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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My family and I (being the suckers that we are for animals in need) made the dire mistake of regularly feeding a stray that showed up in our yard a few years ago... and neglecting to spay her. Needless to say, she had kittens... and they had kittens... and they had kittens... We are currently feeding and providing a sanctuary for seven or eight outside cats. We have no plans to stop feeding them or for getting rid of them -- indeed, we love them very much. However, we are caught in a vicious cycle. Each successive litter proceeds to have more litters, some of which take up residence in our yard, some that go out to make little kitty-communes of their own. I am an advocate of spaying/neutering, but there is no way we could afford to "fix" them all, even IF we could manage to catch them all and take them to the vet. If we somehow could afford it, it would make no difference because new cats that are of no relation to our original join our little commune... which produces even MORE kittens.<br><br><br><br>
In short, there is nothing to be done and I suppose that I am just looking for moral support. We will always feed and give a home to our cats, regardless of how many there are (it tends to stay around seven or eight), but there is still that lingering guilt that they are making little kittens that grow up and go out to populate the world with homeless kitties of their own. It seems, however, that there is nothing to be done. Are we right in continuing to shelter them and not spaying or neutering them? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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I'm sorry, but I'm gonna have to say no you're not right to not have spayed/neutered them. Had you just spayed the first cat this problem wouldn't've occured in the first place. Does this make you a bad person? No. But you need to be more responsible with your animals. Try to work out a deal with a vet or the ASPCA to get all the female cats spayed. Its more expensive than the males, but it only takes one male to impregnant however many females you have. So if you can't do both, do all the girls. Sometimes shelters will sell you spay/neuter certificates for less than the cost of the surgery. Any subsequent litters of kittens should either be adopted out through you as kittens, or brought to the shelter as kittens so people who can afford to have them vaccinated and spayed will do so.<br><br><br><br>
You really ought to have the cats tested for Feline Leukemia and Aids and then vaccinated for it if the test comes up negative. It would be VERY harmful to the cat community in your area to have any FeLV/FIV cats around infecting other cats. Rabies vaccine is also very important. I don't know where you live to know what the laws are but look into it. In NY if you've been feeding an animal for 2+ wks, its your animal, and you are legally and financially responsible for it and its actions. Also, if you have not vaccinated your pet against rabies in NY, you can be fined up to $10,000.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the advice... I am going to look into this, but, as a dependent, the final decision is not up to me. I will certainly do all I can to at least have the females spayed. Unfortunately, (this if one of the reasons that we have not tried before to take them to the vet) many of the cats will not let us pick them up -- they are just not trusting enough. Any suggestions?
 

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Cat Traps. It doesn't hurt them but they go in and the gate shuts behind them and then they're caged. The vet can use a shot of telazol (sp?) IM on a feral cat to sedate them (you want to find a vet who understand you're trapping them and will take them as you catch them... ) without having to touch them and then have the cat spayed and tested and vaccinated and returned to you.<br><br><br><br>
Contact local cat rescue organizations and they may let you borrow a trap. They also may be able to help you with the spaying. Call vets offices in the area and ask them if they know of any organizations that work with stray/feral cats cause you have a colony in your yard you want to have taken care of.<br><br><br><br>
If more kittens are born try to take them inside between 5-6 wks of age. If you wait too long they become feral as well and can't be "changed back" to domestic. Kittens can find homes VERY fast, either through you or a shelter or through animal hospitals. (you could take a pic and put up signs at the vets offices) It wouldn't solve the problem but it would help it from getting worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for all your help -- I really appreciate it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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rabid_child, you took the words right out of my mouth!<br><br><br><br>
Ditto getting the females spayed, it's better than creating an even bigger cat colony.
 

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Rabid Child gave some great advice. Some local vets might very well give you a discount when you tell them the situation. I believe Friends of Animals sells discount spay/neuter certificates through their website (I think it's friendsofanimals.org). Regarding the expense of spaying, consider that in the long run your family will save money on food for future kittens for each cat that is spayed. Keep in mind if you do borrow or buy a humane trap (I believe that garden supply stores or even Home Depot might sell them), you might want to also drop off a carrier w/ a towel in it when you drop the cat off for surgery so she'll be more comfortable afterwards. If you can't borrow a trap from a cat rescue group, a local humane society or shelter might lend one to you. And please make sure that if you adopt out any kittens yourself to carefully screen all potential adopters. Many people are caught up in the excitement of having a little kitten, and when they grow up they lost interest. Good luck, and please let us know how it goes.
 

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The worst thing you can do is not choosing to spay/neuter. Yes, they are stray and/or feral but if you can help to lower the population then you should. Call the humane society or a few vets and explain your situation, they may be able to lower their costs.
 

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Some areas have spay/neuter programs for feral and/or rescued cats. For example, in my area, a program has been set up where a group of vets periodically donate a Sunday to do mass spaying/neutering for feral cats and for pets of low income individuals. Several of the local rescue organizations make humane traps available for people who wish to trap feral cats to be spayed/neutered. I believe the charge for the procedure is $10 per animal, to defray anesthesia costs. Call some of the local shelters to find out whether a similar program is available in your area.
 

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We got all the ferals in our neighborhood spayed/neutered for free through a local feral rescue group. It's quite possible that there is a group like that near you. They even sent out a volunteer with traps to help! We fostered some of the kittens so they could be adopted out and the rest (that were too feral) were released back into their environment.<br><br><br><br>
Check out <a href="http://www.alleycat.org" target="_blank">www.alleycat.org</a> for great info!<br><br><br><br>
BTW, while local shelters can be a good resource for more info, they are usually not the place you actually want to have trap the ferals since they often kill ferals.
 

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absolutely contact a rescue group!! i have a rescue group and my new motto is: spay, it will make my day! we love to spay - spay, spay, spay, spay, spay!! we don't have any money right now, but our vet clinic lets us run a tab and so we spay, spay, spay, spay spay... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
excuse me - up to eyeballs in unwanted cats and going a wee bit insane.
 
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