Pets are our responsibility. Hence, it is permissible for us to care for them to the best of our ability as long as it does not constitute any form of cruelty to the pet and does not contradict Islamic teachings. Neutering or sterilizing a pet is permissible as it is not considered as a form of cruelty towards the animal itself unless the procedure is performed when it is still conscious. A comparison can be made with similar procedures performed on humans such as ligation and vasectomy which does not constitute any prolonged pain.
Hence, there is nothing wrong with sterilizing an animal as it does not involve any prolonged pain. It is also not a form of changing Allah's creation as it is performed with the intention to lessen the number of stray cats and uncontrolled breeding. What is forbidden is changing Allah's creation without any valid reason.
What is the ruling of feeding wild animals?
In Singapore’s context, there are relevant authorities
whose tasks are to oversee the welfare of all animals,
in particular the wild ones. Arrangement as such is in-line with the
Islamic principles which encourage preserving natural
habitat and safeguarding the safety of all creations of God.
Unauthorized feeding of wild animals, i.e. stray cats,
birds, etc. may interfere and cause disruption to the
life of wild animals. Therefore, feeding them should be carried out and managed
by the relevant authorities only, as they are in a better position to
ascertain the most appropriate way of intervention and the long-term effect of
any of such interventions.
As Muslims, refraining ourselves from feeding the animals
is not akin to purposely starving them. In
fact, we are responsibly contributing to the larger benefit of these animals,
as we are not changing their natural behaviour/ecosystem, that is to be able to
source out for their own food, rather than depending on humans – which may
eventually disrupt the natural course of life for the animals
and even cause nuisance to public.