Raj Bhavan’s cats will stay

Raj Bhavan’s cats will stay

VIPs had complained against them, and tried to get BBMP to take them away

Arjun (sitting, right) with residents of Jal Vayu Vihar. The group managed to trap, neuter and release many cats.

The sprawling Raj Bhavan is worried about a bizarre problem: it says aggressive stray cats are troubling the governor and other VIPs.

Its officials recently dashed off a letter to the BBMP, requesting their assistance to catch and take away the cats.

But as news of the imminent relocation spread, animal lovers cried foul.

Prominent among them was animal welfare organization CUPA, which called the relocation and killing of stray cats as inhuman, and offered its services to solve the problem.

In an open letter to Raj Bhavan, CUPA called for the sterilisation of the cats and release in the exact area where they were picked up.

Over the past year, CUPA has trapped, neutered and conducted subsidised surgeries on cats in various housing colonies.

The letter goes on to say any other means of controlling the community animal population is inhuman, futile and illegal. This includes relocation of the animal and banning citizens from feeding ownerless animals.

The recommended action was sterilisation to ensure no population increase. Some cats and kittens could be given for adoption at the CUPA Shelter, the letter suggests.

What to do with stray cats
Metrolife spoke to Ajay Arjun, who runs the cat sterilisation project in Bengaluru (one of the biggest in the country) to get an idea.

What are the adoption procedures in CUPA?
They are elaborate. People are invited to visit the shelter a few times and spend time with the animals. We do a thorough background check on every individual to ensure the animal goes to the right home. A detailed questionnaire has to be filled by the potential adopter. There are special counsellors who help even after an animal is adopted.

Who can be a pet parent?
Anyone who is compassionate towards animals and has the time, space and resources for a companion. One needs to do a lot of research on the nutritional, physical needs of a pet before adoption. A pet is a long-term commitment and people must think about whether they are ready for it.

Are strays safe to adopt? What should you keep in mind while adopting one?
Stray or community animals make the best pets since they are low maintenance and are naturally adaptive to various environments. They can be extremely loyal and loving companions. All stray animals need to be taken to the vet for check-ups and timely vaccinations.

If someone can’t be a full-time pet parent, can they volunteer any other way?
At CUPA we have the option of passively adopting an animal at one of the shelters. This means a person can take care of the food and medical needs of an animal in one of the shelters without taking it home. The adopter can visit the animal and spend time, or foster it for a few months until it finds a permanent home.

CUPA recommended sterilisation as the solution.

How it helps:

  • Cats become calmer.
  • Prevents fighting over resources and mates, directly reducing cat fights and injuries.
  • Eliminates chances of kitten litters.
  • Controls rodent population.

Governor stepped in, says Raj Bhavan
When Metrolife called up Raj Bhavan, a staffer said Governor Vajubhai Vala had decided against having the cats relocated. “We have informed the BBMP accordingly,” he said.

You can contact CUPA at 080-22947317 or mail them on cupaprojects@cupaindia.org. The cat sterilisation programme is a paid one with subsidised rates. Surgery includes vaccinations and long-acting antibiotics.

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