Berlin cat owners should take this into account as of June 9

From June 9 in Berlin

Outdoor cats only microchipped and neutered – cat owners need to know this now


picture: dpa / Stefan Geithner

From June 9, cats can roam for free in Berlin only if they are neutered and microchipped. But what if my cat is sick or I can’t pay the veterinary costs for the procedures? The most important questions and answers at a glance.

From June 9, Berlin cats who are not neutered or equipped with a microchip may leave the home or apartment in a controlled manner, for example on a leash or in a fenced area. The Berlin Senate decided this last year by the Berlin Cat Protection Decree.

Not all cat owners can or want to spay or neuter their pets. And who’s supposed to control that anyway? Answers to the most important questions about Berlin’s cat protection law.

Which cats does the regulation apply to?

The regulation applies to all cats found in Berlin and capable of breeding. By decree, the Berlin Senate wants to limit the number of cats living freely in Berlin and thus reduce their suffering as well.

Why should cats be neutered outdoors?

The Berlin Animal Protection Association supports the new regulation because the suffering of street cats can be reduced by committing to neutering them. Therefore, domestic cats that are not isolated outside mate with free-living cats. The offspring would then survive outside with disease and starvation, if they survived, according to the Animal Protection Society.

Usually a pair of kittens has offspring twice a year. Statistically, three kittens survived the litter. If bred unimpeded, it would lead to the existence of more than 80 million cats after ten years, according to the association’s calculations.

What happens if I don’t comply with a Cat Protection Order?

If a fertile cat is found outside without supervision, authorities may order neutering. If the owners are not identified within five days, the authorities may carry out the procedure. Before the castration, the veterinarian must perform a general examination and assessment of the state of health or assess the suitability of the anesthesia for castration. All costs incurred for housing and neutering cats can be charged to the owners.

How should compliance with the measures be monitored?

The Senate Department of Environment, Mobility, Consumer Protection, and Climate (SenUMVK) assumes that counties will assign this task to regulatory authorities. According to the department, the targeted search and control of free-roaming cats should not be done.

But it could be, for example, that infected cats have been found. In such a situation, if the owners cannot be determined within five days, the authorities have the right to order castration of the animal.

What is the cost of scales?

According to the Berlin Animal Welfare Association, you can castrate your cat for around 80 euros. For cats it costs about 140 euros. In addition, there are between 30 and 50 euros for chopping.

I can’t stand these actions. What should I do?

The Berlin Animal Welfare Association provides support for owners who cannot sterilize their animals and their microchips. Prerequisite: The need must be demonstrated, for example with proof of pension, BaFög notice, housing benefit notice or ALG1/ALG2 notice. Alternatively, you can of course ask your vet if they will agree to the costs.

My cat already has a tattoo. Do you still need a chip?

Yes, the Cat Protection Ordinance only states the microchip as identification.

My cat cannot be neutered because she is sick or cannot tolerate the anesthesia. What now?

There is no exception here: you should not allow your cat to break out uncontrolled in this situation. If the animal is caught outside anyway, authorities can grant an exception to a castration order – but only if your vet confirms in writing that your cat is unable to be sedated.

What data is collected during registration?

Your gender, fertility, chip identification number, name and address will be recorded. The registry office may not pass more data to the authorities.

Can I also spay my cat by spaying or chemical castration?

Chemical castration using medication and sterilization (cutting sperm or fallopian tubes) are not recognized as sterilization methods within the meaning of the Cat Protection Act.

How many cats live freely in Berlin?

Tierschutzverein für Berlin looks after around 250 free cat feeding stations in Berlin with a team of volunteers. According to their own statements, they neutered nearly 1,000 of these cats last year and provided nearly 100,000 boxes of free cat food.

There are no reliable figures for the number of cats living on the streets of Berlin, as it is difficult to record and count the free-living cats.

Broadcast: rbb24 on June 2, 2022 at 9:50 pm


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