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BRUSH UP

FACTS

Two Cats Can Turn Into 420,000 Kittens

Did you know that in just seven years, a single pair of cats and their offspring could produce a staggering total of 420,000 kittens? Talk about a lot of kittens running around. The average mature cat can have 3 litters with a total of 12 kittens per year. Out of those litters of kittens, about 4.7 of them are females, which in turn means they will most likely have litters of their own.

Reduce Risk of Certain Types of Cancer

Intact female cats and dogs have a greater chance of developing pyometra (a potentially fatal uterine infection) and uterine, mammary gland and other cancers of the reproductive system. Neutering male pets eliminates their risk of testicular cancer and eliminates the possibility of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia which can affect the ability to defecate.

The Number One Cause of Death of Healthy Cats

Overpopulation is a tragic issue that can be prevented. Each day, approximately 25,000 healthy cats lose their lives in shelters while waiting for adoptions that never materialize. In Washington State alone, around 40,000 cats are euthanized in shelters annually due to the scarcity of available homes. If a single disease had such a devastating impact, it would undoubtedly make headlines. Thankfully, the solution is straightforward: spaying and neutering. By implementing this simple measure, we can prevent the suffering caused by overpopulation and make a significant difference in the lives of countless cats.

Is It Safer To Spay Pregnant Cats?
Experienced veterinarians can safely spay cats at any stage of pregnancy. Typical veterinarians can safely spay cats in early to middle stages of pregnancy. More precautions are required as pregnancy advances.

Ethics Of Spaying Pregnant Cats

Some people have ethical objections to pregnant spays. With millions of healthy cats euthanized in shelters every year for lack of homes, it is difficult to justify saving all kittens that are conceived. We know there are not enough homes for all of them. But our approach is not to pass judgment. Instead, we spay any cat brought to us.

Isn't It Safer To Let A Pregnant Cat Have Kittens?
The birthing process is also a risk. Some cats die from complications before or during pregnancy. If these cats are free-roaming, no one knows about it. Serious problems also can occur after queening, such as mammary infections, poor milk production, uterine infections and lack of maternal instincts.

MYTHS

Once Feral, Always Feral
Some sources claim that feral-behaving cats are permanently different from other domestic cats. We observed the opposite. If fed regularly, most free-roaming cats learn to recognize their caretakers. It is not unusual for free-roaming cats to recognize the sound of the car that arrives to bring them food. Over time, many feral-behaving cats relax enough to rub their human’s legs and be touched; some cats eventually become adoptable and live as housecats.

The Double Standard
Many people and organizations set a different standard for free-roaming cats than for other animals. They argue that any cat is better off dead than living a natural outdoor lifestyle. For example, they contend that a car may hit a free-roaming cat during its lifetime, therefore, a more humane approach is to trap and kill the cat before that happens. If we expand that logic, we would need to kill every bird, mammal, fish, and insect – basically all life forms, to spare them the suffering of a natural lifestyle. Why kill an animal living a natural lifestyle simply because it isn’t living a lifestyle with people?

Good Physical Heath
At some clinics they euthanize free-roaming cats for medical reasons, because they do not want to release an unhealthy cat with no access to medical care. They assess every cat for whether they believe it can humanely live a feral-lifestyle. After over 30,000 cats, the euthanasia rate for medical reasons is 0.2%. Two cats out of a thousand. The vast majority are in good physical health.

Feral Cats - Vicious and Mean

From the perspective of a feral-behaving cat, humans are seen as potential predators while they themselves are the prey. In this context, a healthy free-roaming cat would not typically engage in stalking or attacking humans. On the contrary, they tend to remain quiet and seek hiding spots when unfamiliar individuals approach. Even when these cats are confined in a cage at a clinic, their instinct is to hide rather than to display aggressive behavior. They do not leap at people, growl, strike, or hiss; instead, they try to keep a low profile. However, if provoked or given an opportunity to escape, a free-roaming cat will instinctively use all its energy to defend itself. Like any frightened animal, the cat will bite and scratch in an attempt to flee and protect itself. It's important to understand that these cats are not inherently vicious and mean, but rather reacting in self-defense when they feel threatened.

Free-Roaming Cats Decimate Wildlife and Bird Populations
Like so many issues, there are many studies with many conclusions. The inarguable reality is that people, not cats, have most significantly damaged the environment, habitats and ecosystems and have done far more to endanger and eliminate bird species and wildlife. Even at its worst imagined, the effect of cats on wildlife and bird populations is minute compared to the effect of people.

cat on the roof
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