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Does it Really Help?
For a low cost Clinic in your area please call 1-800-321-PETS
This is a state by state listing of low cost clinics.
This is an ongoing argument between people who think their pets should be free and those of us who rescue the "Free babies" that are a result. Assuming you want your Pal to be completely unaltered, let me ask you this: Are you willing to take care of the offspring of this cat? Before you answer a quick yes, let me explain a few things to you. These kittens are not born warm, fluffy and fat. When I get them, as young as hours old, they are usually cold, thin beyond belief, flea ridden and terribly hungry. If they are old enough to have their eyes open they are usually crusted shut with infection. Lets take a typical day in the care of a newborn feral kitten. They are fed every three hours - around the clock - I usually feed them at 6, 9, 12 and 3. Twenty four hours a day. The first day they are immediately bathed and fed. This involves an antibacterial soap, warm water, a flea comb, a warm towel and a hair dryer so they don’t get chilled - more than they already are. Then they are given formula and then stimulated. They are placed in a box lined with soft blankets and under a heat lamp. They must be watched carefully for any signs of distress. Assuming all is well they will sleep. It usually doesn’t work out quite like that though. More often they have diarrhea and infections which require antibiotics. Out of a litter of four, your chances of having 4 healthy babies are remote. One will quit eating and need sub-q fluids. This involves taking this tiny little being and sticking a needle into him then injecting fluids to insure life. If you are lucky he will eat - if not then he must be tube fed. This is, to me, a scary practice because you MUST be sure to get the tube into his stomach, not his lungs. Does this all sound simple to you? Well multiply it every two hours and then tell me how easy it sounds. It is not easy - it is, in fact, nerve wracking work. Now lets move down to the point where the baby is two and one half weeks old. You’ve become very attached to this kid and he to you. You’ve "bonded" together, then one morning you get up and find this darlin crying but you don’t know why. You try everything you know but as you massage his fat little tummy he dies. He just looks up at you, cries one final time as if asking why and that’s it. Now you must bury him but you really don’t have time to grieve because he has three other litter mates and they aren’t doing all that well themselves. So it’s off to dig a grave, say a prayer and wonder why people think cats are disposable. They aren’t! Their welfare is very much a part of my life and I hold anyone who doesn’t spay/neuter directly responsible for all the suffering that goes on each and every day by these loving creatures. Do you agree with me? If you do please read my page on raising a newborn and get involved - if you don’t please write to me and tell me why you should be exempt from my scorn.
Spaying and Neutering is probably the most important thing you can do for your new pet. We have all heard the arguments against these procedures. So why should you? Pick your baby up and look deeply into his/her eyes. Now, would you do anything to jeopardize his health? Lets start with neutering. If this is done at an early age, before the hormones ever kick in you will eliminate a lot of unwanted behavior. I have 7 adult males living with me right now and none of them sprays. They simply don't know how, not that they don't behave inappropriately at times, but they never spray. A neutered cat will not go out roaming around at night looking for that ever elusive female. They don't fight over "turf", consequently they don't spread disease.
Why spay? Actually for many of the same reasons you neuter. To avoid unwanted pregnancies. Spaying your Cat will also lessen the chances of her getting certain cancers. And for that tired old argument "I want my children to see the beauty of childbirth" I have a stock answer. Do that and then please rush them to the shelter so they can watch the agony of death as all these unwanted kittens are killed. Just one unaltered cat can produce 420,000 cats in seven years - 10 million in ten years. Do the math. It's not a pretty picture, considering most of these cats live a very hard life and usually meet with an untimely and unnatural death.
Most Vets will not spay/neuter until the animal is 6 months of age or older. My kittens are all done at 2 pounds and 8 weeks of age. This is a specialty done by clinics and shelters. It was developed out of necessity to cut down the birth rate. The reason Vets don't operate at this early age is unknown. CFA recommends it. Studies have been done and there are no known adverse effects. Years ago 6 months was the widely accepted age for altering simply because of the anesthesia. Now great strides have been made and kittens can safely be put "under" anesthesia. With this knowledge there is no reason for any cat to be reproducing. I have all mine done at this early age because they are going into permanent homes and I trust no-one.
Author: Jeri Dopp - Safe Haven for Cats
Copyright © 1997-2013 by Jeri Dopp
From “Lend a paw” Rescue Organization of Northern VA:
Did you know: Every hour 415 children are born in the U.S.A. and every hour 3,500 cats are also born? 10 - 20 MILLION animals are euthanized every year; this doesn’t include strays or those who die in the streets. Every 1.5 seconds a shelter animal is killed. One cat and her litter can produce 420,000 cats in seven years - 10 million in 10 years!
Only one animal out of every three born in the U.S.A. gets a good home. Only 2 - 3 % of shelter cats are ever claimed by their owners due to lack of I.D.
Accidental births (I meant to get Muffin spayed/neutered, but I just ran out of time) are the MAIN CONTRIBUTORS to the animal over population problem.
In Virginia; approximately 100,000 shelter animals are killed each year costing 3.5 MILLION dollars! Euthanasia, which includes capture, holding, and feeding costs the taxpayers between $30.00 and $70.00 per animal. How much are the people who don’t spay/neuter costing you in your state?
The only way to stop overpopulation is to spay/neuter your pets. It is a simple inexpensive procedure. You can find low cost services at your local animal shelter, S.P.C.A. or any rescue group.
Stolen cats are: Sold to labs for experiments, used to breed more animals who are then passed off as “pedigrees”, sold at a profit as pets, used to train guard dogs, used to transport drugs in their stomachs, used as bait for fighting dogs and used for ritual killing.
Reasons for not Spay/Neuter:
MYTH: My animal will get fat. FACT: Your pet will require slightly less food. A balanced diet and play will prevent them from becoming overweight.
MYTH: My animal will get lazy. FACT: This is an old wives tale - recognize it as such.
MYTH: I want my children to experience the miracle of birth. FACT: A very poor excuse and will you also explain to your children why those cute little animal they just saw being born will most likely end up dead because of the overpopulation problem? How do you explain the “Miracle of death”?
Finally: Spayed/Neutered animals are healthier animals. Males fight less and shouldn’t “mark” their territory. The risks of certain cancers are reduced in both males and females.
Be a friend to all animals and spay/neuter first!