Vietnam’s Stray Cats and the Cat Meat Trade: Why it Exists and How You Can Help

Before we commence, I’m going to preface by way of announcing I really like Vietnam. This is my 2d time residing right here and Hoi An, and I in truth really feel so fortunate to be right here. Vietnam is a gorgeous nation with nice climate, beautiful folks, tasty meals, and superior seashores. The price of residing is unbelievable for virtual nomads, and I’ve an ideal high quality of existence right here.

However, the longer I reside in Vietnam the extra I know about one thing very culturally fascinating (and nerve-racking): Vietnam’s cat (and canine) meat industry, and Vietnam’s view of cats generally.

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I’m Not a Vegetarian So I Won’t Tell You What to Eat

Here’s the factor, I’m no longer a vegetarian, and I’m by no means going to inform folks what they may be able to and can’t devour (except it’s endangered). To some cultures, consuming pigs or cows is frightening, however many people devour them anyway. Other cultures continue to exist off horse meat, which might disillusioned maximum Americans. It’s the identical with cats and canines.

While I don’t have a large factor theoretically about the intake of cats and canines, what I do take factor with is animal cruelty, manufacturing facility farms, and folks STEALING PETS to devour them.

Also, the global affairs and anthropology primary in me unearths this all actually culturally fascinating, so I couldn’t lend a hand however percentage.

Vietnam cat meat

I will be able to’t believe consuming this little child!

People Steal Cats and Dogs to Sell for Meat

I knew that some (emphasis on some) folks in Vietnam ate cat and canine, however I had no concept that individuals if truth be told STEAL puppy cats and canines in Hoi An to promote to meat distributors. There are such a lot of posts on expat boards right here from individuals who’ve had their canines stolen from backyards or the seashore. Jack’s Cat Cafe even has a large wall round the assets to stay the cats in and the thieves out.

While that is no doubt a factor in Vietnam, particularly in Hoi An, it’s essential to notice that a lot of the locals are simply as disillusioned about those puppy thieves, and would by no means dream of consuming cat or canine.

Vietnam stray cats

Our foster young children Lady and Rory

Stray Cats Are Bad Luck…

This is a brand new one I came upon, and I’ve to mention it actually stunned me. As a lot of it’s possible you’ll know from Instagram and Facebook, Chris and I are actually fostering three little kittens thru Vietnam Cat Welfare and Jack’s Cat Cafe. We cleared the whole thing with our landlord previously, alternatively, after we introduced the kittens house, our landlord double checked to ensure our kittens weren’t from the boulevard, differently, they’d convey unhealthy success. Ummm… what?

Okay, so I’m going to start out by way of announcing our landlord is a tender, cosmopolitan, Vietnamese businesswoman who speaks very best English. So it no doubt got here as a little of a surprise when she stated that stray kittens would convey unhealthy success, type of like when my Chinese good friend informed me that shaving your underarms provides you with breast most cancers.

Now, I will be able to perceive if she used to be frightened about fleas, worms, and different insects, however no- she used to be frightened about unhealthy omens. Thankfully our kittens aren’t if truth be told from the boulevard. Some store proprietor’s cat had kittens and they had been dumped at Jack’s Cat Cafe in a plastic bag. (So we didn’t need to lie!)

Vietnam cats bad luck

Moggie a couple of weeks when we rescued her

So Many Injured and Abandoned Kitties

While this used to be a large surprise to us, it does type of make sense. No one in Vietnam turns out to actually wish to lend a hand stray cats or kittens, which is why you’ll regularly see them dumped or deserted. My previous foster cat Moggie used to be discovered as a kitten with a damaged leg after being hit by way of a bike and used to be rescued by way of our pals’ Vietnamese landlord. However, his neighbor wasn’t a large fan and attempted to persuade the landlord to toss Moggie in a bag with some rocks and drop her in the ocean. Ouch.

I’m very satisfied this type Vietnamese guy determined in opposition to throwing her in the ocean as a result of now she’s a more than pleased tripod kitty residing with our good friend in Danang. All it took used to be a cast month of diarrhea after some hefty trojan horse medicine and she used to be high quality! (I’ve by no means wiped clean up such a lot poop in my existence. Now I do know what having a toddler is like.)

eating cats good luck

Rory says: Don’t devour me!

Eating Cats for Good Luck

This entire dialog made Chris and I actually curious, so we did a little analysis. Apparently stray cats in Vietnam are thought to be “unlucky” which is why some Vietnamese households will devour cat meat at the get started of each and every month to thrust back unhealthy success.

Stray cats are unhealthy success… so let’s devour them? I assume that is smart.

Some Vietnamese folks view cats as evil as a result of their energy over unhealthy success. A Vietnamese cat butcher additionally informed the interviewer that consuming a cat’s backbone offers you agility, whilst Vietnam Cat Welfare said that cat urine drops into the ear has been prescribed for deafness and listening to issues.

I assume Vietnam is more or less like Ancient Egypt, aside from reasonably than worshiping cats, the Vietnamese culturally concern (and devour) them.

Vietnam cat meat trade

Say hi to foster child #three: Beanie!

Vietnam’s Fight Against the Cat and Dog Meat Trade

Hanoi has been cracking down on the cat meat industry for a myriad of causes. According to PAWS For Compassion, officers in Hanoi are “urging residents to stop eating dog meat as it could hurt the city’s reputation and lead to diseases like rabies. The Hanoi People’s Committee said the practice could tarnish the city’s image as a ‘civilised and modern capital.’”

While it’s nice the govt has begun cracking down in this, there are nonetheless over 1,000 cat and canine meat dealers in Hanoi by myself. Many cultural practices have company roots in society, and the cat and canine meat industry is not any other.

Vietnam cat meat trade

Rory and Beanie are too small to devour anyway

Most People in Vietnam Don’t Eat Cats

I simply wish to reiterate that no longer everybody in Vietnam eats cats or canines, and I’d most probably mission to mention that the general public (particularly in advanced towns) don’t torture or devour cats. However, this animosity in opposition to cats is beautiful prevalent right here in Hoi An, which is why puts like Vietnam Cat Welfare (sometimes called Jack’s Cat Cafe) have such a lot paintings to do.

Thankfully those puts do exist (PAWS For Compassion in Danang is any other nice group), and they’re making an enormous have an effect on right here in Central Vietnam. Vietnam Cat Welfare and Paws For Compassion have if truth be told begun a procedure of teaching locals on how you can correctly take care of their cats and kittens with nutritious meals and trojan horse medicine. PAWS for Compassion additionally works with youngsters to show them to be type to animals and the setting.

However, there may be nonetheless a TON of labor to be finished, and Jack’s nonetheless will get luggage of kittens dumped on their doorstep each and every few days.

My little young children present in a bag in Old Town

What to Do If You Find Abandoned Kittens in Vietnam

Vietnam Cat Welfare if truth be told has some improbable details about what to do when you discover a stray kitten in Vietnam. But for the sake of getting the whole thing in a single position, I’ll summarize it right here.

If you discover a stray kitten (or kittens) in Vietnam, first you wish to have to come to a decision if they want rescuing.

  1. Is it in truth deserted, or is there an opportunity its mother continues to be round someplace getting meals?
  2. Is it unwell or injured?
  3. Does the kitten glance wholesome or malnourished?
  4. Is the kitten being abused?
  5. Does it have a house within reach? Ask round.

Overall, except a kitten or cat is unwell, injured, malnourished or being abused, it’s higher to depart it be. If your kitten is really deserted and you understand for SURE that the mom isn’t coming again (you’ll test again in each and every few hours), then you’ll take it.

That stated, elevating a kitten below 3 weeks previous is very onerous with out its mom’s milk. If you notice an overly, very younger kitten, don’t take it except you’re 100% positive that it is deserted, and be ready for the incontrovertible fact that your kitten would possibly not continue to exist. You can be informed extra about how you can age a kitten right here.

It’s essential to needless to say many Vietnamese folks stay cats and kittens of their retail outlets and eating places, so there’s an opportunity that the kitten you simply discovered if truth be told belongs to any person! Please make sure to ask round ahead of you are taking an individual’s puppy!

injured cat Vietnam

Here’s what Moggie gave the look of after we were given her…

What to Do If Your Vietnamese Cat or Kitten Needs Rescuing

If you discover a cat or kitten that clearly wishes lend a hand, there are some things you’ll do.

1. Is Your Cat Injured?

If you discover a cat or kitten that has been hit by way of a bike or seems like it’s close to dying, you must take her to a neighborhood vet. Hoi An and Danang have a couple of actually just right puts, however when you reside in different places you’ll at all times ask on the native expat Facebook teams.

Veterinary care is if truth be told beautiful reasonable in Vietnam, and again and again folks will regularly pitch in that will help you pay for emergency hospital treatment when you ask and supply footage. I’ve observed a couple of folks pitch in to lend a hand any person pay for surgical operation for a cat who used to be hit by way of a bike. Some vets would possibly even come up with a cut price or do it without cost if the cat isn’t yours.

If your kitten is very unwell and isn’t consuming or ingesting, you’ll no doubt wish to take them to the vet in an instant. Most cats and kittens in Vietnam have worms and want de-worming medicine, however some are more healthy than others. When we were given Moggie, she used to be an absolute mess, and the worming medicine gave her diarrhea for a couple of weeks (which supposed taking her to the vet once more).

2. Can You Care For the Kittens?

Many cat rescue systems are bursting with cats. I imply, Jack’s Cat Cafe has SEVENTY CATS AND KITTENS. So please don’t suppose you’ll simply drop your kittens there with out asking. Jack’s assists in keeping unvaccinated kittens in cages if they may be able to’t discover a foster house (that is why I’m fostering!), and they just have such a lot of cages to be had.

If you’ll stay the cat or kittens for a month or two, I’d counsel doing this when you paintings on getting them vaccinated. You can then paintings on posting round in expat teams to peer if someone desires that will help you undertake. Many cat rescue puts might also will let you paintings to seek out properties for them as neatly, however they do have their arms a little complete with the cats and kittens they have already got.

PAWS for Compassion

Moggie vacationing at PAWS for Compassion

three. Contact Vietnam Cat Welfare (or a Local Equivalent)

If you actually want lend a hand, you’ll at all times touch your native cat safe haven. Let’s say you simply don’t have the cash for the scientific remedy, or you’re in a guesthouse and have nowhere to stay them, this may be a great time to achieve out for lend a hand. Even if those shelters have room, they may know of any person who mean you can.

Just please don’t drop off cats or kittens with out asking as a result of those puts would possibly not have room in an instant for an unvaccinated animal. The quickest option to get involved is thru Facebook both at Jack’s Cat Cafe.

Vietnam Cat Welfare

Our kitten Dragon again in Australia (we percentage her with Chris’ oldsters)

How to Help Vietnam’s Stray Cats

If you’re like me and you could have the greatest softest spot on your middle for cats and kittens, studying this newsletter most probably makes you wish to have to lend a hand. Well, fortunately there are a TON of how you’ll lend a hand Vietnam’s cats and kittens!

1. Adopt a New Forever Friend!

The #1 very best option to lend a hand the stray cats and kittens in Vietnam is to undertake one (or a number of). This is most effective supreme when you plan to stay your new fluffball perpetually. This way you both plan on staying in Vietnam perpetually, or you’re ready for the technique of bringing a cat with you while you go away Vietnam.

Vietnam Cat Welfare has a ton of cats and kittens that want adoption, so you’ll at all times touch them. Meanwhile, PAWS For Compassion has an inventory of to be had kitties right here.

Foster kitten vietnam

Foster your personal child like Rory!

2. Foster a Kitten in Vietnam

If you aren’t strong sufficient to undertake your personal cat or kitten in Vietnam, you’ll at all times lend a hand out by way of fostering. At Vietnam Cat Welfare, they’re at all times in search of new fosters. If you wish to have to foster, you’ll wish to be to be had for no less than 2 months. You’ll be answerable for meals, toys and having a look after the kittens, together with taking them to the vet for his or her vaccines. However, Vietnam Cat Welfare pays for his or her scientific remedy and vaccinations.

While fostering, you’ll additionally wish to take lots of footage of your kittens (no longer an issue for me, clearly) and report to Vietnam Cat Welfare about their personalities so they may be able to lend a hand get your kittens followed. You must additionally do your section to lend a hand search for any person to undertake them too!

PS- If someone in Vietnam desires to undertake Rory, Beanie, or Lady please let me know!

three. Volunteer and Jack’s Cat Cafe

Vietnam Cat Welfare/ Jack’s Cat Cafe in Hoi An and PAWS for Compassion in Danang are at all times in search of new volunteers. If you intend to be in the house for a couple of weeks (no less than three weeks in the case of Hoi An), you’ll volunteer complete or part-time!

I chatted with the proprietor of Vietnam Cat Welfare/ Jack’s Cat Cafe and she stated that full-time volunteers can be given a unfastened position to stick if it’s to be had, differently, they’ll paintings to seek out you a room in a pleasing guesthouse for an overly steep cut price (we’re speaking $five an evening).

Volunteer at Jack’s Cat Cafe!

Volunteers will lend a hand feed and take care of the cats, paintings in the cat cafe, and too can lend a hand with social media and outreach. Jack’s has an overly energetic Facebook and Instagram, and they’ve even been running on native outreach in the Hoi An group to teach folks on how you can take care of cats and kittens.

If you actually wish to have a significant revel in whilst touring, I extremely recommend volunteering complete time with Jack’s Cat Cafe or PAWS For Compassion in Danang. If you reside in Hoi An or Danang and wish to volunteer a couple of days per week, each are open to part-time long-term volunteers too!

Donate cats vietnam

Help kitties like Moggie!

four. Donate Money For Food and Vaccines!

If you don’t reside in Vietnam or can’t lend a hand in particular person, Vietnam Cat Welfare and Paws For Compassion are at all times in search of donations of meals or cash. A donation of simply $10 feeds one cat for a complete month, whilst $30 would duvet all the prices of deworming and vaccinations for a unmarried kitten. (I informed you Vietnam is loopy reasonable!)

Donate to Vietnam Cat Welfare

PAWS for Compassion additionally suggests preserving a fundraiser for the cats in Vietnam! This will also be finished by way of operating a marathon, preserving a bake sale, together with it as a part of your marriage ceremony registry, or inquiring for donations as a birthday provide.

Jack’s Cat Cafe just lately featured a tender lady who requested for donations as a birthday present!

Donate to PAWS for Compassion

Do you want to volunteer with cats in Vietnam? Heres how you can volunteer with animals on your travels and make a difference! #hoian #volunteer #animals #cats #kittens #vietnam

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Things Are Changing Slowly But Surely in Vietnam

While the remedy of stray cats in Vietnam positive isn’t supreme, issues are converting slowly however indubitably with the lend a hand of organizations like Vietnam Cat Welfare and PAWS for Compassion. The govt is now cracking down on the cat and canine meat industry, which may even with a bit of luck decrease the robbery of family pets.

Many locals also are slowly coming round to the concept of cats and kittens. I do know such a lot of Vietnamese individuals who welcome keep kittens into their properties and eating places and take nice care of them. From Taco Ngon’s little kitten to our maid who took in a batch of stray kittens remaining 12 months.

For now, the very best factor we will do is teach, undertake, and donate, whether or not its time or cash. Hopefully, we will get started making those kittens a bit extra ‘lucky’ one rescue challenge at a time.

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