Marty and Prince are the last two kittens left for adoption at Agway this year, and with them several feral mothers were trapped and spayed and a total of 15 kittens were trapped, spayed, neutered and adopted. That’s a lot of cats who have homes and plenty of kittens who won’t be born next year!
Marty is about ten weeks old and has about a half-pound to gain before she can be spayed. She’s a lovely tabby girl, friendly and playful and affectionate with customers.
Prince (who was Princess until he was neutered the other day) is about fourteen weeks old and ready to go home with anyone who comes along!
They are not related and came from different places, but get along well with each other, so will probably get along well with other cats, at least.
Several years ago, Don and Sloane this Agway learned several lessons in keeping cats, turning an overpopulated situation into one of assistance to others and stray and feral cats.
They took in a box of barn kittens from a customer after they lost their shop cat. They didn’t get them spayed and neutered in time, one of four disappeared and the two females had litters that summer. Then the customer brought in another box of kittens, soon others wanted to bring their kittens, and, yes, instant overpopulation.
The farm supply store doesn’t make much money now that most farm customers have either sold their farms to developers or simply moved into surrounding counties, and spaying and neutering over a dozen cats is an expensive proposition. I told them about the low-cost spay-neuter programs and the Spay and Neuter Clinic, and also about the Homeless Cat Management Team as did others, and all of us helped them to get that group fixed and find homes. You can read about that in this article.
In the next few years, others did try to simply dump their unwanted kittens there, but the word was that the Agway would only take kittens if the mother had been or had an appointment to be spayed, and they handed out the same spay/neuter information they had used themselves. Where the mother cats were strays or ferals who couldn’t be caught, the Agway loaned out traps and gave people advice on how to use them. Over the past few years one feral colony has been reduced from four or five reproducing mothers to one feral mother still outside who couldn’t yet be caught, and a half dozen reproducing female cats who are now spayed after people were given information on low-cost options and constant urging to get their cats spayed.
Don and Sloane have taken in the kittens, cleaned them up and socialized them, spaying and neutering at the right age if they aren’t adopted yet, and helped to find homes so that the stray and feral mothers could be spayed and often taken in by the families who trapped them.
Perhaps it would be better if people did adopt from shelters to reduce their populations, but on the other hand it’s not a bad thing to take the burden off of shelters and at the same time provide spay/neuter and health information, often sending people to the Humane Society and Animal Rescue League for spay/neuter and veterinary care, thereby supporting the shelter financially.
It’s another place I can go to get my kitten fix too! Here is another article with photos about this year’s kittens at Agway. And here is a photo of two cats in their permanent collection.