FERAL CAT SPAY/NEUTER PROJECT
Why is the spaying or neutering of feral cats so important?
Cats can reproduce at an astonishingly rapid rate. Though many feral offspring die due to the harsh conditions into which they are born, others survive and go on to reproduce many times in their lives. Global warming is also believed to be increasing feral cat numbers by extending the warmer part of each year during which they typically reproduce.
Only the spaying or neutering of owned cats can prevent them from straying into the wild and reproducing as feral cats. Only the spaying or neutering of feral cats can reduce the actual number of kittens and cats living in our gardens and on our streets.
Who pays to spay/neuter feral cats, since they have no owners?
In Hanna, the Hanna SPCA absorbs the cost of spaying or neutering feral cats. In 2011 we took in 4 mothers – 2 that already had their litters; 2 that gave birth at our facility. These 4 mothers have now been spayed and collectively their 20 to 22 kittens have also been fixed. This program successfully took 26 cats out of the reproduction cycle. The majority of the kittens have been adopted into loving homes. With the wild strays, whenever it is possible, we release them back into their colonies which ensure that another colony does not move into the community. They are very territorial and once they have been spayed and neutered their numbers will not increase, thus we can get a handle on overpopulation. We also took in numerous other strays which were somewhat tame, spayed or neutered them and released them to farmers/ranchers interested in having barn cats for rodent control. We release them at no cost to the farmers or ranchers.
In addition to spay or neuter surgery fees, the Hanna SPCA must also fund the treatment of feral cats for many health issues caused by the unhealthy and dangerous conditions in which they live. If you would like to make a donation to pay for the spaying or neutering of a feral cat, please click on Donate Now on our home page.
How can I help spay/neuter the feral cats in my neighbourhood?
You can help out with the stray cat problem by:
notifying the Hanna SPCA if you notice a stray cat that may be in distress and needing help
helping by feeding feral cats
helping to build or maintain shelters for feral cats
offering to drive cats to/from the spay/neuter clinic
offering a room in your house to monitor cats recovering from spay/neuter surgery
Are people who feed feral cats only making the problem worse?
It's true that only feeding feral cats does not address overpopulation and neighbourhood nuisance problems. But NOT feeding feral cats isn't the solution. Even starving cats will mate and the kittens they produce are not only unwanted; they may also be malnourished and diseased. Spay/neutering is the only effective way to reduce feral cat numbers, but there is no reason that cats should be starved to death while humans get that job done. In fact, feeding a feral colony is the first step in bringing the colony under control through spay/neutering. Regular feeding puts the cats on a schedule which ensures successful capture, while a nutritious diet helps them tolerate the stress of surgery and post-operative confinement. Once the cats have been sterilized and returned to the colony, they should continue to be fed, watered and sheltered to keep them healthy. Healthy cats are in everyone's interest.