Cat overpopulation in the United States is entrenched. Resolving it is an elusive task. There have been no major initiatives to the best of my knowledge to resolve cat overpopulation. The major problem is that there are too many people who do not sufficiently value the life of the domestic cat. These people regard domestic cats as dispensable and disposable. This attitude leads to breeding of domestic cats either deliberately or accidentally. This is casual, informal breeding. A considerable number of people believe that the female cat needs to have a litter before being sterilised. Others breed domestic cats informally for economic reasons while totally disregarding the cat overpopulation problem.
Regarding domestic cats as dispensable and disposable also leads to relinquishment (abandoning cats) for unacceptable and unreasonable reasons. These are personal reasons often masked by excuses. Ultimately and fundamentally a person’s decision to relinquish their cat comes down to a lack of profound emotional attachment. This lack of attachment is a consequence of a lack of respect for the domestic cat and as mentioned above an attitude which leads the person to believe that the cat is disposable.
There needs to be a fundamental re-education of many people, in which the younger generation is taught the importance and value of their pet’s life whereupon their pet will no longer be seen as disposable. There is a cycle of parent to child teachings regarding the domestic cat and his behavior, which are profoundly inadequate. This cycle needs to be broken.
There are probably variations of reasons for relinquishment depending on the specific region of the United States. We can’t generalise and the problem of cat overpopulation in the United States is a difficult, complex and tricky one to resolve. It would be nice, however, to see nationwide strategies developed to resolve it once and for all. The lack of initiatives further supports the argument that the authorities also, often, fail to sufficiently value the life of the cat.
Improvements are being made to lessen the numbers of cats euthanized at shelters indicated a gradual change in attitude to the disposability element of our relationship with the cat. However, an article to be published soon from a experienced cat rescuer will inform us that there is a crisis in many shelters of cat overpopulation.
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