After seeing my fifth “Oh, look at my cat’s newborn babies” announcement on Facebook, I was ready to lose it. I struggled valiantly and managed not to comment, “Will you please, for the love of Christ, get your damn cat SPAYED?!?”
Yes, kittens are ridiculously cute. I know that. But here’s something else I know:
I work for an animal rescue organization, and I recently got to assist in welcoming a transport bus filled with almost 100 cats and dogs from high-kill shelters in California. In that group, there were about 30 kittens old enough to be on their own, along with several mothers and kittens.
One of these mother cats was barely a “teenager” herself, and she’d already had her first litter: Four babies, barely two days old, still blind and deaf and groping for their mother’s nipples with tiny, almost-translucent paws.
Four cute, sweet babies who would have died at the end of a needle, simply because there was no room for them at the overcrowded shelter where their mother gave birth.
Four cute, sweet babies who might still die if they were exposed to the dreaded upper respiratory infections that are so common in shelters.
Every time your cat has a litter of kittens, you’re contributing to the mass killings at shelters.
Yeah, go ahead, tell me I’m overreacting. Tell me it’s just one litter. Ask me why it’s such a big deal. Tell me you did it so your kids could see the Miracle Of Birth™. Tell me it’s different with you because you’ll find good homes for your kittens. Scream at me for being judgmental and not understanding your special snowflake situation.
I don’t give a damn.
I’m stating the plan, simple, God’s honest truth: You. Are. Part. Of. The. Problem.
Wait, what’s that I hear? Spaying and neutering is expensive, you say. I can’t afford it, you say? If vets weren’t in it only for the money, they’d let you get your cat spayed cheap. It’s clearly veterinarians’ fault for not giving away their services.
Lest I be accused of being someone who gripes and complains without providing actual solutions for the problems I’m griping about, let me share the good news about low-cost spay/neuter services.
There are lots of them. In every state and province. Five seconds of web searching will reveal approximately a metric crap-ton of options for you if you can’t afford to get your cat spayed or neutered. Here, let me Google that for you:
- North Shore Animal League’ SpayUSA provides a listing of low-cost spay/neuter services and can even give you a voucher to bring to your vet.
- The Humane Society of the United States lists low-cost spay/neuter programs in every state and in Canada as well.
- And here’s another low cost spay/neuter search brought to you by the ASPCA.
- Many states offer voucher programs for low-cost spay/neuter services, often funded by license plate fees.
- Your local shelter will have information on spay/neuter services in your area.
Okay, you’re out of excuses now. Go get your cat spayed or neutered, please and thank you.
For those of you on the “my children want to witness the miracle of birth” trip, here’s a better option: Be a foster home for pregnant and nursing cats. That way your kids get to witness the birth process and you get to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
By fostering, you are not just part of the solution, you’re a crucial part of the solution! Remember what I said earlier about kittens getting respiratory infections in shelters? In foster homes, they’re safe from getting sick while their immune systems are still developing. That means you not only get a huge helping of cuteness, you get the satisfaction of knowing you saved multiple lives in the process.
So yeah, I’m sick as hell of seeing your photos of your cat’s kittens, but if you share pictures of your foster kittens, I’ll ooh and aah and squee forever. Please be part of the solution and not part of the problem: Get your cat spayed or neutered. Make the appointment today.