It’s staying light later and the temperature is rising – Spring is definitely on the way. And along with spring comes…. kittens! In the past couple of weeks Forgotten Felines, our county’s TNR, (trap, neuter and release) organization, has said that half of all the female cats at their weekly spay/neuter clinic have been in heat; the other half are either pregnant or nursing!
This is important for anyone who has started feeding a stray since last year. Although kittens are adorable, you have to ask yourself, “Do I really want to feed and care for three to seven more cats?” Either way you answer, the only responsible thing to do is to have your stray fixed! If you do want to care for more, there are plenty of cats already in the shelter system that need you, so no worries there.
It’s important to fix both the males and the females. One intact male can impregnate an untold (has anyone counted?) number of females assuming there was an ample supply of intact females available. They also get into fights and roam further looking for females so more often end up lost or as road kill. If left intact, one female can be responsible for over 4,000 offspring in just seven years depending on how conservative you are in the number of litters she has each year. 4,000 being on the low end – that number assumes just one litter per female each year and only four kittens per litter. We know that a single female can have up to three litters in a year and we just heard about a female that gave birth to seven kittens!
Did you also know that a female can start reproducing as young as five months old! Last year’s babies are ready to start making their own, right about…now! So if you’ve acquired a kitten since last summer it’s definitely time to get him or her in to be altered. Thank goodness for our monthly Fix-it Clinics.
We offer residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati (inside the city limits) FREE cat spays and neuters. Included in this offer are vaccinations and a microchip. The only thing you have to pay is $18 for a cat license (Rohnert Park residents only). Not only will your cat be fixed, vaccinated, de-flea’d and implanted with permanent identification – they will be legal with their required license tag! That’s quite a deal so call now for an appointment – 588-3531. This line is a message only and is monitored by a volunteer so you should get a call back within a couple days. Be sure to mention if you think your cat may be pregnant (is she looking a little heavier than she was just a couple weeks ago?) as these cats are given priority in scheduling.
If the cat you are feeding is feral (still wild), you would be better off using Forgotten Felines weekly spay/neuter clinic that is set-up specifically to handle cats in traps. Call them directly to schedule at 576-7999 or by filling out a contact form on their website; www.forgottenfelines.com.
Either way there is a low-cost option available to you to help end cat over-population in our area. As the saying goes, “If you feed a stray, then neuter and spay!” Do it now before you are in over your head with unwanted kittens!
Third Annual Sonoma County Bunfest! – Sat., March 30, 11-3 p.m., at the RP Community Center. Free admission gets you great speakers about bunny care and health, adorable rabbits to meet, rabbit supplies and toys for sale, raffle items and more. New this year – a family activity center! Details available at sonomacountybunfest.com
“Get Them Back Home” Campaign – Every lost pet should have a way to get back home. FREE pet ID tag and a back-up microchip are available to all residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati. No appointment necessary, just come by the shelter during our regular open hours: Wed. 1-6:30; Thurs.-Fri.-Sat. 1-5:30; Sun. 1-4:30.
Fix-it Clinics – Free spay and neuters for cats; and $60 dog surgeries (up to 80 lbs.) for low-income Rohnert Park and Cotati residents. Call 588-3531 for an appointment.
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.