The problem with cats
Wow, it’s been a busy few weeks at my house. We survived the fair, rescued some puppies, and found them homes. We even rescued some birds, and have seen some animal neglect cases that I hope get prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Just today a man visited me with a sibling to the puppies we rescued; he is also looking for a home for her. These puppies are adorable! They appear to be Chihuahua and Beagle mixes or possibly a little Italian Greyhound too. I’m working hard to help them find her a forever home.
After seeing the sheer volume of unwanted pets in town alone, I’m convinced we need more education on spaying and neutering. Money shouldn’t be the issue because there are many low cost spay and neuter options. In fact, there was just a “Tom cat special” offered for only $15 through North Central Indiana Spay and Neuter located near Battleground. Even local vets are known to give a good deal on the feral cats. There is also the FACE clinic in Indianapolis, I’ve used them before, and they are awesome, their website is www.facespayneuter.org and you can call them at (317)638-3223
There are TNR (trap, neuter, return) programs out there for feral cats, to fix them so they don’t reproduce anymore, but release them back where they came from. The other thing that TNR does is, with “fixed” animals, you won’t have the problem with spraying territory from tom cats, you won’t be hearing the caterwauling from females in heat, you won’t have your heart torn out trying to find homes for kittens, or watching them die. You won’t hear the cat fights from tom cats shredding each other over territory, and watching the loser of the fight die
You can contact Tri-county TNR to schedule spay/neuter appt. for feral cats call (765) 491-0930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Neutering and spaying works great for barn cats! In fact, I recommend it for all farms with barn cats, because it will keep the kitties near the barn and not give them an urge to roam and disappear or be eaten by coyotes. Also, if the feral cats are infected with diseases like feline leukemia or feline AIDS, they won’t be passing it on to their offspring, and they will be much less likely to fight and pass it along to other cats. If you need barn cats, there is no shortage of cats needing a home. Contact your local pound and tell them how many you can take, before it’s too late. Cats don’t stand much of a chance for adoption when we have the numbers of feral or wild cats that we have now.
Spaying and neutering won’t rid the town of the unwanted pets we currently have but it will GREATLY reduce future numbers.
The Prolific Cat 1st year x 3 litters = 12 offspring (oftentimes they have more) and if those kittens aren’t spayed or neutered…
2nd year = 144 offspring and if those kittens are also not spayed and neutered….
3rd year = 1,728 offspring etc.
4th year = 10,736 offspring etc.
7th year = 370,192
Do you see the problem folks?
The Prolific Dog 1st year = 4 offspring with 2 females (again many times there are more, big dogs = big litters) and if those puppies aren’t spayed or neutered…
2nd year = 12 offspring and if those puppies aren’t spayed or neutered…
3rd year = 36 offspring etc.
5th year = 324 offspring
In my experience, these numbers are very conservative.
Now I realize that feral cats and cats in general who roam outdoors are a nuisance animal to many gardeners, and uncovered sandboxes. There are some products you can apply to your flower beds to deter them from using them as a restroom, as well as motion activated sprinklers which will scare the cats away from a garden area. I realize not many people are cat lovers, or even likers for that matter, but not all cats are wild, some are just pets that get out.
I’ve heard the old redneck saying “a .22 slug is cheaper” to fix the feral cat problem but what if it was your pet? How would you and your kids feel if the neighbor killed your cat or dog? What if your cat was trapped and taken to the pound, and by the time you figured out who to call to see if they had seen it, it was too late?
But the current thinking is to trap and euthanize as many as possible to thin them out. My thoughts are, that’s only a very temporary solution because they breed like rabbits! Soon we will be back at square one again. Even if it was required for all pet owners to spay and neuter all pets, we would still be overrun with cats, due to the heavy feral population which just keeps growing. Statistics prove that TNR programs do work, and reduce feral cat colonies in no time.
Part of the problem is feeding them because after all they need to eat, who can watch a kitty starve even if it is too wild to touch? Many well-meaning people put out food for the feral kitties and don’t consider them their pets. One problem, if you are feeding them, guess what…they ARE considered your pets. If you feed them, fix them!
In many cities there are ordinances that require a leash law for cats as well. This would pose a huge problem for me personally, because I have a cat that goes through my dog door. I can’t keep him in. I’ve looked at the electronic dog doors that open only when the dog who wears a transmitter around their neck gets near it, but the problem is, I’ve seen my cat dart through the dog’s legs as they are going through the dog door.
I’m looking into netting to put at the top of the fenced in area. There are companies that carry it online. I’m getting prices from “Affordable Fence” at www.catfence.com. I’ve already put up a “Fido Shock” electric fence around the bottom of my fence to keep the dogs from digging out, I could put one at the top, and hope it zaps the cat and he goes back inside, but I am a little hesitant to do that, he would probably hit it and rocket himself over the fence and never come back.
So how do you identify your pet cat from a feral cat? Collars with I.D. tags on cats work until they get it caught on something and it breaks away or falls off. My other cat who doesn’t go out wears one, just in case. For the “Houdini” cat, I plan to have him micro-chipped but at the present time, our own animal control doesn’t have a scanner, so if your pet is chipped, nobody will know. (Don’t worry, folks, I’m working on them about that!) The good news is he is already neutered, so he won’t be helping produce more “Houdini” cats.