one? I can promise my JJ would look worse than the cat in the photo if he found his way to a shelter

    1. Good points. I think the first thing we can rule out is assessing the cat upon intake, while still in the trap. And yet, that is unfortunately what some pounds seem to do.

      I am not a cat owner but I have a few dogs who I imagine would appear deranged if impounded by a pet killing facility.

      1. Sometimes you can’t tell. And sometimes ferals become really sweet after you spend a bit of time with them. I volunteer with a group that does quite a bit of TNR, and some of the cats we’ve picked up were feral, but sweetened up pretty quickly with a bit of TLC. One of those was a big, hulking, white-and-black tomcat that we only took in because he had a pretty nasty wound that we wanted to heal up before release. Turned out to be an absolute sweetie. On the other hand, one of the owner surrenders my group has is pretty psychotic and I don’t think she’ll ever find a home. She lashes out randomly at people and especially at cats. We’re No-Kill so she’ll stay with us forever if need be. But if she were trapped and taken to a shelter, especially if other animals were around, she’d be so frightened and defensive that they’d assume she was feral and a danger to society.

  5. My ferals are not ear tipped (I’m not managing a colony, I’m maintaining a pair on my deck – they’re out there right now, sleeping on their Kuranda bed until the sun comes around and makes them move off into shadier areas). They are, however, microchipped. But I fear many cats never even get scanned for chips out there…

    I have an indoor-only cat who can *appear* VERY FERAL if she were to be caged and handled by strangers (especially men). She has a history of abuse as a kitten (seriously, who repeatedly smacks a kitten in the face to prevent it from eating?) and would NOT DO WELL in a situation that this same cat is in.

    The assumption of “feral” for a cat in a trap is too easy for people to make. This cat may not be ear tipped because he’s not feral. He may be some little girl’s best buddy and simply live outdoors, trapped by a neighbor and dropped at the shelter. He may be freaking out because he has a history of abuse (like my girl does) or because whoever trapped him did it badly (left in the trap for days, exposed, etc. driving him to his very last nerve) or simply because he does not deal well with strangers.

    Quite frankly, I’m surprised that an apparently experienced TNR group would be so quick to label a cat as feral, since they’ve no doubt seen that some cats who seemed feral at first are in fact, touchable and tame under calmer/different circumstances. And to intentionally put up a photo of a cat acting defensively really makes me question their judgement and motives.

    1. And to intentionally put up a photo of a cat acting defensively really makes me question their judgement and motives.

      I had that same thought, as well as the comments under the picture. What a horrid way for this precious cat to spend his last days. None of my 4 indoor cats (none feral, but 3/4 very, very shy) would do well in a trap/animal control/handling by strangers situation and would likely be killed for being “unadoptable”!

  6. For all we know, this cat was transported with dogs and is losing his mind from that. The more I think about how righteous the TNR group is, the angrier I get. And they defend the photo for “time”. They couldn’t stick the cat in a quiet place for ten minutes and try again? Even if it means the difference between life and death?


  7. Wait, are they advocating cutting off part of the cat’s ear in order to tell that it’s feral? People do that? Yet I get shit for my dog having a docked tail (which has a purpose too).

    I also agree that there’s no way to tell if this cat is feral. I’ve also had cats that would act like that in a cage, they were perfectly lovely house pets.

    If they don’t have time to take a better photo, MAKE time.

    1. Jessica, ear tipping is done so that caretakers can see from a distance which cats are neutered and which are not. One ear tip is removed at the time of surgery when the cat is sedated. This prevents caretakers from accidentally trapping cats who are already “done”.

      Apparently, this particular TNR group will not use resources on an untipped cat. Apparently, they will also decide that posting a photo like this and chiding people for not ear tipping (when we don’t even know if the cat is feral, maintained, or a pet) is somehow productive.

    2. Cutting off a part of a cat’s ear is an easy marker for feral cats after they’ve been spayed or neutered. It prevents other people/groups from trapping the same cat twice and paying to have it spayed/neutered only to find out that this was already done. To me, that’s invaluable as it saves time, effort, and money for everyone involved. Multiple surgeries (and multiple trappings, though most cats are smart enough not to walk into the same trap twice) like that are completely unnecessary and are quite stressful for the feral cats. I think that outweighs the ear-tipping, which is done while the cat is still out cold.

      1. I don’t have a problem with the procedure I’ve just never heard of it. And as I said, I constantly get negative comments about my dog having a european dock. I wish he had the full dock honestly, but the breed always has the longer style.

    3. Jessica:
      The ear tipping is small usually, just th ery tip of the ear, enough for someone to see from a slight distance that a particular cat has been S/N, so that they are not targeted for trapping a second, third, etc. time. It is done while they are being s/n’d, and they never feel it. It is common practice. I am receiving two cats in the near future that were outdoors, but rather than cut the ear tip, the rescuer is having them chipped to our org. PLUS a green tatoo put on their bellies to show they have been neutered. However, if you are doing TNR and have a really feral cat, you would not be able to tell if it was s/n;d until you looked at the belly and in THAT case, you may have already subjected a stressed out cat to another trapping for no reason. It is not cruelty.

      1. I’m not saying the ear tipping is cruelty at all. Re-read my post. Is there anything that says it’s cruelty?

  8. So what we are saying is all shelters need to be no-kill as the government run animal control and even some volunteers cannot properly evaluate animals and they are killing peoples family members by mistake because of incompetence.

  9. I don’t see that poor kitty on the OCAS adoptable page and it’s been a week since his intake photo. Not good. But there’s another kitty who looks a lot like him–and is very scared. He’s listed as Animal ID: A240380 Room No.: WCI35 at this URL–

    CARE Feline TNR is listed as the TNR group that partners with OCAS for feral cat care. If they’re “the” TNR group that works with the shelter–the only one–then how do they know when to start trapping themselves and assign a caretaker to a new area in the county? Seems like they need to be communicating more with OCAS. Maybe the kitty in the photo is just one isolated, pissed off cat. But with another one who looks similar and is also not well-socialized coming in 3 days later, might be time to do some TNR. Not just let the shelter trap and kill any who aren’t ear-tipped already. So if that were my TNR program , I would be asking some questions, like where did the hostile kitty get trapped, where did the scared one get trapped, and is anyone else doing TNR in that area? A lot of the time, the cats in your trap are just the “tip” of the iceberg. Scary thought–and sometimes you have to set limits on how many you can trap and care for–but ignoring new cats or a new area won’t help solve the problem.

  10. The majority of cats I have known hated being crated/caged even to go to the vet-why would this cat be any different. It looks like it is in a portable crate not a permanent cage. Someone could have taken a picture once it was settled in at the shelter. Would the owner even recognize its cat by this picture? Some shelter workers are just idiots!

    1. The cat is in a trap. Which could explain his attitude – too many people use traps in appropriately, not watching them, not covering them immediately, etc.

      The TNR people who should be advocating for him, maybe just getting a better photo out there, are not. Publicly. With friends like these…

  11. I don’t understand that.If someone is willing to adopt then LET them,rather than saying the kitty’s not adoptable?Why put their picture out there?So so wrong of them.

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