What is Buddhist's perspective of cat sterilisation?

The other day, I met a friend who has great compassion for animals. She mentioned that recently, she has been trying to get more people to support the cause of sterilisation for stray cat.

Why sterilise stray cats?

There are thousands of cats and kittens living on the streets of Singapore and there are just not enough homes for all of them. Some live in terribly harsh conditions whilst others are lucky enough to be community cats and cared for by a committed feeder. This is why sterilisation is very important in order to humanely control the existing stray cat population to ensure sustainability.

On this note, I wonder what is a Buddhist’s perspective on this matter? Is it a virtuous act to support stray cats sterilisation? Or is it wrong to intervene with the lives of animals?

What’s your take?

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In the first place, a buddhist should not raise cats and other animals according to the Bodhisattva precepts in the Brahma Net Sutra(梵網经菩萨戒)and Sutra on the Buddha’s Bequeathed Teaching.(佛遗教经)

Karma is created by our intentions, perhaps our intention is not to harm but to save them, but because of our nature of ignorance and difficulty in recognizing subtle afflictions, we must have careful reflection on each decision and action, in this case, with a sense of remorse.

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Wow, thanks! I didn’t know that Buddhism does not support raising animals!

From the Brahma Net Sutra:

  1. A Bodhisattva should not raise cats, dogs. There are several reasons for this. One is compassion: cats eat other sentient beings, while pigs are raised to be eaten themselves and foxes for their skins or for medicinal purposes. Secondly, raising domestic animals gives rise to feelings of attachment, which is precisely what the cultivator seeks to avoid. It also takes time and effort, which would better be devoted to the “great matter of Birth and Death.” Yet, there are exceptions to this rule: to give temporary shelter to a starving cat in the middle of winter is clearly the right thing for a Bodhisattva disciple to do.

So in this case, while I’m not raising the animal, should we still support the cause of stray cats sterilisation? :sweat_smile:

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It depends on our intention:
Save them from being killed VS At our convenience?
There is no absolute right or wrong.

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Taking away a sentient being the rights to live normally is un exceptable . If you really know karma, then you won’t do it . The above is selfish act , every sentient being have the right to complete their 报身 naturally .