(Spay & Neuter) That Darn Cat!

I wrote about the importance of people spaying and neutering their cat in December 2007, long before I started MyAnimalActivist and my mission of promoting responsible pet ownership.

Here is what I had to say-

Time to RANT!!!! Why do “country folk” find it purrfectly okay to have twenty cats running around their farm, breeding, getting hit on the highway, finding their way to my house where my kids fall in love with them, my dog tries to attack them and Adam finds himself playing vet to fix them?!

My “neighbors” across the county road have a cat problem that all started with two cats that they like, or so my neighbor lady says. Hello? Spay or neuter those darn cats.  Yes, you start out with one or two but they like to have babies and pretty soon you have a dozen.  Once upon returning a stray kitten found in the middle of the road to my neighbor’s house, Adam and Sage brought the kitten back to their house and counted TWELVE cats!

But this neighbor is in complete denial.

Below is my last phone conversation with the woman-

ME: I’m concerned about your little kittens traveling across the highway to our house.

NEIGHBOR: “We have one cat. The other (kittens) are strays.”

ME: You only have one cat?

NEIGHBOR:  “Well, we have two that we like. They are really good for getting rid of mice and squirrels. I think I need to take a trip to the Humane Society and haul some in.”

ME:  You know, it’s pretty cheap to sterilize your cat and than you can keep the ones you like for mice control and you won’t have baby after baby after baby kitty spiraling out of control.

NEIGHBOR:  “Yeah. Maybe that is what I should do.”

So, ten of the twelve cats are strays?! Come on people.  I don’t think “strays” come up to you wanting to be held and played with by small children. These cats have been completely socialized and domesticated.

Poor things. Okay, I’m stepping off my soap box.

Meanwhile, this issue is hitting me hard again today.  A feral cat had kittens under a friend Gena’s porch.  Two nights ago, around ten p.m., Gena and I used tuna to bait and catch the extremely shy kittens.  At the time, they were so shy Gena actually had to trap one, a beautiful boy kitty with her sweatshirt as he was eating.

I took three kitties home, to socialize and they are doing well and settling in nicely.  Meanwhile, I can in reality, only responsibly care for two of them.  Consequently, Gena and I will do our best to help find the third, a girl kitten we’ve nicknamed “Hello Kitty,” a good home.

Also, Gena is working on getting Mama and the remaining babies inside.  The plan is to sterilize Mama, and find good homes for the kitties- homes were the people will commit to responsible pet ownership by promising to spay/neuter their cat.

So, you will see some new “models” soon here.  🙂  Here are some pics of Trouble, Tokyo, and Hello Kitty.

Unfortunately, my experiences are not isolated.  There are many people who can share stories of the overwhelming population explosion of cats.  Meanwhile, it is a problem that touches both urban and rural areas.

However, there are groups volunteering in different ways to try and solve this problem.

Besides shelters that have promoted kitten/cat adoption with spay/neuter clauses, there are folks who are trapping feral cats, sterilizing them, and releasing them.  While this is very controversial, it is more than likely impossible to find homes for all the cats that are on the street.  One such group who uses this pet population control technique is Spay and Stay in Illinois.

The following was taken from their website:

Spay and Stay is made up of a diverse group of people who all agree on one thing — that together we can make a difference in the lives of feral and stray cats in our communities. We have a small staff of only one full-time person and one part-time employee. The rest of our TNR force is made up of amazing citizen-volunteers. They include the folks who give their time to help at our spay/neuter clinics, the people who help us reach out to the community through our educational programming, the volunteers who work on events and other fund-raising projects, and, most importantly, the amazing citizens who agree to manage their feral cat colony 365 days a year. No matter how busy or tired these caretakers may be, the cats in their colonies are fed, and given water and shelter every single day.

Besides the work that they do with feral cats, the group also promotes visiting your local shelter and give a homeless cat or dog a chance.

There are feral cat sterilization programs throughout the U.S. and abroad.  Find more here.

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