The simple answer: Prevention of cruelty to animals...
To quote from the Feral Cat Spay Neuter Project website: "WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF DEATH OF HEALTHY PET CATS IN THE USA? A preventable condition: overpopulation….In Washington State alone, about 40,000 cats are euthanized in shelters every year, because there aren’t enough homes."
We have all seen the charts popping up everywhere that tell how many cats a breeding pair can produce:
Two uncontrolled breeding cats, plus all their kittens and all their kittens’ kittens, if none are ever neutered or spayed add up to: 1st year: 12 • 2nd year: 66 • 3rd year: 382 • 4th year: 2,201 • 5th year: 12,680 • 6th year: 73,041 • 7th year: 420,715 • 8th year: 2,423,316 • 9th year: 13,958,290 This chart has come under fire for many reasons, so with the help of The Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project's website, I've put together some numbers:
According to FCSNP 15.9% of female cats arriving are pregnant (53% of cats arriving are intact females) X how many kittens can be born per litter/average survival rate = LOTS!
For example FCSNP's November 2011 Newsletter showed:
Total cats altered since 1997: 70,460 Total cats altered so far in 2011: 6,203 So using those numbers: 53% of 6203 = 3287.6…15.9% of that = 522 x 3* = 1566 more cats to try to care for, s/n, foster, & adopt...added to those already in shelters...waiting.
And this is only ONE organization that does the S/N! Times that by the number of Rescue organizations and S/N clinics—or the good hearted people that try to do this on their own by going to their vet.
Think of the demand on resources - money, vets, volunteers—it doesn't take long to see the dilemma, especially when you factor in that cats can get pregnant while still nursing and as young as 4 months old!
Watch this video that explains the decisions made each day at shelters to deal with this reality, and PLEASE spay/neuter your pets! Please adopt from shelters or rescue organizations. If you cannot adopt or foster consider volunteering or donating.
*a litter can be 6 or more! However, the survival rate is usually 3.5 or so.
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), also know as Trap-Test-Vaccinate-Alter-Release (TTVAR), is a humane alternative to euthanasia for managing and reducing feral cat populations. TNR relies on sterilization of the cats so that they don't breed.
TNR begins with the trapping of feral cats using humane cage traps. The captured feral cats are taken to a veterinary clinic where they are spay or neutered. Typical TNR programs also involve providing vaccination. Finally the cats are marked so that they can be easily identified as a sterilized feral, usually by cropping the pointed end of the ear so that it has a square appearance (known as ear tipping). After the cat is sterilized and vaccinated, it is released back to the site of capture. (wikipedia.org)
We also make sure that food & shelter is provide for the colony — cared for/maintained by volunteers, who also monitor the health of the colony…and keep an eye out for “new arrivals” (abandoned/stray/lost cats that may join the colony).
We want to thank Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project & Seattle Humane for their support in our rescue work. We also want to again to acknowledge and thank our volunteers who give of their time & energy to look after colonies and/or assist others who do. They often cover the expenses of the cats/colonies they care for, or make deliveries of food provided through donations to low income families caring for cats we have TNR’d in their community. We have an amazing group of volunteers who, along with your donations, make our work possible and a success!
Adoption fees help defray the cost of medical expenses that are often more common with rescued cats: spaying or neutering; testing for FIV/FeLv, first vaccine(s), flea & ear mites treatment, worming (kittens); collar, ID tag, and Microchip; certificate for first vet exam, dentals, URIs, etc - average cost: $200+ per cat.
Pets are wonderful companions, providing a lifetime of fun and requiring a lifetime of care and commitment. At The Animal Rescue Site, you can find resources to help you and your pet get off to a great start together. There are several informative articles that can help you choose, care for, and understand your pet. Adopting from us? Download the Adoption Contract & Agreement here.
Every year as the weather starts to turn cooler, we start to think about providing shelter for free roaming cats. Here are some resources for building or buying shelters.
Alley Cat Allies: a list of several options from Ready Made to Build your own (Easy | Moderate | Advanced)
All About Spay Neuter: links to ready made and do-it-yourself options (the link to "Shelters for Special Situations" has photos and instructions for some good ideas/options) It also has a link to eRubbermaid.com's "Roughneck Homes" Program
The Roughneck Homes Program offers access to wholesale pricing on 2 of the most popular Rubbermaid Totes used for creating safe feral cat shelters. The site also has instructions on building "Roughneck Homes" and links to other sites for building shelters
Of course Petfinder.com is always a good resource: Building a Shelter and Winter Care and Safety
Neighborhood Cats also has several suggestions on their Feral Cat Winter Shelter page.
Need an Adoption Application? Click here.
Do you have questions for us? Shoot us an email & we will do our best to get it answered.