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CCCP (Cat Colony Care Programme)

What is the Cat Colony Care Programme?

Established in August 2000, the SPCA's Cat Colony Care Programme (CCCP) mobilises a dedicated army of volunteers who feed and watch over "families" of street cats in Hong Kong. The aim is to improve the lives and health of these animals and to stabilise and eventually reduce the numbers of stray and feral cats in the community through the coordinated Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) effort.

Volunteers are equipped with humane traps and trained in street cat care. In addition to feeding, watering and monitoring their colonies, they catch and transport "their" cats to the SPCA headquarters in Wanchai for de-sexing. The Society's vets also provide general medical treatment when the cats are brought into for surgery. Friendly kittens and adults are placed in our adoption programme. Those deemed not suitable for domestication are returned to their respective colonies to pick up their lives again under the watchful eyes of their carers.

How TNR Works

De-sexed cat colonies first stabilize and then decrease as the breeding rate declines. De-sexed cats vocalize, roam and spray lss, resulting in fewer complaints from the surrounding community. Culling healthy cats is inhumane. It is also likely to be ineffective in controlling numbers because cats from further a field tend to move in to fill the vacuum. The colony may actually expand.

How to Spot a TNR cat

It is essential to identify feral cats that have been neutered to help with programme monitoring and ensure that they are not trapped again and put through an unnecessary surgery.

Our programme identifies cats through two methods:

  • "ear-tipping" -this can be easily spotted and involves the removal of a small portion of one of the cat's ears left for females and right for males. This is a quick procedure and is done whilst the cat is anaesthetised for the de-sexing procedure (they are also provided with pain-relief medication)
  • "micro-chipping" gives us a better method of identification in the event of a problem occurring with one of our colony cats. Through the unique identification number we can track the colony location the cat belongs to and also trace the carer who was looking after the cat. All cats neutered and returned under this programme since 2003 have been implanted with microchips

So if you see a cat on the street check out its ears – see if an ear-tip is missing.

 How Can You Help?
Become a CCCP registered carer.
Feral cats are difficult to catch. People who feed them have higher chance to catch them. If you are already feeding a colony of stray cats, you should also de-sex the cats as feeding on its own will only increase the population. Other benefits include advice and support from SPCA staff and other carers and help with the adoption and fostering of friendly cats.
Make a donation.  Every dollar counts. For example,
  • $1000 will buy a trap to catch and transport stray and feral cats safely and humanely
  • $300 helps to cover the cost of putting a cat through our prograame including desexing, life-saving vaccinations, microchipping and basic health care for a cat

Statistics from the States show that

"An un-spayed female, her mate and all of their offspring, producing 2 litters per year, with 2.8 surviving kittens per litter can total in 1 year: 12 extra cats; in 5 years: 11,801 extra cats!!"

An amazing figure and one of the reasons why we, at the SPCA, are on occasion left with no choice but to humanely destroy healthy, unwanted cats. Studies suggest that if 60% of the female population is de-sexed, then the population will remain static, higher numbers can lead to decreasing populations. With education people can see the great benefits to both animal welfare and the community as a result of this effective and humane programme. It's time to be proactive and stop unnecessary killing.

At the SPCA, every feral cat brought to our centre by the registered carer is assessed before being de-sexed. They are also microchiped, vaccinated, “de-flead”, de-wormed, and treated for ear mites and other minor health problems before being sent back to where they were trapped to live out the rest of their natural lives. There is no monetary charge to our carers for this work. The costs are met from our welfare funds and donations received from members of the public.

Feral cats on the streets may not welcome. They can cause the public to complain to the Government about their habits, e.g: crying at night in the breeding season, trespassing and marking territory with urine and faeces, raiding rubbish. The sight of unhealthy kittens and adults huddled together in alleyways is distressing.

Through this humane programme via both education of the community and action to improve the welfare of the street cats and decrease their numbers, people should be more able to accept the cats place in the community.




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