On Friday, KULR-8 contacted a rescue organization that helps feral cats, as well as dogs. The hope is that the organization, Freckles and Tomcat, can trap the cats and get them fixed. This brought up the issue of spaying and neutering pets.
Freckles and Tomcat has been rescuing cats and dogs for the last year and a half. On Friday, the organization came by to hopefully trap a mom cat and her kittens living outside the station. Chantel Pech told KULR-8 that some people believe since they don't plan on breeding their dog or cat, that they don't need to get them fixed. "At that same time, they let them go outside, especially with cats, they jump through the house window to get some fresh air. But, when they aren't altered, you don't know what neighbors have going on, what strays are in the area, that could get ahold of your pet."
One female cat and one male cat that are not fixed can produce multiple litters. Pech said, "We've actually been working with a person out in Duck Creek who had about 8 females all not spayed, and about 3 males knocked up all the females. They all had kittens. The kittens grew up and got knocked up by their dad." She also explained that an average litter size is about four kittens. That adds up fast.
When breeding gets out of control, the cats and kittens can end up having major health issues. "A lot of kittens were born with deformities, both internal and external, so we lost a lot of kittens just from that one area."
"A lot of vets can back up that if you get your cat or dog spayed before their first heat cycle, it prevents a lot of congenital problems in the future, and same thing for the males, it prevents cancer from that specific area," explained Pech.
Pech also believes that neighbors, who do not have their cats spayed or neutered, do not have wrong intentions with their feline friends. "They're not trying to be ignorant about it by any means. It's definitely one of those ongoing battles that we just want to try to raise so much more awareness about it, that way we can, instead of just trying to contain what's going on, we can lessen the problem too."
And contrary to some beliefs, trapping a feral cat does not harm the cat, at all. Pech showed KULR-8 how she traps cats with a wire kennel. "It's completely see-through, it's all wire that way you can see the animal, the animal can see it's surroundings. But, it has a little door that goes up and latches to a plate that sits toward the back of kennel, and we put some type of good tuna, chicken, canned food back there, and when they walk in and lean over to eat the food they lean on this plate, the plate releases the door, the door comes down but it's far back in the trap enough, where when the door comes down it's not going to catch them."
There are ways a person can tell if a cat is feral. One of their ears will be tipped. However, that's not always the case. There are many feral cats altered that do not have their ears tipped. Pech explained she would rather know for sure that the cat is fixed by trapping and inspecting it, instead of finding out later, that it's pregnant or able to impregnate another cat.