It’s a simple fact : every year, more kittens are born than there are good homes to accommodate them.
The result of this over-population tragedy is obvious : every year, thousands of beautiful, healthy, lovable, homable cats and kittens are killed, either in animal welfare shelters or are abandoned to die by a variety of means because homes cannot be found for them.
Spaying (of female cats) and neutering (of male cats) before unwanted kittens are born is the only humane solution to this tragic problem.
HAVING YOUR CAT SPAYED OR NEUTERED IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF BEING A RESPONSIBLE PET OWNER.
BUT I CANNOT AFFORD TO HAVE MY CAT SPAYED OR NEUTERED.
Sterilising is a once-off expense that will never have to be repeated, unlike the very real possibility of on-going veterinary bills following diseases or fights, and the cost of caring for unwanted kittens.
If you genuinely cannot afford to pay the full fees that the vets charge and if you live in the Durban area, SMS your fax number or email address to Mandy on 082 555 0727 or contact us about SPAY-SA, Kitten Action’s low-cost spay/neuter scheme.
FEMALES MUST BE SPAYED AT 5 MONTHS OF AGE AND MALE CATS MUST BE NEUTERED AT 6 MONTHS OF AGE.
Apart from the over-population tragedy, there are other benefits for the animals themselves, and for their human families. There is a lot of misinformation about spaying and neutering so let’s put the facts on the table:
FICTION: Female cats should be allowed to have a least one litter of kittens before being spayed.
FACT: Having a female cat spayed before her first heat cycle can help to prevent mammary tumours, and other reproductive and uterine diseases.
FICTION: A female cat will be happier and more relaxed if she has had a litter of kittens.
FACT: There is absolutely no research to back up this claim. Good care, proper nutrition and lots of love will keep a female cat happy and content.
FICTION: My cat is going to live indoors to there is no need to have him or her sterilized.
FACT: The urge to mate will turn a previously home-loving cat into an escape artist. The instinct to reproduce is one of the strongest urges in nature and there will be nothing you can do to permanently keep an amorous feline indoors. Lack of experience in dealing with the ‘great outdoors’ can lead to tragedy as, apart from the very real possibility of getting lost, the cat has to come to terms with previously unknown dangers like speeding cars, vicious dogs and cat-hating humans. Your cat may also find himself having to compete for his mate of choice and may come home – if he makes it home at all -badly injured and requiring veterinary care.
When male cats reach maturity, they sometimes begin spraying urine to mark their territories. The urine has a strong odour and this habit can be really offensive, especially when his “territory” includes your home and belongings! On rare occasions, this habit will continue even after an adult cat has been neutered so it is vital to have a male cat neutered at 6 months of age before spray marking becomes an issue. Sadly, through no fault of their own, many unsterilised male cats are abandoned because of this problem.
FICTION: If my cat is sterilized, s/he will become fat and lazy.
FACT: Too much food and too little exercise can make your cat fat and lazy; sterilizing will not have any effect on his or her girth.
FICTION: I will easily be able to find homes for the kittens – all my friends want one.
FACT: It is amazing how many excuses your friends will find when the time comes for them to take “their” kitten. You might be able to find homes for one or two of the kittens but animal welfare shelters are full of the kittens that were not lucky enough to find homes.
FICTION: I want my children to witness the miracle of birth.
FACT: In order to expose your children to the whole truth, it would be necessary for them to witness the other side of this ‘miracle’ – the hundreds of desperate kittens waiting hopelessly in shelters for the new homes that never come. Rather foster a pregnant cat through KITTEN ACTION. In this way, your children can witness the miracle of birth without contributing to the over-population tragedy.
FICTION: They are brother and sister so they won’t want to mate with each other.
FACT: Familial bonds are no deterrent to a cat who is desperate to find a mate. Brother and sister will mate and produce a litter of kittens that could be genetically deficient.
FICTION: She has just had a litter of kittens so she don’t want another one yet.
FACT: A cat does not “want” to have a litter of kittens. She is driven by her instincts and can produce two or even three litters of kittens in a year. “Wanting” to have kittens does not even feature in the process.
THE TEN WORST EXCUSES NOT TO SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR CAT
Just one litter and then we’ll have Fluffy spayed.
* You will be adding ‘just one litter’ to the hundreds of kittens that have already been born into a world where there are just not enough good homes for them.
My cat doesn’t run loose, so he doesn’t need to be fixed.
* The desire to find a mate is one of Nature’s strongest urges, over-riding a pet’s normal common sense. It is a time when unsterilised animals put themselves in grave danger by wandering off in search of a mate, frequently getting lost, injured or killed.
We will find good homes for the kittens.
* No matter what your friends say now, they will let you down when the time comes. And if you do manage to find homes for your kittens, it will mean that an equal number of kittens in rescue centres will not be so lucky.
I want my children to witness the miracle of birth.
* Contact Kitten Action about fostering a pregnant cat or a mother cat with kittens. In this way, you will help us to save lives and teach your children a valuable lesson about responsible pet ownership.
My cat is so cute and unique, there should be more of her.
* Animal welfare shelters are full of cute and unique cats and kittens who end up being “put to sleep” because homes cannot be found for them.
It’s not natural.
* There hasn’t been anything natural about pet cats since we began to develop specialised breeds hundreds of years ago.
I just couldn’t look my cat in the eye if I had him castrated.
* Will you be able to look him in the eye when he is injured in a cat fight or gets knocked down by a car while searching for a mate?
A female dog or cat should have at least one litter for health reasons.
* Factually incorrect, medically misguided and ethically indefensible.
Neutering my pet will make him/her fat and lazy.
* Too much food and not enough exercise makes a companion animal fat and lazy.
Fixing my pet will change his personality.
* The primary influences on an animal’s personality are the kindness and care that he receives from a loving human family. Because a sterilised cat is more inclined to stay at home, s/he becomes a better companion than a restless, unsterilised animal who still has the urge to mate.