Archive for November 26, 2010

A JAR TNR Diary (Suzhou)

Operation Catnip –
A JAR TNR diary


It seems like a long time since we decided that we needed to act to stop our cats being “eliminated” from our housing compound in Suzhou. It is actually only a little over one month ago but so much has been achieved that it feels much longer.

Our problem

People began to feel that the feline population here was getting out of control, that cats were being destructive, noisy and people feared them being near their children as they were “wild”. The solution from the management was that the cats needed to be removed from the compound or “eliminated”. It was at this point that a group of like minded individuals decided to act.

Our Solution

We contacted JAR Shanghai and were advised of a scheme called TNR or Trap, Neuter and Release. Simple in its goal to reduce the population naturally it seemed ideal, the project would also mean we could vaccinate and health check each animal. It was achievable because we are would not be trying to find a home for them all, we knew very early on that was just not possible. The idea blossomed and we began to believe that we could help our street cats and also give the residents some peace of mind. We decided on a fund raising scheme, asking people to sponsor one or more of our cats which is working well as an initial idea. We will send each sponsor a photograph and ask them to name “their” cat.

During this set up time we have had so much support from JAR Shanghai, Hago Pet Hospital in Suzhou and from the residents here. In the end we also gained the full backing of the management office. We would like to thank all these people; especially Marvin from JAR, none of this would have been possible without you all.

We decided to keep a diary so that you could take this journey with us, as new rescuers and volunteers we are sure to get things wrong along the way, but stick with us and we are sure there will be many happy endings!

22nd November 2010.

We made it! We have taken our first three cats into Hago Pet Hospital. One male called “Domino” and two nameless females. As we don’t yet have a custom built trap so it took a while to catch our targets but we got them in the end. We decided to take it easy for our first run so the cats were all ones who are cared for outside and so relatively tame. It’s a learning curve so we spent quite a lot of time with the vet, refining our systems. There is so much to think about:

We have shown our vet a system of ID for TNR cats which is called ear tipping. Each cat has the top part of their left ear removed so that we know they have been neutered. It is widely recognised as the only reliable method of ID in the US and the UK. It also means we will not mistakenly re-trap any of our cats. He thinks it is a good idea and will implement during surgery. Lovely, we don’t need to worry about collars being removed or chips being unreadable in the future. All our cats will have a funky ear to prove they have been done.

Our vet does not use dissolving stitches so our females will need to stay in hospital for one week, he also likes to wait a week after neutering before he will vaccinate. Since we have to wait for the stitches, this isn’t too much of a problem for our females BUT our males only need to stay in hospital for one day after neutering. That means we would have to re-catch each male to get them vaccinated, a big problem. We went off to seek advice from JAR and our vet said he would have a think. A busy first day but we left there smiling, safe in the knowledge that our vet cares enough to argue his point based purely on the cats wellbeing. Even if we don’t wholly agree all the time, this is someone we want to work with.

 23rd November 2010.

We were hoping for three more cats today. But we lost them all! I had one safe in my porch until a visitor called and let her out and the other two were frightened off by some building workers. Ho hum….it will get better once we have a trap and more experience.

Back to Hago to check on our cats: The two girls look very comfortable and relaxed and have had successful surgery. Domino is indeed a lucky boy, as unbeknown to us; he had a huge bite on his leg, cut through to the bone. Our vet repaired this at no extra charge during the neutering surgery. He will need hospital care for at least a week though, poor lad.  The ear tipping looks great and not one of the cats seemed to be the slightest bit bothered by it. Our vet thought it was very funny that we had lost today’s cats and by that time so did we!

 25th November 2010.

Two females in for neutering today. One is known as Sweetie, probably the compounds most famous lady as she hangs out near the shop. Well known by many people for being a bit “moody and scratchy” she will hopefully be a good ambassador for the project. It is well documented that neutered cats tend to be less aggressive, quieter and can be friendlier. Our hope is that once Sweetie returns, sporting her new look (ear), she will help to promote the scheme by her improved behaviour, we will let you know how that one goes! We had a chat with our vet again; he has agreed to vaccinate our males after three days, excellent! We are getting there.

By the way…..On arriving at the vets we bumped into one of our sponsors, she had been handed a puppy in a carrier bag on the street, what else could she do but take it. The poor little thing looked terrified but was wagging its tail when spoken too. Our sponsor is willing to foster him/her until we can find a home but for now he/she is getting the necessary checks in hospital. Oh those puppy eyes!

26th November 2010.

Back to check on everyone. All doing well, our vet has used dissolving stitches for the two female operations yesterday. He will still keep them for a week to check if these are successful but it may mean shorter hospital stays in the future. It is great that our systems are evolving so quickly and that our vet is willing to try new methods to assist us. So that’s the end of the first week and how great they all look!                                               

TNR Cats

TNR Cats


Meet Tomasa & Leoncio

Tomasa & Leoncio
Gender: Tomasa (female) and Leoncio (male)
Age: Tomasa (Approx. 6 months old) and Leoncio (Approx. 4 months old)
Health: Vaccinated, dewormed and de-flead. Tomasa is spayed.
Ideal Home: Family with children

Story: The rescuer came across Tomasa and Leoncio in the East West Restaurant in Jinqiao (Pudong) in the beginning of November 2010. Tomasa and Leoncio are 2 out of 11 kittens that reside outside the East West Restaurant, where a cabin has been built for them. However, JAR will gradually rescue all the kittens and spay the mother cat to prevent another batch of abandoned litters.
Tomasa is a beautiful cat with big blue eyes and short white fur. She is always a little bit shy when she meets new people, but after a while she blossoms into a very affectionate cat … looking for your attention and purring of happiness when you hold her. Leoncio is a sweet and lovely kitten with eyes of different colors (blue and green) and long white fur. Given that his long fur makes him look like a small white lion he was named Leoncio (Spanish name that means Lion). Leoncio is no shy at all, and he will always enjoy to play and to be pet. One unique characteristic of Leoncio is that he does not meow at all (according to the Vet this can be a genetic inheritance in some cats).
Tomasa and Leoncio are very good friends, and truly enjoy each other’s company. Furthermore, these pair of white friends are real foodies … characteristic that probably has its origin in the fact that they both were rescued from outside the restaurant.
Can you give them their forever loving home?

For more information about being a foster parent or how to adopt a cat or dog from JAR, please contact or come to visit JAR during its Animal Adoption Day in Puxi on Sunday December 12th, from 11:00 to 15:00 hrs, at from 11:00 to 15:00 hrs, at Papas Bierstube Restaurant, Hongmei Road 3338, Hongmei Pedestrian Street 22-24, Puxi, Shanghai (德国乡村西餐厅上海市闵行区虹梅路3338弄虹梅休闲街).

Cats available for Adoption:
Dogs available for Adoption: