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Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

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ban_sumana
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Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby ban_sumana » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 9:52 am

Would you allow your under 6 year old child to play with stray cats under adult supervision?
Are the stray cats in Singapore known to carry rabies or other infectious diseases that can be transmitted through cat scratches or bites?

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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby ecureilx » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 11:41 am

ban_sumana wrote:Would you allow your under 6 year old child to play with stray cats under adult supervision?
Are the stray cats in Singapore known to carry rabies or other infectious diseases that can be transmitted through cat scratches or bites?

Yes for first

No for second

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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby JR8 » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 12:28 pm

ban_sumana wrote:Would you allow your under 6 year old child to play with stray cats under adult supervision? Are the stray cats in Singapore known to carry rabies or other infectious diseases that can be transmitted through cat scratches or bites?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat-scratch_disease
'It is most commonly found in children following a scratch or bite from a cat[2] within about one to two weeks.'

My father-in-law got this here in SG from his own domestic cat, and it required him to spend 10 days in hospital!

See also: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_r ... onotic.cfm
.... for a pretty thorough overview of the cat vs human health concerns.

So, in simple terms, I'd say don't allow the child to play with stray cats. Not even under supervision, since you cannot judge the character of a random cat. If the child was bitten or scratched, I'd expect you'd want to take him to the doctor ASAP as a precaution. At that age the simple warning that a cat bite/scratch will require him to go to hospital, might be enough to drive the message home.


I was going to say 'don't be silly, cats can't get rabies, and it's mainly as issue concerning dogs, which is why you don't see stray dogs here!' ... but I checked the vectors of rabies, and was surprised to read the below... :o That said, there is no rabies on this island.

--- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabies
'Most animals can be infected by the virus and can transmit the disease to humans. Infected bats,[27][28] monkeys, raccoons, foxes, skunks, cattle, wolves, coyotes, dogs, mongooses (normally yellow mongoose)[29] and cats present the greatest risk to humans.'

--- see also
'Cases of rabies may be unheard of in Singapore, but you may want to take precautions if you are travelling overseas.'
http://www.healthxchange.com.sg/healthy ... ction.aspx

p.s. welcome to the forum!
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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby JR8 » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 12:31 pm

ecureilx wrote: Yes for first
No for second


:lol:
Just saw your reply. So in these terms my reply is:
No to the first
Yes to the second
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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby x9200 » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 4:19 pm

Odd question, even more odd the first response. JR8's points completely valid. Any strayed animal - you know nothing about them. Your kid may be bitten and what you are going to do next? Maybe this cat ate a half rotten rat just few moments earlier. It is not like their paws and teeth are sterile.

Even if the cats are well behaving and disease free (what I doubt) they can carry flies and such so if you don't want to have them at home, stay away.

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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby ecureilx » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 5:34 pm

x9200 wrote:Odd question, even more odd the first response. JR8's points completely valid. Any strayed animal - you know nothing about them. Your kid may be bitten and what you are going to do next? Maybe this cat ate a half rotten rat just few moments earlier. It is not like their paws and teeth are sterile.

Even if the cats are well behaving and disease free (what I doubt) they can carry flies and such so if you don't want to have them at home, stay away.

In Singapore context the stray cats aren't stray per se vs stray dogs

Most Stray cats gets sterilized and vaccinated by the cat welfare society or similar "fat" cat welfare groups (those groups have more spare cash than any animal welfare group and have a lot of tai tais as members .. I know it for a fact ) some say richer than Greenpeace or Sea Shepherd

And if not all majority cats too get well fed,fedit it is common to.see obese over fed fat cats in HDB blocks .. rare to see a hdb cat even hunting for food and digging the trash bins. That is news if it happens ..

and some bungalow residents I have seen driving in Mercs and Beemers drive to HDB blocks to feed / water the already obese cats ..

I do agree on flies but with their lazy life, action limited to the times they are in heat or pretending to defend their territory .. even flies will leave a lazy cat I guess ...

Unlike stray dogs which really are strays

And stray dogs have been known to attack joggers and cyclists..

Now if you don't live in hDb .. you may not be exposed to pampered cats ...

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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby JR8 » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 6:04 pm

Perhaps a more accurate word than 'stray' is 'feral', well, it is what would be used in England. Said cats have not strayed (from their owner), they effectively live wild, surrounded by humans.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_organism

The word feral[*1] is also used to describe some people's behaviour[*2]

-----
*1
1. existing in a natural state, as animals or plants; not domesticated or cultivated; wild.
2. having reverted to the wild state, as from domestication:
"a pack of feral dogs roaming the woods."
3. of or characteristic of wild animals; ferocious; brutal.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/feral?s=t
-----

*2
'Many adults think children are 'feral', survey finds
Almost half of Britons think children are violent and starting to behave like animals, a Barnardo's survey suggests.'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15568442

'Feral youths: How a generation of violent, illiterate young men are living outside the boundaries of civilised society'
www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1214 ... ciety.html
-----------------------

Given the choice, I'd stay very well clear of both feral cats and children.
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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby ecureilx » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 6:16 pm

JR8 wrote:-

Given the choice, I'd stay very well clear of both feral cats and children.



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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby JR8 » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 6:44 pm

I'm unaware of there being the equivalent of 'feral youth' in SG, so maybe it's lost in a cultural-warp.
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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby PNGMK » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 8:20 pm

I almost lost my ring finger due to a Singapore stray cat bite that carried something into the sub-dermal layer. The doc was concerned that I could lose my hand. It was concerning as my hand swelled up in a matter of hours while I was on a flight from Singapore to Brisbane (I was bitten at a hawker stall just prior to my wife dropping me off at the airport). Fortunately I had the sense to take my ring off mid flight as I knew something was amiss. I don't recall the bacteria involved but the lady doc in Brisbane (a Singaporean) said all stray cats in Singapore should be exterminated as they all carry it in their mouths - I was not the first she had dealt with. She was concerned enough to make me ring her the next few days every morning.

I would NOT let my child get within striking range of a stray's teeth or claws.
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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby JR8 » Sat, 28 Feb 2015 8:54 pm

PNGMK wrote: It was concerning as my hand swelled up in a matter of hours


This is what happened to my FIL; in fact it started with just his hand, but very soon his whole arm swelled up too. Maybe he was a little complacent, after all it was his own cat, and I don't think it's the sort of thing you might commonly expect to happen. But he was a very healthy man at that point in time, and anything that can result in 10 days warded in hospital should not be taken lightly IMO.

Good job you got to that doc PNG, and perhaps fortuitous that she was SGn, so there were no doubts in her mind precisely what it was.
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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 01 Mar 2015 9:32 am

JR8 wrote:
PNGMK wrote: It was concerning as my hand swelled up in a matter of hours


This is what happened to my FIL; in fact it started with just his hand, but very soon his whole arm swelled up too. Maybe he was a little complacent, after all it was his own cat, and I don't think it's the sort of thing you might commonly expect to happen. But he was a very healthy man at that point in time, and anything that can result in 10 days warded in hospital should not be taken lightly IMO.

Good job you got to that doc PNG, and perhaps fortuitous that she was SGn, so there were no doubts in her mind precisely what it was.


Needle sharp teeth covered in bacteria - perfect poisoning machines (and I like cats). Yes - she was on top of her game - she worked at BUPA "international" clinic on the Queen St Mall in Brisbane CBD area. The flight landed in the morning - I went into the office and asked the Singaporean girl who worked at our Brisbane reception who I could see nearby.... I got in within the hour to see her (our office was on Edward St just a short walk away).
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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby x9200 » Sun, 01 Mar 2015 10:37 am

It may have something to do with the climate (proximity to the equator) with some not so nice bacteria living in the environment. Not that far away, the Komodo dragons use this principle to kill their preys.

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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby ecureilx » Sun, 01 Mar 2015 11:19 am

PNGMK wrote:. I don't recall the bacteria involved but the lady doc in Brisbane (a Singaporean) said all stray cats in Singapore should be exterminated as they all carry it in their mouths - I was not the first she had dealt with. .


The tai tais of CAT welfare society aren't gonna be happy to hear that




Ps, my spell check keeps changing cats to cars

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Re: Parenting ...how safe are stray cats of Singapore

Postby JR8 » Sun, 01 Mar 2015 5:04 pm

x9200 wrote:It may have something to do with the climate (proximity to the equator) with some not so nice bacteria living in the environment. Not that far away, the Komodo dragons use this principle to kill their preys.


Yes, I'd heard that, and read the warnings for visitors. It sounds like a well evolved symbiotic relationship: The bacteria help kill the prey, and in return get a comfy home and free home-delivery food :) Similarly you often see big Monitor lizards up at Tioman and I've been warned that their bite can cause the same result.

I was trying to confirm that the latter is a bacterial issue, but ended up finding out something unexpected, from a 2009 academic paper (28 co-authors!); maybe for you too!

Ex: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.
'A central role for venom in predation by Varanus komodoensis (Komodo Dragon) and the extinct giant Varanus (Megalania) priscus'
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690028/
'ABSTRACT
The predatory ecology of Varanus komodoensis (Komodo Dragon) has been a subject of long-standing interest and considerable conjecture. Here, we investigate the roles and potential interplay between cranial mechanics, toxic bacteria, and venom. Our analyses point to the presence of a sophisticated combined-arsenal killing apparatus. We find that the lightweight skull is relatively poorly adapted to generate high bite forces but better adapted to resist high pulling loads. We reject the popular notion regarding toxic bacteria utilization. Instead, we demonstrate that the effects of deep wounds inflicted are potentiated through venom with toxic activities including anticoagulation and shock induction. Anatomical comparisons of V. komodoensis with V. (Megalania) priscus fossils suggest that the closely related extinct giant was the largest venomous animal to have ever lived.
...
Controversially, the proposition that utilization of pathogenic bacteria facilitates the prey capture (4, 5) has been widely accepted despite a conspicuous lack of supporting evidence for a role in predation. In contrast, recent evidence has revealed that venom is a basal characteristic of the Toxicofera reptile clade (6), which includes the varanid lizards (7), suggesting a potential role of venom in prey capture by V. komodoensis that has remained unexplored. This is consistent with prey animals reported as being unusually quiet after being bitten and rapidly going into shock (4) and the anecdotal reports of persistent bleeding in human victims after bites (including B.G.F.'s personal observations). Shock-inducing and prolonged bleeding pathophysiological effects are also characteristic of helodermatid lizard envenomations (cf. ref. 8), consistent with the similarity between helodermatid and varanid venoms (6).
... We also consider the relative roles of pathogenic bacteria vs. envenomation.
... [The venoms] Molecular complexity and expression levels were comparable to those documented for venomous snakes (cf. ref. 14).
... Pure V. komodoensis natriuretic toxin was demonstrated to have the same potent endothelium-independent hypotensive effect as the crude venom (Fig. 4) isoforms from V. varius (6) and Oxyuranus microlepidotus (15) venoms.

-----------------

The latter being http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inland_taipan
'The inland taipan is considered the most venomous snake in the world; based on the median lethal dose value in mice, its venom, drop for drop, is by far the most toxic of any snake – much more so than even sea snakes[9][10][11] – and it has the most toxic venom of any reptile when tested on human heart cell culture.'

How about that! :shock:

And the paper continues... 'It has been argued that as an alternative or adjunct to direct physical trauma V. komodoensis possesses pathogenic bacteria in its saliva (4, 5) capable of delivering lethal toxic effects through induction of sepsis and bacteremia in its prey (4). Supposedly V. komodoensis tracks the infected prey item or, alternatively, another V. komodoensis specimen benefits from an opportunistic feed. Neither of these scenarios, however, has actually been documented. Regardless, septicemia is popularly accepted as an integral part of the predatory ecology. The feeding behavior of V. komodoensis has also been interpreted within this framework, such as being an altruistic behavior with a group level benefit. Further, it has been speculated that bacterial growth and delivery are facilitated by the production of copious quantities of bloody saliva (4). Although wild-caught individuals have been shown to harbor a variety of oral bacteria, no single pathogen was found to be present in all V. komodoensis studied (5).
...We conclude that there is no compelling evidence for the hypothesized role of pathogenic bacteria in the predatory ecology of V. komodoensis.'


The whole paper is pretty remarkable, that is just a few representative points.
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