PPAW recommends that each feral cat brought in for neuter/spay have their ear tipped. Following are some Frequently Asked Questions about ear tipping.
Why do you recommend ear tipping? A tipped ear is a sign to other cat trappers/caretakers that a cat has been spayed or neutered. Without a tipped ear, the only way to tell if a feral cat has been neutered is to put him/her under anesthesia, shave the belly and search for a surgery scar. A tipped ear will prevent the animal from undergoing the stress from being put under anesthesia.
Does ear tipping hurt the cat? Ear tipping does not hurt the cat if done under anesthesia and under sterile conditions.
What is involved in the ear tipping surgery? The procedure involves removing approximately a quarter-inch off the tip of the cat’s left ear in a straight line cut. This is done while the cat is anesthetized for spay/neutering and healing is rapid.
What are the other benefits from ear tipping? In addition to avoiding needless trapping and surgery, ear tipping also benefits the cats by clearly identifying them as members of a managed TNR colony. In many instances, animal control will notify an organization whenever an ear tipped cat ends up in a shelter, giving that organization an opportunity to find the caretaker. In addition, depending on local politics, animal control may refrain from trapping ear tipped cats, knowing that they “belong” to someone.
How much does is cost to ear tip a cat at PPAW? Ear tipping is performed for no additional charge. Please request an ear tip at the time of check-in for surgery. It will be marked on the animal’s surgical record and the ear tip procedure will be performed during surgery.