Much as I adore Mimi and the Fantastic Four, if I had to live without them because Mimi had been spayed before she had any kittens at all, I could do it. In fact, I wouldn’t have known most of the cats who lived with me if their mother had been spayed prior to having one or more unexpected litters of kittens, including Cookie, Kelly, Namir, Allegro, Fawn, Moses, Kublai, Stanley, all of whom I know were unintentional…and as much as my life would have been quite different without them, I could live that life in the knowledge that they had never had a need to be rescued. Spay and neuter, there is no reason not to.
Mimi tells her story
Mimi, super catmom of at least six litters of perfect black kittens, is now a happy housecat extolling the virtues of spayed bliss.
“I used to love my assignations in the neighbor’s driveway, then feeling my kittens grow and giving birth and nurturing them, it was all so easy,” Mimi says. “But when I realized I wasn’t the only one giving birth to a dozen kittens each year, and what happened to many of them…I’m embarrassed at my behavior and sad for cats who lost their lives because of me.”
“You know, I was totally powerless against my hormones, and I needed a human to get me spayed or I’d still be out there producing kittens,” she continues.
If you won’t listen to a person about spaying your cat, listen to the cat herself. Mimi gives us 30 good reasons to spay your cat and hopes that you’ll celebrate Spay Day USA on February 26 by either getting your cat spayed or convincing someone else to get their cat spayed.
Mimi’s 30 Reasons to Spay Your Cat
1. Eventually, she will outsmart you and get out the door.
2. Your kittens are no cuter than any other kittens in the world.
3. About 3,000 kittens and puppies are born every hour in the United States.
4. If you want your kids to see the miracle of life, have your own babies.
5. It’s not “good for a cat to have a litter before she’s spayed”, in fact, it’s bad for her health.
[You may already know these things.]
6. Having your cat spayed after she is one year or after having kittens puts her at highest risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
7. Having a cat spayed before her first heat reduces her chances of developing breast cancer later in life to almost nothing.
8. Nearly every city has a low-cost spay/neuter clinic or program that works on a sliding fee scale.
9. An unspayed female cat is more likely to do two of the things humans don’t like cats to do—scratch furniture and spray, and, yes, females do spray.
10. A spayed female outlives an unspayed female for an average of two years, and without the health problems associated with reproductive cancers.
[Apparently, many people do not.]
11. An unspayed cat can have an average of three litters per year.
12. Cats have litters of four to six kittens.
13. Kittens can go into their first heat as young as 4 months.
14. No, it’s not incest when brother and sister cats or mother and son cats have sex.
15. In two years, I produced 24 kittens, and have no idea what most of my children did once they were out of my care.
[Find some of these people and give them this list.]
16. At least 70% of all cats entering shelters in the United States are euthanized because there are no homes for them.
17. It costs a city more in taxpayer dollars to round up, house, euthanize and dispose of a homeless cat than it does to spay it.
18. Every shelter in the United States is overrun with kittens every summer necessitating the euthanasia of otherwise healthy cats—and dogs—to care for and place the kittens.
19. At least three million animals are killed in shelters every year because there are no homes for them and no space in shelters.
20. Someone has to decide who dies, and someone has to kill them, letting your cat have a litter of kittens forces a person to make this decision.
[All of this information is available from your local shelter and on the internet.]
21. A cat is “polyestrous” and can go into heat—and conceive—the day after giving birth to a litter of kittens; nursing does not prevent or delay her going into heat.
22. All kittens are cute, and the world already has enough of them.
23. Cats respond hormonally to day length and can go into heat as early as Valentine’s Day.
24. Momcats and kittens don’t “fend for themselves” like everyone thinks, so don’t dump them in the woods instead of taking them to a shelter.
25. Spaying your cat will not make her fat. Feeding her too much will make her fat.
[Let’s make 2013 the year we eliminate “kitten season”.]
26. Cats don’t have heat “cycles”, so once they go into heat, unless they find a male and mate, they can be in heat constantly, forever (or so it seems), in the least it is pretty unpredictable.
27. Spayed cats have absolutely no chance of developing uterine or ovarian cancer because those parts are removed.
28. Spayed cats can’t develop pyometra, a critical and common uterine infection, because they have no uterus.
29. You can safely spay a cat who is pregnant up to a certain point rather than contribute to overpopulation.
30. The male cats coming to court your unspayed female will seriously mess up your storm door, and probably each other fighting for dominance.
[I only stopped at 30 because…*yawn*…I need to take a nap.]
Also read “Help to Avoid Feline Breast Cancer by Spaying Early“, inspired by and featuring me for more information on feline breast cancer and other reproductive illnesses plus links to spay/neuter clinics in Pittsburgh and around the country. And, featuring one of my former suitors, I also remind you that The Boys Don’t Get Off the Hook.
If you’ve taken in a stray or adopted a kitten who is not spayed or neutered, there’s no question that spaying or neutering is expensive. Here are a few options to help keep it affordable. All programs have an application process with an income level that determines the final price of your cat’s surgery. In many cases the surgery alone can be done for under $50.00.
Upcoming Low-cost Spay and Neuter Clinics for Cats in Pittsburgh
Homeless Cat Management Team, 207 Allegheny Road, Tarentum, PA 15084
2/10 — Fast Track
3/3 — Fast Track
3/24 – Free for Ferals
4/14 — Fast Track
5/5 — Fast Track
5/26 – Free for Ferals
6/17 — Fast Track
Beat the Heat with Animal Friends in February
Animal Friends on Camp Horne Road is having a cat spay promotion for all of February, only $20 per cat spayed. Visit www.ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org or call 412.847.7004 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Valentine’s Cat Spay/Neuter Clinic in Regent Square February 16
Frankie’s Friends will bring their mobile spay/neuter unit at Animal Nature in Regent Square, 7610 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15221, $50 spay, $35 neuter, includes rabies vaccination, flea treatment, and ear mite treatment, vaccinations available for an extra charge. Cats must be dropped off between 8-9 am. Call 412-723-2194 to make a reservation.
Low-cost Spay and Neuter Opportunities Always Available
In Pittsburgh, the Homeless Cat Management Team offers “Trap-Neuter-Return”, or TNR, services for stray and feral cats which is an internationally-recognized method of helping to solve feline overpopulation. Both females and males are altered as well as any kittens, and where possible kittens are removed from the colony to be socialized and find a permanent home. They just can’t produce any more kittens—and they don’t engage in the most annoying feline behaviors, such as spraying, calling for mates, caterwauling and fighting, noisy and odorous activities that often turn people against cats and colonies of strays and ferals. This service is also available for rescue cats, household pets or even cats simply kept outdoors if they are owned by a person. For more details on the process and a list of clinic dates, please visit the Homeless Cat Management Team’s website at www.homelesscat.org.
Other low-cost clinics are available in the area as well. The Animal Rescue League has a weekly program where form Tuesday through Friday you can have a cat spayed, neutered and given basic veterinary care for $55.00, and a special clinic for strays and ferals for $20.00 or $30.00. The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society also has a low-cost spay/neuter program for cats and dogs, a $65.00 Spay Day just for cats, and ongoing TNR services for feral cats only for $30.00. Contact Carol Whaley of the Low Cost Spay/Neuter Program (LCSN) at Animal Friends at 1.800.SPAY.PGH or cwhaley@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org or on their website at www.thingkingoutsidethecage.org.
Outside of the shelters, the Spay Neuter Clinic at the corner of Frankstown and Rodi Roads always offers low-cost spay and neuter as well as other basic services. Call 412-244-1202 for information and an appointment, or visit their website at http://www.spayaz.com/pittsburgh-pa/. The practice is actually one of several which originated in Arizona specifically for the purpose of low-cost spay/neuter, so most of the information is about those offices, but you’ll find the Pittsburgh office with a phone number, and, most importantly, you can download their price list.
In 2012 Pittsburgh’s City Council approved a program that provides a free spay/neuter voucher for up to five pets per household to City of Pittsburgh residents. About $170,000 was budgeted to cover these services, yet the city pays much more than that to cover general animal control costs. Read more about it, and City of Pittsburgh residents can download a form at www.pittsburghpa.gov/animalcontrol/spay_neuter.htm.
If you’re not near Pittsburgh and you’d like to find out if there is a TNR organization near you, visit the Feral Cat Organizations listing on the Humane Society of the United States’ website. You can also find information on the Alley Cat Allies’ website under Make Connections. You can find yet more resources on the ASPCA website under TNR and Colony Management.
You don’t need to manage a colony top help feral cats. You can donate to, assist or even start a local TNR program in your area. The HSUS’s article What You Can Do to Help Feral Cats covers finding local organizations, listing options and how to pursue helping or starting a local organization, and they also have a Program Fund that you can donate to in order to assist them in helping local organizations form and operate.
Referenced in various articles that encourage spay and neuter for pets, includes the lowest-cost spay and neuter in the city, a link to stray/feral cat clinics and searchable databases of spay/neuter clinics all over the country.
You can also do a search on “Spay Day USA” or any topic in this list and find plenty of information on the internet.
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