As cute as they are, we really must do our part to prevent unwanted litters of kittens. For years, it’s been drilled into us—spay-neuter. We’ve been told, there are millions of homeless cats and warned not to add to the problem. Spay-neuter—that’s the answer.
When I first began hearing this some forty or fifty years ago, I didn’t know there was a question or a problem. And, yes, I was still allowing my cats to have a litter before spaying them. I was what I considered a responsible owner by finding good homes for each and every kitten. But we can do more.
We can prevent litters. We can adopt/rescue instead of buying from a breeder. We can donate to and volunteer at local no-kill shelters. And we can continue to educate ourselves about why we’re doing all of this. Here’s a site that breaks down the number of cats and dogs in the US and how many of them wind up in shelters. https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics
And here’s a site with some shocking statistics. https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-animal-homelessness Here you’ll learn that homeless pets outnumber homeless people 5 to 1. And what about this eye-opening statement…over 2.7 million cats and dogs are killed each year because there’s no room at the inn (or your home or shelters). And do you know how many animal shelters there are in the United States? About 3,500 PLUS an unknown number of unregistered sheltering and fostering groups and individuals.
This spring, if you haven’t done so already, have your cat spayed-neutered. Since you’re following this blog, I’m pretty sure you’re already a responsible pet owner and you’re doing your part by rescuing pets and taking proper care of them. So let’s—you and I—take this a step farther and help someone else become a responsible pet owner.
- Take an unaware neighbor or family member under your wing—educate them.
- Pay to have their cat spayed/neutered.
- Post information about responsible cat ownership on your favorite social media page.
- Open the discussion at work.
- Hand out information at your next gathering or meeting.
- Foster litters of kittens this spring.
- Adopt a cat this year.
That’s seven things you can do to help helpless cats and dogs. Some of you are already doing many of the things on this list. Would love to hear from those of you who are. Tell us how you’re helping or how you plan to help this spring. Also, I invite you to add to this list of things we can do.