Once again, the Brandon City Pound is overloaded with cats and kittens. The first week of June, there were about 20 kittens, and 10 cats at the facility — and they just keep on coming in.
Two of the litters of kittens are too tiny for homes just yet, but they need places lined up for when they are ready and can be tagged by interested families.
Unfortunately, there are just far too many kittens in need. A quick search of eBrandon reveals 25 litters of kittens in need of homes. With an average litter of four to six kittens, this equates to about 125 kittens searching for homes.
Now consider that if about half — let’s say 60 kittens — grow up to be girls, and each kitten has the max of three litters a year — that’s about 900 kittens in a year! And that’s just the girls… There is no way to count the number of kittens a male cat can produce.
So why is there such a big problem? It seems there are still so many cats out there that are not spayed or neutered. There are still pet owners out there who believe that their little girl won’t come home pregnant, or that their little man just isn’t that interested in girls yet.
The truth is, it only takes once, and it can happen to you.
Spaying and neutering isn’t just about population control either. There are many other benefits that it presents to your cat:
The urine from cats that are spayed or neutered is less potent and does not smell as strong.
Spayed females don’t go into heat — this removes the need to "call" to male cats.
Neutered males are far less likely to spray urine to attract mates.
Spaying decreases the risk of mammary and ovarian tumours.
Cats that are spayed and neutered are less likely to try and escape out the door.
One of the reasons many pet owners give for not spaying or neutering their cats is that they are indoor cats.
However, intact cats are subject to "urges" which instinctually make them want to get out and find other felines. An intact cat will become more and more driven with time, and their inability to fulfill their biological desire builds.
This means, their desire to escape only increases over time. Aside from the risk of reproduction, many cats do not return home from these excursions.
There are many dangers that cats face when they roam free.
Some panic when they first encounter the outdoors, and encounter things they are not normally accustomed to.
Cats may be chased by other animals, struck by vehicles, or they may succumb to weather if the heat or cold is too extreme.
The cats that are successful in finding a mate increase their risk of exposure to diseases, including feline leukemia and feline AIDS. If you have other cats at home, the things they pick up from other cats can be transmitted to the other cats in your home.
A cat in season is biologically driven to mate. There are so many stories of pet owners who have cats that have "never gotten out before" scooting through an open door, climbing out a window, and even busting through a window screen to get out.
Cats can be very creative when they want something and it really only takes once.
The majority of the cats that come through the local city pound are house pets that were picked up while running loose. These are all pets — homeless pets (not strays or feral cats) that are wandering around.
Someone was caring for them, loving them and feeding them — and yet no one came looking at the pound. Each year in Brandon, despite the owners who do reclaim their cats and the hard work done by rescue organizations, more than 50 per cent of the cats coming through the pound are euthanized.
There really aren’t enough homes for all of the cats born. If you are considering adding a cat to your family, please be part of the solution and spay or neuter your cat.
Consider adopting a cat from a local organization. Funds for Furry Friends and the Brandon Humane Society have plenty of cats — and the felines in rescues are health checked, fully vetted, spayed or neutered already!
Funds for Furry Friends: www.fundsfurfriends.com
Brandon Humane Society: www.brandonhumanesociety.ca
Save a cat from the pound. A program is in place — while funds last — to cover the cost of spaying or neutering a cat or kitten adopted through the city pound. The program is sponsored by Funds for Furry Friends, and funded by PetSmart Charities.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 14, 2012