Category: <span>News</span>

Ear Tipping- A Badge of Honor

Let’s talk about ear tipping: If you have community cats (also called feral or stray cats) in your neighborhood, you may have noticed that some or all of these outdoor cats have an ear that is squared off instead of pointy at the tip. The universal sign usually involves tipping of the left ear. Ear-tipping involves surgically removing a small portion of one of a cat’s ears while the cat is under anesthesia for spay or neuter surgery. It is the universally accepted way to signify that a community cat has been spayed or neutered, which means no new kittens will be born, and that’s a good thing. The ear-tipping procedure is generally done as part of a trap-neuter-return (TNR) program, which involves humanely trapping community cats, vaccinating them, getting them spayed or neutered, and then returning them to their neighborhoods to live out their lives. TNR is the best way to humanely reduce the population of community cats. Why are community cats ear-tipped? If you’ve spent any time around community cats, you know that getting close to one may not be an easy task. In general, these aren’t family pets. These are cats who were abandoned by their people, who got lost and ended up living on their own, or who were born on the streets. They are lovable in their own way, but they are usually not cuddly types. There are kind people around the country who keep an eye on community cat colonies in their neighborhoods, helping to get the cats fixed through TNR programs. Ear-tipping allows them to tell from a distance whether or not a community cat has been spayed or neutered. That tipped ear saves the cat the stress of being trapped and anesthetized a second time. Ear-tipping can also help anyone who is feeding the cats keep track of them, and notice if a new cat has joined the colony. Does ear-tipping hurt the cat? Ear-tipping is extremely safe and is performed while the cat is already anesthetized for spay or neuter surgery. There is little or no bleeding involved, and it is not painful to the cat. The ear heals up quickly and the tipped ear doesn’t detract one bit from the appearance or beauty of the cat.

July Spay Day On Schedule

The July SCRUFF Spay Day for 2022 has been scheduled. All Spay Days take place at the Animal Protective Foundation (APF) in Schenectady. For a downloadable PDF of the schedule, visit our Spay Day page here. Contact us for more information and to book an appointment.

Spay Day for June Soon

The June SCRUFF Spay Day been scheduled. All Spay Days take place at the Animal Protective Foundation (APF) in Schenectady. For a downloadable PDF of the schedule, visit our Spay Day page here. Contact us for more information and to book an appointment.

What Is An Urban Cat Feeding Station?

Somebody recently asked us, “What are urban cat feeding stations? I keep hearing about them.” Well, that is a very good question and we know that many people have an interest in learning about feeding stations. Rather have explain the details here, we are going to suggest that you visit the Urban Cat League’s page that tells about both feeding stations and winter cat shelters. Oh, yes, we mean “cat shelters for the winter”, not “winter cats”. Everyone knows that cats are “year around”! Here is the link to the Urban Cat League’s page on the topic –

Caring for Feral and Stray Cats in Summer

Excerpts from: Beverly Forehand   ( It’s hard to be a feral or community cat. Spring and fall seem to last no time at all compared to cold, wet winters and scorching summers. For caregivers, summer brings a relief from worrying about ice, snow, and below zero temperatures, but has its own set of challenges including summer storms, heat advisories, and parasites. Simple kindnesses like providing shade and cool water and making sure that shelters are tick and flea-free can not only make feral kitties happier, but they can also save lives. If you’d like to give your ‘community critters’ a helping hand this summer, here are a few things you can do to help: Provide Shelter There is no better way to beat the heat than a little shade. Offering feral and community cats a way to shelter from the sun is a great way to make their lives easier. Many pet and online stores offer shelters that are both insulated from the cold and reflective of sunlight and heat. But if you are making your own warm weather shelters, you’ll want to find material that is reflective of sunlight (light colors work best) and weatherproof. Although you can find ready-made dog and cat houses at your local pet store, it’s easy enough to make them yourself and much cheaper. You might even want to make a day of it with friends or your children. Lots of websites offer great tips on crafting ‘cat houses’ for feral kitties or strays who might need a little TLC this summer. For a few examples check out the Humane Society’s website, as well as Neighborhood Cat’s website and Alley Cat Allies. Although some of these designs are specifically for winter shelters, they can be used in summer as well. If you do decide to use bedding or straw, you will want to change it every other week to keep the shelter clean and free of parasites. The most important thing is that the bedding be kept dry. So be sure to place your ‘cat house’ in an area sheltered from the wind and rain. Shaded areas will also help keep the heat to a minimum. Fresh Water & Kibble Be sure to place fresh water and kibble near (by not right beside) the shelters. Leaving food right beside the shelters will attract predators and make the shelters less attractive (and safe) for their occupants. Place water bowls in the shade and make sure you choose light colors to reflect heat. You may even want to place a large block of ice in the center of the water dish so it can melt throughout the day and provide your community kitties with a cool treat. I’ve seen a few kitties who enjoy playing with ice chips in water, as well as licking ice. As for food, dry kibble is the easiest to provide (cost-wise and because it doesn’t attract insects like ‘wet’ food). But if you can afford some canned cat food, it is always a welcome …