ARE STRAY CATS BEING POISONED?
These last days we have heard some GA residents are worried about the increasing number of stray cats at the area, and about the high rate of mortality, which is supposed to be caused by poisoning.
It is practically impossible to know the exact number of cats without an owner, which are living in GA. Normally; the number of individuals of this kind of animal groups is quite constant during the year, which means the number of births equals more or less the number of deaths.
The subjective perception of a suddenly increased number of individuals from December to March happens because that is the moment of the feline reproductive season. Females are in season, so they spend the whole night meowing, and sooner or later several “tom cats meetings” appear around them. Fights at night become very common. For all those reasons feline presence gets much more evident despite the real number of cats is the same.
In summer, the situation is usually the opposite: cats spend most of the day hiding from extreme temperatures, and, since human population at GA is 2 or 3 times bigger in summer, cats avoid humans.
The real peak of feline population will happen in about 2 months, when the females that have been in season in December and January give birth to their kitten. Spring is the moment when kittens will leave their nests for learning to find food for themselves. Finally, in summer, when kitten become young adults, they separate from their brothers and sisters and they start a totally independent life.
Santa Pola Town Hall is trying to regulate the number of stray cats. For example: only authorized people (those who have obtained a special license from the Town Hall) are allowed to feed street cats. Feeding cats without having this special license is strictly forbidden.
Of course, using poisoned baits is illegal, but unfortunately we have confirmed at our practice they are used sometimes at GA, especially near the game preserve.
Most people who see a dead animal at the street or at the country think it has been poisoned, and, as a matter of fact, poisoning and heart attack is the first thing to suspect when a sudden death happens. Possibly, if we find several dead animals at the same area, poisoning could be a real possibility, but the absence of wounds or blood in a corpse is not enough to suspect a poisoning.
What do we have to do if we find a dead animal and we think it could be a poisoning? We can tell Local Police or Seprona (the environmental division of Guardia Civil). Taking pictures can be very useful, but if we have to touch the corpse, we must protect our hands, just in case. Some poisons are so powerful that the poisoned animal dies in a matter of minutes, and the quantity of toxic substance that is in its body, is enough to be dangerous for other animals or even people who come close and touch it.
Gran Alacant Exotics
Tel: 966 698 569