Safe Paws

This photographic project, made in collaboration with the Stichting Amsterdamse Zwerfkatten (SAZ), aims to shed light on the urgent importance of caring for and protecting stray cats. Focusing on the crucial role of sterilization and neutering, I intend to create an empathetic visual narrative that resonates with viewers and unveils the vital role that responsible cat population management plays in ensuring the well-being of feline communities.​

In the Netherlands, the issue of stray and feral cats is significant, and they often face harsh living conditions. Moreover, unrestricted breeding can exacerbate the overpopulation problem, leading also to the necessity of having to resort, sometimes, to euthanasia.​

The project seeks to connect emotionally with the audience focusing on environmental portraits of felines while underscoring the consequences of neglecting sterilization and castration. By showcasing the dedicated care provided by SAZ I aim to inform the audience about the vital role played by animal welfare organisations.​ The photographs are complemented by some captions, offering insights into the challenges faced by cats.​

To stabilize and reduce the stray and feral cat population while improving their welfare the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program is very effective. ​
In TNR, cats are trapped, checked for their health, spayed or neutered and then returned to their original location. 
Neutering and spaying can improve a cat’s health and longevity. ​
​Neutered male cats are less likely to roam and get into fights, reducing the risk of injuries and transmission of diseases. Spaying female cats eliminates the risk of uterine infections and greatly reduces the chance of mammary tumours.​
In seven years, one unaltered female cat, her mate and her offspring can produce around 370,000 kittens.​
The mortality rate among these kittens is high, as they often struggle to survive in harsh conditions, facing challenges such as lack of proper care and nutrition. 
Later, the cat is given a safe and comfortable place to recover and rehabilitate. The SAZ’s facilities offer a refuge where cats can regain their strength and adapt to a more stable environment.
The return process of the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program can be either in a colony or in a family setting.
Both approaches aim to address the overpopulation of stray and feral cats and improve their health, but the specific method of return depends on the circumstances and individual cats’ characteristics.
Truly feral cats, and therefore not so comfortable around humans, are placed in colonies.
Volunteers are really helpful and caring. They regularly visit the colonies to monitor the cats’ well-being and to provide a regular source of food and clean water.
For those cats with the potential to become companion animals and who are considered suitable for adoption, efforts are actively made to search for loving and responsible families willing to provide them with a forever home.

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