Feral cat Anoka, Minnesota, US. Photo by Professor Batty
Despite all the fantastic work carried out by volunteers, we are told that in the United States only 3 percent of feral cats are spayed and neutered. I found this figure low, surprisingly low. A high figure by way of contrast is the kill rate of feral cats at shelters: at least 70% as we are told that nationwide 70% of all shelter cats are euthanised. True adult feral cats are unadoptable and so are euthanised. Most feral kittens are also euthanised. it is disturbing to read that more cats than dogs are taken in at animal shelters and more cats are killed than dogs at these facilities. Why is that?
Neutering cats prevents lives being created. This saves the lives of the living because the less feral cats there are the less of a nuisance they will be perceived to be. This should translate to less cruel ad hoc killings.
The feral cat can be more or less invisible in small numbers but when congregating in groups around a human food source, they become very visible and some people don't like it. I never see feral cats living in London, UK. There are meant to be half a million in London. Perhaps I am in the wrong area! Or perhaps England is just too darn cold as feral cats tend to mate in the warmer weather, don't they?
World Spay Day is upon again us for 2012. It occurs on the last Tuesday of February each year. The idea came from The Humane Society of the United States in 1995, the year of its creation.
Apparently 46 countries now participate in World Spay Day. The idea is to heighten the profile of spaying and neutering feral and stray cats as a humane means of controlling feral cat populations and to give a boost to existing programs.
There is lots of good work and charitable activity taking place. PetSmart Charities Inc. awards millions of dollars to surgeries across the United States to subsdize spay and neuter programs.
An example of low cost spay and neuter programs is the one run by the Los Angeles SPCA who use the charitable funding to spay female cats for $20. Do the males get neutered under this scheme? Or is World Spay Day confined to spaying the females?