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Hardly anyone can resist the sweet face and playful manner of a young kitten.
Even those who have sworn off cats for life can become enraptured at the sight of a kitten reared up on it’s legs batting at a string. It’s hard not to giggle when watching a kitten racing around a corner only to slide 10 feet across the floor before it can gather it’s bearings to finish attacking the fake mouse that was thrown across the floor.
But the problem is there are just too many of those super sweet faces and we all need to help get the cat population under control. The first step is yours. Spay or neuter your cat today.
3-4 Million Cats Are In Shelters Every Year
Did you know that there are 3-4 MILLION cats entering the shelters each year? These include stray kittens, yes, but there is an alarming number of cats who are relinquished to shelters due to behavioral problems. Due to the overwhelming numbers of cats in shelters, 75% (yes that says seventy-five) of these cats and kittens are euthanized.
What can we do to decrease this alarming number? Spay and neuter kittens as early as possible!
When Should You Spay or Neuter Your Cat?
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) came out with a position statement about early spay and neuter of cats in 2010:
Early spaying and castration (neutering), also called prepubertal gonadectomy, is defined as surgical sterilization of sexually immature animals 6–14 weeks of age. The AAFP supports neutering early in life as a safe and effective method of decreasing cat overpopulation, and one which confers long-term medical and behavioral benefits to the individual cat.
The AAFP also came out with a recommendation in 2017 that all cats should be spayed/neutered by 5 months of age. There are several reasons for this recommendation. As cats mature, several unwanted behaviors arise. There are no known contraindications to spaying and neutering cats by 5 months of age, only speculations.
If you adopt a cat that has not yet been spayed or neutered, please discuss the best time to perform the procedure with your veterinarian. Most will recommend scheduling the spay and final vaccines on the same day (16 weeks of age).
What About Feral Cats?
If you know of any local feral cat populations, check around for TNR (trap neuter release) programs. These programs provide low cost or no cost spay and neuter if someone catches the cats and brings them to the clinic. View a listing of TNR programs in Kentucky.
Together, let’s help decrease the number of cats euthanized every year in shelters and help prevent behaviors that lead to the relinquishment of cats by their owners.