The Importance of Spaying and Neutering

As we prepare for kitten season, we wanted to reiterate the importance of spaying and neutering your cat. While we have focused on this topic here and here, we cannot stress the importance of spaying and neutering enough. Last year’s kitten season was especially long, with Ten Lives Cat Rescue rescuing 16 pregnant cats and rescuing/saving 138 kittens (up to six months old) and 30 teenage kittens (ages 6 months to one year old) from March 1st through the mid-December. This statistic is sadly on-trend with national statistics, as female cats are able to give birth every four months, with each litter averaging three to five kittens.

Did you know that spaying and neutering helps cats live longer, healthier lives while contributing to reducing the homeless pet population? Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce a number of health problems that can be very difficult or expensive to treat. Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine or Spay Neuter Infographicovarian cancer and greatly reduces the occurrence of breast tumors, particularly when your pet is spayed before her first heat. Neutering removes the possibility of testicular cancer and decreases some prostate problems. Spaying and neutering your pet can also eliminate unwanted behaviors such as spraying, roaming, aggression, and mounting.

An unaltered female cat can become pregnant as early as four months old—when she is still a kitten herself! A kitten can be spayed or neutered when they reach two pounds in body weight, which is typically at eight weeks old.  In addition, a cat is never too old to be spayed or neutered. If your cat is more than seven years old, it is recommended that you take your cat to your veterinarian to have blood tests done before surgery to determine if his or her liver and kidneys are working properly.

Shelters and rescues such as ours do their best to help as many cats and kittens as they can, but kitten season causes added expenses and depleted supplies—stresses that weigh heavily on all shelters and rescues. While kittens are seen as “cute,” the heartbreaking reality is many unwanted kittens end up in feral colonies, or suffer worse fates—shelters across the country are forced to euthanize many adoptable cats each year due to overcrowding. Many of these kittens were the result of unwanted and unplanned litters, but by spaying or neutering your pet, you are doing your part to bring an end to the pet overpopulation problem.  Your cat will not have unplanned kittens that end up in a shelter or on the streets, and that means that the cats already waiting for homes will have that much more of a chance to find one.

How Can You Help Ten Lives Cat Rescue?

Foster/Volunteer:

As a foster-based rescue without a brick and mortar facility, we are always looking for new fosters to join us! We can only take in as many cats as our foster volunteers have room for, and we often find ourselves stretched thin when it comes to foster homes—particularly during kitten season and upcoming winter weather. You supply the space, love, and time, and we provide the supplies, vetting, and support. Even fostering a single cat helps us accept more cats on our growing intake list. To learn more, please email us at hello.tenlives@gmail.com. Ready to take a leap into fostering and saving cats with us? Our application can be found here.

If you can’t foster but would still like to help Ten Lives Cat Rescue in another way, please apply here to become a volunteer!

Donate:

A significant portion of our funds are spent on medical expenses and supplies. You can check out our Amazon wishlist for an up-to-date list of items we need most.  If you would like to donate items in person, please email us at hello.tenlives@gmail.com.  Of course, monetary donations are also greatly appreciated.

Adopt:

Consider applying to adopt a Ten Lives cat (or two!)! All of our cats receive their initial vetting and microchips, and every cat adopted frees up a space for more cats in need. View our adoptable cats and find your perfect match here.

Spay or Neuter Your Cat:

Please help us end the heartbreaking cycle and spay or neuter your cat! If you are worried about the cost of spaying or neutering your cat, there are options:

Potter League Spay and Neuter Clinic
235 Elm Street
Warwick, RI 02889

Salmon River Vet, LLC
(Visit website for locations and hours)

PetSmart Charities also has a useful low-cost clinic locator service.

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