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The Importance of Spaying and Neutering Your Animal Companion

Cats--We Love Cats!
Cats need to be Spayed and Neutered if they are not to be bred.

This is so important that I will say it again:

Cats need to be Spayed and Neutered if they are not to be bred.

There are just too many unwanted litters and kittens and cats being killed each year that it is staggering. I am not sure if it is just the Humane Society in my neighborhood or it is the policy of all Humane Societies that they euthanize cats and kittens if they have not found a home in 5-7 days. The proper term is Euthanize, but it is killing--plain and simple...they kill them. It's not their fault, but the fault of all the owners who just can't get their cats or kittens de-sexed. There are many programs out there that will help you if you just ask. The main ones that I deal with are Spay Today and Allie Cat Allies. Both have main websites that you can go to to get lots more information. They will be in the links section of this hub.

Allie Cat Allies has such information about how to build an outdoor shelter and feeding centers from basic and simple and inexpensive to elaborate and costly. It depends on how much you think your cats are worth. Some Spay Today programs across the country have FREE Spaying and Neutering while others, such as mine, have low-cost. There are other fees involved with this and you should contact the Spay Today in your area to see what they are. Rabies Vaccinations are mandatory in some locals, so it is best to check on those.

Some have nail clipping and many tests like FIV and Feline Leukemia, feline panleukopenia (distemper), feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, and rabies. feline leukemia (FeLV), feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), ringworm, and chlamydia. The AAFP recommends AGAINST FeLV vaccinations in totally indoor cats who have no exposure to other cats. FIP vaccinations should only be given to cats who have a possibility of being exposed to it through other cats. The choice to use chlamydia and ringworm vaccines is based upon the prevalence of the disease in your area. I had a cat that died of Feline AIDS. He got it from licking the tears off a cat that was just thrown into our yard in a towel. That cat died a week later and our cat was a very nurturing cat. We didn't know that this other cat had Feline Aids (FIV). Our cat lost 12 pound in like two weeks time. We finally had to put him to sleep. It was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do. He was my baby and he was only 11 years old. If you have any idea if the cat has ever been outdoors around other cats or you are going to have this cat outdoors, get those tests done and get them their booster shots.

Feline AIDS
Feline AIDS is another reason to spay/neuter your cat/kitten and to keep them from fighting. Feline AIDS is not transferred from cat to human or human to cat, but it is very much like the Human AIDS that is passed from human to human. It is certain death for the animal who contracts it. It is not spread by intercourse such as the human AIDS is but through body fluids such as tears and blood from scratches and bites of fighting stray cats. Though some cats will have it for many years and not show any signs of it. Once they get the virus they can never get rid of it.

Symptoms of Feline AIDS from the initial onset to the final stage of the disease are

  1. fever
  2. depression, and just not feeling or acting like they should
  3. bad gum infections and the loss of teeth.
  4. Lack of and sudden weight loss
  5. Cats get colds easily and are hard to get rid of.
The second stage of the illness they can stay there for the rest of there lives if well cared for and given lots of love and attention. At times the cat may not want to eat or lack the willpower to, but you can experiment with foods from Special Cat foods, to canned foods and even human and baby food. The best one are fish and chicken.

The Third stage is where the immune system totally breaks down and the cat is very ill. At this time the cat will not be able to sustain itself and it's organs start to deteriorate rapidly.

Helping Other Cats

If you are like me you will just want to help any cat that comes in your yard. Well, it is law in this state that if you feed a stray or feral cat then it becomes yours. I think that is ridiculous and lets the real owners off the hook of responsibly for those cats. They use circular logic with that saying that no one should feed them then. Some people around my neighborhood just leave their cats there when they move or many people drop the off thinking that they can survive on their own in the woods. The think is the can't and most times they will die a very slow agonizing death. I have seen two do that and I even tried to help them but they were at the stage of eat or be eaten and were very mean. They were not feral, they were just at their wits end and didn't trust anyone. I was able to touch and hold this cat sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes. That cat came to a horrible end by getting hit by a car. I buried it when I found it in the road. She would have been a very loving cat if someone would have taken her to a NO-KILL Animal Shelter.

So you want to help the cats that come to you and don't seem to have a home of their own. You feed them and water and give them some kind of shelter. You want to stop them from having more kittens and making unwanted litters in your area. If you are not sure if it is feral or stray then by all means get that animal de-sexed. First of all call your local Spay Today and ask them if they rent out traps for cats that you cannot catch on your own. Most will rent them out to you at a nominal charge and they will even have carriers to rent if you do not have enough for your own kittens or cats.

Alley Cat Allies, the national feral cat resource defines a feral cat as "either a cat who has lived his whole life with little or no human contact and is not socialized, or a stray cat who was lost or abandoned and has lived away from human contact long enough to revert to a wild state. Feral cats avoid human contact and cannot be touched by strangers."

Alley Cat Allies explains the difference between feral and stray cats: "A stray cat is a domestic cat who has been abandoned or has strayed from home and become lost... because stray cats once knew human companionship, they can usually be re-socialized or re-homed. Adult feral cats usually cannot be socialized and are most content living outside. Feral kittens up to 8 or 10 weeks of age can often be tamed and placed in homes." (used by permission from Alley Cat Allies).

Most litters of feral cat in colonies die before their first year. Tom Cat's fight and transmit many diseases and illnesses throughout the colonies as well. If you decide that you want to de-sex the feral cats in your area, please do not remove any males or females from the colony. Studies of the TNR (Trap Neuter and Release) program has shown that if you remove a male that this only produces a vacuum effect and new males and female will move in. The Vet will do what is called ear tipping. They cut just the tip off of the ear of the cat while they are getting de-sexed. It is harmless to the cat and most Vets offer it for FREE. This is like a marking that anyone can see and it lets them know that this cat has already been de-sexed. It saves them time and money and you too. Young kittens can be tamed and placed in new homes.

From personal experience kittens that are raised outside and are partially feral and are about 3 months of age are hard to socialize and will be indoor/outdoor cats. I have two cats from a mother who had them in a tree in my yard and I took them in. She was very domesticated and was not being cared for so I gave her up for adoption along with three of her other litters. These two that she brought to me were at least 3 months old and took about 6 weeks of feeding them outside to get them near enough to me so that I could pick them up. Then when I did get them inside it took another 5 months for them to stay out in plain view of everyone--to at least me. Shadow is a female and we thought she was a male--exhibited all the male behavior and all. When we got her de-sexed is when they called and told me that she was a female. I don't think she knows that she is a she because she will spray if I do not let her go outside when she wants to go outside. Her sister just has a high-pitched whine. I don't like her outside because she gets mean, but she will sneak out with the other cats. Everyone else, even Shadow will come back in at night, but this one will not and it takes me about 4 days until she comes to the door wanting in. So just a friendly warning, if they have been outside they may not be total indoor cats.

I cannot take in any more cats. I already have 5 indoor/outdoor cats. One is the kitten of the Mommy Kitty that I just got de-sexed. She brought them to me. all five of them, last year. This year I knew when she got pregnant and by whom and I put her in a roomy Dog Crate with this litter. The male was de-sexed about 3 months ago while she was in the crate having her last litter of kittens. The kittens were all just de-sexed on Monday. Three males remain to be de-sexed that come in my yard. That will be it, and I hope that I don't have anymore kittens for a long time.

Flea Control on a large scale!
There are many things a cat can get from Fleas. Some are:

  1. Flea allergic dermatitis or what's commonly known as FAD.
  2. Tapeworms
  3. Fleas also cause anemia in cats.
Thre are many ways to get rid of fleas. Frontline and Advantage are some of the chemical based ones. These are easy to administer to the cat. There are generic brands that do well also. Read the labels to see what the ingredients are and if they math up to the same on the name brand. I also have a more organic way of preventing fleas. Garden Lime works to rid fleas out of your yard and also to sweeten the earth from dog feces and urine. Diatomaceous earth is another. When you use this don't allow it to get into your eyes or the animals eyes and don't breath it. That is the only precaution. It is the consistency and color of finely ground flour. Eating it will not harm cats or kittens because animals are too big. It only kills small insects and is natural. Don't get the kind you put in your pool or has any other additives. Diatomaceous earth is made up of the fossilized remains of diatoms, single-cell organisms. The glass-like nature of diatomaceous earth makes it one of the oldest forms of insecticide. The sharp surfaces cut through the insect cuticle and the insect dies of dehydration. I have used it with great results. I just spread it with my garden spreader in my yard where cats and other animals walk on and let nature take it's course. I also use it on my carpets and floors. Scuffle across your carpets to get the while stuff down into the fibers of your carpet and let it stay there for a few days. Then vacuum it up. On the label it states that when it gets wet it becomes non-active. I think this is due to the particles in the substance becoming soft. and not sharp on the edges. It also says the best results is if you leave it on the ground for several days to get the best results. This would also go for the Lime too. Be careful with the Lime though as it can burn animal paws if they walk on it for more then 10 minutes.

Which Side Of The Fence Do You Sit?
Animal Rights is a A political movement that opposes all animal use including working dogs (for blind, etc.) and breeding companion dogs (i.e., pets) These Organization endorse this stance: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Doris Day Animal League, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) (but not local Humane Societies)

Their beliefs are:

The agenda is taken from The Politics of Animal Liberation written by Kim Barlett, Editor of the Animals' Agenda, Nov. 1987 but a minimally

modified version was part of the Green Party Platform for 2000 1. Abolish by law animal research.

2. Outlaw the use of animals for cosmetic and product testing, classroom demonstrations and weapons development.

3. Make vegetarian meals available at all public institutions, including schools.

4. Eliminate all animal agriculture.

5. End herbicides, pesticides, and other

Agricultural chemicals. Outlaw predator control. 6. Transfer enforcement of animal welfare

legislation away from the Dept. of Agriculture. 7. Eliminate fur ranching and end the use of furs.

8. Prohibit hunting, trapping and fishing.

9. End the international trade in wildlife goods.

10. Stop any further breeding of companion animals, including purebred dogs and cats.

11. Spaying and neutering should be subsidized by state and municipal governments. Commerce in domestic and exotic animals for the pet trade

should be abolished. 12. End the use of animals in entertainment.

Animal Welfare is a stewardship of the Companion Animals and many other uses of Animals. Their beliefs are

1. Supports raising and using animals humanely and responsibly for food, fiber, labor, and medical research.

2. Manages animal populations by hunting; keeping animals in zoos and other educational venues.

3. Requires humane treatment and responsible use of animals on farms, ranches, circuses, rodeos, homes, kennels, catteries, laboratories, and wherever else animals are maintained.

4. Endorses a scientific approach to commercial use and management of wild animal populations and a quick death when death is inevitable.

5. Celebrates human/animal interactions and works to improve animal well-being.

6. Enjoys animal sports and animals in movies, circuses, and on stage.

7. Rejoices in the bond between humans and pets.

The main Advocates for Animal Welfare are: The American Kennel Club (AKC), National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), Responsible Pet Owners Alliance (RPOA)

I am on the side of Animal Welfare. Animals are not going to go away and they are our friends and as such they are our companions and do look to us for food, shelter, companionship, love and sometimes their very life. I will always take in an animal or help one if they need it and come to me for such.

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