Many caring people often find themselves in this common predicament. A stray cat shows up; it looks hungry so you offer it some food. The next day the same cat returns and you offer it more food, and the next, and the next. Without realizing it you are becoming this cat’s guardian.
I myself have been in this situation. One thing that you may not realize though, is that this cat that you are caring for may soon be contributing to the deadly problem of animal overpopulation.
Every year the Tri-City Animal Shelter takes in hundreds of kittens from citizens who start feeding a neighborhood cat, realize she has become pregnant, wait until her kittens are born, and bring her and her kittens to the shelter in hopes of them all finding homes. I wish I could say that we were able to accomplish this, but I can not. Despite our efforts, euthanasia was still the only humane option for may cats that came in.
While we would always prefer that the kittens come here instead of staying on the street where they will continue to reproduce, starve, or come to a much worse fate than euthanasia, it would be great if we could stop the cycle where it begins - in all of our neighborhoods.The good news is we can. The message of spay and neuter has had an extremely positive effect on owned cats. As a result, we rarely see kittens turned in because their owner neglected to have their cat spayed or wanted her to have just one litter first. We are, instead, seeing a boom in the stray kitten population. There is a “fix” for this however. Get that neighborhood cat “fixed”.
How to Help
On average, a cat can have around 3 litters of kittens in 1 year, with between 4 - 6 kittens in each litter. If you are feeding cats outdoors, please have them spayed or neutered so we can lower the number of kittens and cats euthanized. If the cats are feral (untouchable), please contact us at 972.291.5335, or your local veterinarian to receive information on how to safely handle these cats. If you do not have a veterinarian we can provide you with a list of local veterinarians. Keep in mind the cat on your porch may not be your “pet” cat, but if you are providing food, he or she is depending on you. Remember – if you feed ‘em, fix ‘em.
The Friends of Tri-City Animal Shelter offer a Trap Neuter Return (TNR) program. This program allows us to sterilize feral cats and return them back into their neighborhoods, free of charge. To learn more please click here.
Become a Foster Parent!
We can always use your help with taking care of the many babies our shelter receives. Click here to learn how you can become a foster parent.