Studies are currently being conducted by Dubai Municipality
11 May 2019| Last updated on 19 January 2020
Did you know? It is estimated that there are tens of thousands of stray cats in Dubai.
Because of these staggering numbers, Dubai Municipality receives complaints on a frequent basis about stray cats and unhygienic, unsafe feeding methods adopted by many feeders across the emirate.
However, it seems there are plans to combat this as Dubai Municipality is studying the possibility of introducing feeding stations to help regulate feeding stray cats in Dubai streets, according to Gulf News.
The civic body is completing a survey of residents to learn their feedback on the matter. Over 1,000 people will be covered in the survey before any decision is made on the matter.
“There are no plans to implement feeding stations at the moment. The purpose of this survey is to study the possibility of implementing it and its environmental effects,” said the statement from the civic body’s Public Health Services Department.
It said the municipality is “facing a big challenge regarding the feeding of stray cats in an unorganised manner in different areas of the emirate.”
Whilst any decision about cat feeding stations is yet to be determined, there are animal activists in the emirate willing to help implement them, including Yanni Animal Welfare (YAW Dubai) who are ready to install feeding stations.
Understandably, animal welfare groups welcomed the move to have stray cat feeding stations, but some say that a proper TNR program should also be in place for volunteers to help limit the number of stray cats in Dubai.
TNR in Dubai - how you can help
Trap, neuter and release (TNR) is the most effective method for managing feral and stray cats... Not only is it the most effective, but it has also been proven to be the most human method in controlling the stray cat population growth in Dubai and the UAE.
It works just as it says on the tin - trap, neuter, and release. Animal welfare organisations and rescuers, as well as dedicated members of the community, work to trap feral and stray cats safely and humanely.
They then, if able to, pay for the animal to be spayed/neutered by a licenced veterinarian. Once the animal is fully healed, they're then returned to their territory - ideally where caretakers can provide them with regular food and water. After a few days of being released, cats will return to their usual routines.