June is finally here, which means warm weather, beach trips and the peak of “kitten season.” Kitten season, which starts in mid-May and goes through the summer, is one of the busiest seasons for local animal shelters when they begin receiving litter after litter of kittens in need of homes. Space and resources at animal shelters are limited, making kitten season one of the most difficult times for shelters. As pet owners we can help by getting our cats spayed and neutered.
Spaying and neutering our cats not only helps prevent unwanted litters from ending up in shelters, it also improves our cats’ quality of life. It stops bad behavior, such as marking and roaming, and reduces their chances of health problems later in life, including uterine, mammary and testicular cancer. Fixing your cat is important, and thankfully there are organizations that offer these surgeries at affordable prices.
The Animal Shelter Alliance or Portland offers a program called Spay & Save to cat owners who can’t afford to alter their cats. Through this program, low-income families can get their cats fixed for between $10 and $20. The cat needs to be older than 8 weeks and be in good health to be eligible for the surgery. The program also offers other services, including rabies vaccinations, micro-chipping and licensing at discount prices. To find out more, contact your local shelter or visit the ASAP website.
The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon also offers free spay and neuter surgeries to feral cat guardians. If you are caring for or have seen a feral cat in your area, contact the FCCO to schedule an appointment. The coalition will provide you with a humane trap so you can bring it in. The cat will be spayed or neutered and given a health exam to check for health concerns like rabies or ear mites. After the surgery the cat will have its ear tipped to mark that they’ve been treated. It’s simple and helps reduce the stray and feral cat population.
Being a responsible pet owner can be difficult, but thankfully there are plenty of resources to help out. For more information on other resources, contact your local shelter.