MYTHS: Let’s forget them
- Cats have a very hard time trying to fend for themselves in the wild, and there’s not much wild left either. Shopping centers, apartment complexes, superhighways, urban parks, vacant lots, and dumpsites are not wilderness area. Kittens (and cats) do not live on a diet of captured mice. Homeless cats gravitate to human places because they must depend on humans.
- Feeding homeless cats without a plan for spay-neuter can do more harm than good. In the competition for space, position and mating, colonies are more likely to experience disease and overpopulation until the day when it all gets out of hand and the entire colony draws the attention of animal control with too little time in such an emergency to spay-neuter and relocate the cats.
- “Letting a cat have one litter so the children will see the miracle of life” is more likely to show children abandonment and death — and humans lying about it.
- Euthanasia is almost never kind to the healthy but homeless cat, who does not ask for death and struggles against it. Such death may free shelter space for another cat, but there are better alternatives for both cats.
- Spaying or neutering does not make a cat fat; boredom, inactivity, and too much food does.
We can save cats from death through spay-neuter.
- Spayed or neutered cats have an improved quality of life, with reduced risks of disease, injury or death. They are less likely to spray and fight, have lower vet bills and no litters of unwanted kittens. And they are less likely to be “given up” to shelters or reported to animal control as a “nuisance.”.
- About 75% of cats who enter animal shelters are euthanized within a few days, but the odds are better for already spayed or neutered cats.
- Foster care is a way to see the real “miracle of birth,” but most animal-lovers offering foster care can only accept spayed or neutered cats. That extra time in foster care gives spayed or neutered cats a better chance of adoption. Some animal lovers in rural areas are willing to share their setting with a colony of cats who will be good citizens, but they can’t be expected to take in cats who have not been spayed or neutered.
- Cats in colonies who will never have a human home can cope for survival better without the burden of reproduction’s demands. Instead of becoming an increasing nuisance, colony population stabilizes and then declines.
-NEUTER SAVES LIVES:
Spaying or neutering is easy. The operation itself can be performed on kittens even earlier than 12 weeks of age with new surgical techniques. Many vets will spay a pregnant cat, preventing the birth of kittens and giving that cat its own chance for a new home. The stray who appears at the doorstep but seems too wild to live indoors probably will recuperate from surgery within 24-48 hours — and may become tamer after surgery. For colonies of cats, rescue organizations can help with trapping. A distinctive ear notch or tattoo will identify cats to avoid repeating such surgery if they are recaptured. Once cats are returned to their original site, human caretakers need to monitor the colony on a continuing basis, channeling socialized strays and kittens into foster homes for adoption and giving everyone a head start with spay-neuter. If the original site is unsafe, it may be necessary to relocate the cats as a group to new surroundings such as a cooperating farm where they can enjoy a baseline of food and shelter and positive human contact in exchange for being good citizens. As new arrivals appear, they’ll be easier to identify when the others have ear-notches, and making spay-neuter the ticket each new arrival presents to join the colony will reduce stress on everyone, cats and humans alike.