This week, we celebrate World Spay Day and want to remind everyone how important it is to spay and neuter your household pets. I know that sounds crazy to have to remind pet owners to do the obvious, but mom says “you would be surprised” how many owners dither around and delay getting their pets altered.
Apparently, there are both cultural and financial reasons, but today there are many low-cost veterinarian clinics that offer spay and neuter services for a very small fee. And some towns even partner with their local vets to offer “free services” for their community on certain days of the year. Be sure to check with your local town and veterinarians to see what is possible in your area.
There are just so many amazing wellness benefits to spaying your pets!
For males, neutering them will lower aggression, hopefully stop them from spraying and otherwise marking their territory in the house and to prevent testicular cancer. For females, the consequences are even greater as unwanted pregnancies often lead to female animals being dropped off at shelters or abandoned outside to fend for themselves and their eventual litter. Also, females can get uterine cancers just like women can so it is best to spay to reduce those risks.
Thankfully today, most rescue groups do not let animals be adopted without the pet being spayed or neutered first as sadly we can’t always be certain the adopter will follow through to do the right thing for their pet.
But speaking about shelters and rescues, let’s remember all the hard work the TNR and rescue groups do on behalf of our community cats.
Mom read a terrible number this week in the news that there are over 90 million stray cats in America. Meowza - there are over 3 million In Los Angeles alone!
And why is that? Because for decades and centuries, too many feral and abandoned unspayed or unneutered cats have been free-roaming and multiplying over and over again. Also, too many house cats are allowed to free-roam and some of them are unaltered for all the reasons we know and the household males are impregnating the stray outdoor females.
How TNR & Rescue Groups Help The Feral Community
Thank goodness for the dedicated teams out there who are trapping and getting the feral and community cats “snipped and ear-tipped” and releasing them back to their communities where they can no longer add to the stray cat population.
Along the way, they are teaming up with the rescue groups and fosters to take care of the friendlies they encounter along the way to ready them for adoption.
Sometimes, when money is tight for the TNR teams, they will focus on trapping and spaying the females first which does stop the procreation. Then they circle back to trap all the tom cats. It’s not always the easiest as when you are trapping you are catching anything that will walk in the trap. But a friend trapped 19 females one night and only caught one male!
Also the issue for the unspayed females is that they face a terrible life of multiple pregnancies - even 3 births a year is not uncommon for an unaltered female street cat.
Their quality of life is diminished with every pregnancy and many females are found emaciated and in terrible weakened conditions.
To say nothing about all those kittens she has given birth to who are now wandering around, getting pregnant or impregnating other cats and so on and so forth.
Please spay and neuter your pets for their health’s sake. And please “spay it forward” and support your local TNR and rescue groups by donating money and/or food to their efforts to stop the procreation of the community and stray cat population.
It has been proven that steady TNR initiatives have reduced the population of the community cats in certain areas to zero growth. Many colleges and universities are implementing TNR programs on their campuses to stop the repeated litters of stray cats with a lot of success.
Many feeders and caretakers report to their trapping teams when they spot a new cat in their colony group who does not have a tipped ear! A quick response is needed to keep that colony to zero growth!
We are going to leave you with one visual that should sum up the whole story of one year in the life of an unspayed female cat’s life on the streets. If this isn’t sobering, we don’t know what would be!