Although education is the key to reducing the number of unwanted cats no education minister in any country has ever made it obligatory to teach kids how to care for domestic cats with a focus on preventing unwanted births. It just has not happened. It’s all talk and no walk.
As a significant section of society remain resolutely ignorant about the mass euthanasia of unwanted cats at shelters (a terrible statement of human failure) people have to be forced to change and that means federal laws (in the US). I don’t know of any study which tells us how many cat owners actively and consciously allow their non-purebred cats to breed with the intention of making a bit of money on the side by selling the kittens to neighbours and local people.
I am clear that too many people do this. At my previous address, my neighbour did it. She managed the block of flats. She is highly irresponsible. She allowed her random bred cat to remain unspayed and let her mate with a stray cat who used the area as his home. Regularly one of the kittens of the litter was born blind due to a genetic defect in either of the cats. On one occasion she let a blind kitten go outside and become lost. She forgot about the cat and he died of starvation. That’s the sort of thoughtless behaviour that needs to be stopped with tough law.
Are we going to accept for the indefinite future the killing of millions of cats (in the US and thousands in the UK and e.g. New Zealand) at shelters because they are unwanted and because we can’t be bothered to do anything about it or because we don’t want to upset cat breeders?
Is the reason why no one wants to outlaw deliberate cat breeding because we want to maintain a free market and not over-regulate it? Are we fearful of the expense of enforcing laws which bans breeding? I am actually referring to the informal breeding of random bred cats not purebred cats. Is it that governments feel that they won’t be able to enforce a law which makes de-sexing of all cats obligatory?
Or is it because society does not care enough? There’s one last reason: cat shelters would have to close. How would people feel about that? Think of all the happy people involved in cat rescue saving the lives of cats. Many would have to stop because there wouldn’t be enough cats for all the rescue organisations.
The cat rescue machine which is the huge network of animal rescue organisations is very settled and entrenched. Maybe society doesn’t want to disturb the structure and accepts that healthy cats will be euthanised (killed). If that is the reason we should be ashamed of ourselves.
P.S. This is a discussion post. I hate the idea that so many cats are killed at shelters. How many millions have to die this way? Yes, it is getting better in the US but it’s slow progress and there is too much cat suffering in the meantime.