In a first, cats were sterilised in the city under a community programme. Around 22 cats were sterilised and released at Jal Vayu Vihar in northeastern Bengaluru last weekend.
The programme was organised by Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA) along with resident welfare groups of the area.
Residents and CUPA volunteers said that while the focus was on sterilising dogs under the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme, little or no attention was paid to cats. According to them, this is why the cat population is on the rise in the city.
“Only a few individuals who are aware bring their cats for sterilisation. They were tracked down, sterilised, ear-clipped and released to where they belong. Cats are normally shy and not so easily visible. But things have changed over the last few years,” said Ajay Arjun, Head, Cat Welfare Project at CUPA.
According to Arjun, there has been a rise in the population of cats in the city, and people are finding it difficult to deal with them. In Jal Vayu Vihar alone, there are over a hundred stray cats. They have multiplied because of the garbage menace which provides food and shelter. They have also increased in number because the dog population is under control now.
Locals in the area were delighted with the drive. “Initially we wanted the cats to be relocated because of the increase in their population. But, we were told it was not right and it will cause trouble. Sterilisation is ideal for population control. Also, since their ears are clipped, it will be easy for us to identify them in the future,” said Praveen, a local.
With increasing bills pending before the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), CUPA has ended its contract with the civic body to sterilise dogs.
“Bills to the tune of Rs 50 lakh were pending with BBMP for more than a year. It had become very difficult for us. So, after giving them a month’s notice, we ended the contract in February. However, after repeated requests, the BBMP cleared the bills in June,” said a CUPA member.
A senior BBMP official, meanwhile, agreed and said: “We are now working with private agencies to curtail the dog menace in the city. We could also work on cats if people want.”