Feral Cat Ear Notching

Here is a post for Throwback Thursday that I did in 2014. It is about how feral cats are identified by an ear notch or the more noticible ear-tipping. This is one of the blogs most popular posts.

Bad Cat Chris

We know nothing about Frankie’s back story. We adopted him at Petsmart from The Pinellas County Animal Services. The person at Petsmart did not know anything about him so we just didn’t think much about it, although I did send a Facebook message to the animal services with his reference number but, even though they have an active Facebook page, I got no response.

Our cat Frankie

I couldn’t help being perplexed, though, by the ear notch on his right ear. I have heard about ear notching before. It is the method of cutting a notch in a cat’s ear after spaying or Neutering. Sometimes it is called ear tipping when they remove about a centimeter off the tip of the ear.

Ear notched cat Ear tipped cat

Ear notching or tipping is mostly done to feral cats involved in a Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) program. It identifies that they have been fixed so they…

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11 thoughts on “Feral Cat Ear Notching

  1. databbiesotrouttowne

    community cats around here are ear tipped as well as micro chipped. they also receive spay/neuter and vaccines. some area’s of the city have a larger community cat “neighborhood”
    than others, where TT is located, it’s not as great which I’m thankful full for, since two major highways are within walking distance and I always fear for their safety~~ ♥♥

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      I like the microchipping idea. We used to go to a German restaurant that was on a very busy street. They took care of stray cats and we would often see them hanging around the restaurant, including by the front door, close to the traffic. As far as I could tell, these cats knew enough to stay away from the street. Perhaps a very busy road is better than a moderatly busy one because it is an obvious threat.

  2. Catwoods

    Our Franklin was TNRed and ear-tipped by persons unknown when he walked into a friend’s house at the age of about 10 months and acted friendly. In some ways he’s not fully socialized though.

  3. Susan

    I didn’t know about ear tipping/notching either until a few years ago when I started watching Jackson Galaxy and Kitten Lady. I haven’t seen any ear-tipped strays or ferals in my city though. Maybe we don’t have any official TNR programs yet.

    Our city pound does offer low-cost spay/neuter. We have a few stray cats in our neighborhood, and my husband and I wanted to have them sterilized. Unfortunately, the pound asks for your voter’s ID, which neither of us have. It’s political, I guess. 😉

      1. Susan

        The city pound says it’s proof of residency, because the low-cost spay and neuter program is only for city residents. But my driver’s license shows our address just the same, and they won’t accept it. Go figure. 🙃


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