SINGAPORE: A six-inch wound across the back of a cat wasn’t what Lang Ren Jee expected to see after making her rounds feeding community cats at her block in Ang Mo Kio on May 9.
“I saw this cat crouched against the wall looking quite scared. I approached it and it allowed me to stroke him," the 64-year-old told CNA.
“I wondered why it was so quiet and so still. Then I saw, on the side of its body facing the wall, a slash wound. It was about 10cm to 13cm, but it wasn’t deep.”
According to Ms Lang, this is not the only "slashing case". She had seen five previously.
Animal welfare group SPCA said on Friday (May 21) that there have been a total of 10 cats with similar wounds in Ang Mo Kio, after an injured cat was first spotted at the end of April.
"The injuries appear to be deep linear slash-type wounds and it is likely a sharp and dangerous object was used," said SPCA executive director Dr Jaipal Singh Gill.
"This is both an animal as well as a human safety issue. If there is someone with sadistic tendencies harming the cats, they can easily do the same to people."
The incidents occurred around several Housing Board blocks in Ang Mo Kio - 302, 316B, 335, 337, 343, and 346.
So far, one cat has been treated at SPCA and has recovered well, said Dr Gill. Most of the other injured cats have been treated in private clinics.
He added that the incidents have been reported to the authorities who are investigating.
Another regular cat feeder in Ang Mo Kio, Nicole Chan, told CNA that the first batch of injured cats was discovered around Apr 25 to May 4. More injured cats were then found around May 19.
The first batch comprised family cats, while three out of five in the second batch were feral cats.
Among the feral cats are a mother and daughter pair, said Ms Chan, adding that the mother cat was found with two slash wounds on her back.
Ms Chan, 33, said she visits two of the injured cats - Boy Boy and Torrie - who are under medical boarding at The Animal Lodge.
“I’m in touch with their primary feeders, but basically my involvement is providing them information. With Torrie, I haven’t managed to get in touch with any of its feeders. Boy Boy has two feeders who live in the same block,” she said.
“The depth of the wound differs based on how the cat reacts, but reports from the vet were consistent in describing the injuries.”
The SPCA is appealing to residents around the Ang Mo Kio blocks for assistance - to look out for suspicious people and to help watch over the community cats.
"As they do so, they should abide by the COVID-19 safe management measures in place and stay safe," said Dr Gill
“We will be putting up appeal for information posters and distributing flyers in the affected neighbourhood. We will do this without interacting with the residents in light of the present COVID-19 situation.”
Anyone with information in relation to these incidents can call SPCA’s 24/7 hotline at 6287 5355 (extension 9) or email inspector [at] spca.org.sg. Information provided will be treated in the strictest of confidence, said SPCA.
CNA has contacted Ang Mo Kio Town Council for information.