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Help me convince my friend not to breed

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
My friend has a female kitten who is about 5 months old. We had a conversation two months ago about spaying said kitten, and my friend said she wasn't going to spay her because she might "want to have kittens someday." I of course launched into my spiel about shelter cats and why she need NOT breed, yada yada. My friend is unfortunately in denial about such things. Is there any info or good web sites anybody can reccomend me to that might convince my friend to spay her kitty? I know the things that can happend in with breeding dogs, do some of those same things apply to cats (i.e. the mom can die during pregnancy, etc.)? Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 20
Originally Posted by Sweet72947 View Post
My friend has a female kitten who is about 5 months old. We had a conversation two months ago about spaying said kitten, and my friend said she wasn't going to spay her because she might "want to have kittens someday." I of course launched into my spiel about shelter cats and why she need NOT breed, yada yada. My friend is unfortunately in denial about such things. Is there any info or good web sites anybody can reccomend me to that might convince my friend to spay her kitty? I know the things that can happend in with breeding dogs, do some of those same things apply to cats (i.e. the mom can die during pregnancy, etc.)? Thanks in advance!
Hi Sweet...does your friend live in Northern VA?? Is she aware that over 73,000 cats/kittens were euthanized in Virginia in 2005 in shelters throughout Virginia. That is about 55% of all cats/kittens taken into shelters.

If she wants to have kittens...tell her to spay her cat and then she can foster a pregnant cat from a shelter. Not only can she witness the miracle of birth..but she is saving a life that otherwise might not have a chance.

post #3 of 20
I am sure plenty of people will come up with some great links, but this always comes to my mind when someone says they want their cat to 'experience birthing a litter". People just do not realize that it isn't the same for cats and dogs. Beyond the obvious health reasons, there are too many unwanted cats to justify people who are not licensed breeders purposely bringing yet another litter into the world. I don't know who wrote it, my apologies. I am sure most people do not recognize themselves when they read this, they think it will be 'different' for their cat...if that were the case, shelters would not be full of homeless animals:

"Come quick, come quick", their mother said, "The time is getting near"; She feels that when the kittens come the children should be here.

She told them that a big orange Tom took "Kitty" as his wife "It's wonderful, a gift from God, the miracle of life"

At half a year young "Kitty" feels too painful and too scared to appreciate six miracles, blind-eyed and yellow haired.

But she knows these lives depend on her and nature tells her how and as she cleans them, children ask "Mom, can we go now?"

But now and then, for six more weeks the children visit her to play with six new magic toys, made of life and fur.

The six weeks pass, the newness gone and new homes yet unfound, Mom bundles up six miracles and takes them to the pound,

Where lovingly, with gentle hands and no tears left to cry, the shelter workers kiss them once and take them off to die.

And "Momma Kitty", now she's called, mourns her loss and then, she's put outside, and of course, she's pregnant once again.

Dad tells "Kitty" STOP THIS NOW or you wont live here long!, but deep inside of Momma Cat, this time something's wrong.

Too young, too small, too often bred now nature's gone awry, Momma Kitty feels it too and she crawls off to die.

She too is freed from this cruel world, and from her time of strife. How harsh the truth, how high the price, this "Miracle of Life"?

post #4 of 20
And of course, this link offers many of the reasons:
post #5 of 20
I have a couple of horror stories from my personal experience.

First one involved a cat who, unbeknownst to us, had a neurological problem that made it impossible for her to push her kittens out. So, $750 worth of c-section and one dead kitten later, I had 3 kittens that the mother refused to nurse. Two died that first weekend. The remaining kitten, having been deprived of colostrum, had zero immune system and picked up every infection in the book. He had three serious illnesses and two hospitalizations, during which he nearly died, before he was 12 weeks old. Total cost for all his vet care up to that point: about $3500. He's a healthy adult now but without the costly vet care he would have died. So total cost from this one litter of kittens: over $4000, plus three dead kittens.

And another one: mother cat delivered 6 live kittens plus one stillborn. Two days later, she's not doing well so we rush her to the hospital where she has emergency surgery for a ruptured, septic uterus. During surgery, she stopped breathing. After half a day on life support, we made the decision with the vet to take her off life support and she died, leaving 6 newborn kittens for us to bottlefeed. Total cost for this emergency surgery and life support: about $2500. Two of the kittens died in the next few weeks.

I've seen mother cats eat their dead newborn kittens. I'd wish anyone luck explaining that one to their kids. I've seen kittens born with catastrophic birth defects, incompatible with life. I've seen mothers randomly decide to reject all or some of their kittens.

And that's not even beginning to address the points about overpopulation that the others brought up, which are of course extremely important.

Bottom line is that there is no good reason to let a pet cat have kittens - ever.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for the info! TNR1, my friend lives in Maryland, but I'm sure the numbers are similar. My friend thinks its ok to breed as long as she finds good homes for them . Semiferal, you brought up some good points!
Thanks for all your responses!
post #7 of 20
Why not take your friend for a visit to the local shelter so she can see first hand how many of these babies already need homes. Nothing like a good tug on the heart strings to help her see the light.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
The argument I had with her about breeding actually took place at the rescue shelter where I volunteer. She's seen all the cats in our cattery and she actually lives in walking distance of the SPCA. She knows these things, she just doesn't want to admit it to herself.
post #9 of 20
Originally Posted by Sweet72947 View Post
Thanks guys for the info! TNR1, my friend lives in Maryland, but I'm sure the numbers are similar. My friend thinks its ok to breed as long as she finds good homes for them . Semiferal, you brought up some good points!
Thanks for all your responses!
How wonderful that she can find good homes for kittens....not being sarcastic. We need people to help with fostering orphaned kittens, pregnant moms and moms with kittens. Again, I would go the route of encouraging her to foster instead of trying to discourage her from breeding.

post #10 of 20
Well how about my story? I found a pregnant stray cat in January (I live in Maryland, btw). I kept her safe and warm and have been fostering her for a rescue group. She went into labor this past Monday, February 5. Something was wrong (she couldn't pass her water sac) so I took her to the vet. She needed an emergency C-section/spay. The vet had to give her general anesthesia (dangerous), cut her open (dangerous), and deliver her kittens while Mom was asleep so she couldn't clean them, eat the placenta, or have the "birth experience" (not good). The "birth experience" means going into labor and having the babies actually born, so she cleans them and eats the placenta and knows that the babies are hers. There was a chance that she would reject the litter and we would have had to feed the babies by hand every two hours for 5 weeks. Had she been a stray still (or had I not been home when she went into labor), she and all of her babies would have died.
When Alice finally came out of surgery, she was miserable. She is the skinniest cat I have ever seen. Pregnancy and nursing have really taken a toll on her. One of her babies didn't make it (birth defects), but now she has 6 mouths to feed, and I have a $750 vet bill (not to mention the daily worry that the wound will get infected, the stitches will get pulled out, and that another of the babies won't make it).
Seeing Alice in this state, I realized how absolutely selfish it is to let a cat get pregnant. The cat doesn't want to go through all that. We just want to watch it. I admit that when I found her and I realized she was pregnant, I was excited to get to take part in the "miracle of life." But as she was waking up from anesthesia (glassy-eyed, shivering, scared, falling over, shaven belly, big scar) all I could do was sob and tell her over and over that she'd never have to do this again, she'd never have to do this again (we had her spayed while the doctor had her cut open).
On top of how much it can cost, and how miserable it makes a mother cat, there are plenty of other reasons why cats don't need to get needlessly pregnant. Having been to an animal shelter, this girl should know how many pets are homeless. When she lets her cat have babies and then she sells them or gives them away, there are that many fewer homes for the animals in shelters. There are also diseases that can be transmitted from cat to cat when she lets her cat outside (FIV, or Feline AIDS, is number 1). On top of that, your friend would have to deal with a cat in heat (not a pretty sight or sound).
There are plenty of resources for someone in Maryland to get a low-cost spay done. It costs very little and it is worth SO MUCH more. If you need help finding a low-cost spay in MD, please feel free to PM me. I work with a rescue group in MD and can direct you to several.

post #11 of 20
Besides cancer, pyrometria from calling all the time and not being bred, and too many unwanted kittens to start.........take your friend down to the local shelter and have her witness the kittens/cats/puppies/dogs that are lined up to be killed cause of no homes and cause of people that just want to bred for no good reason. Have the shelter people talk to your friend.

IMO seeing is believing!
post #12 of 20
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
How wonderful that she can find good homes for kittens....not being sarcastic. We need people to help with fostering orphaned kittens, pregnant moms and moms with kittens. Again, I would go the route of encouraging her to foster instead of trying to discourage her from breeding.

I agree, if she can line up good homes...wouldn't it be wonderful for her to do so for animals that are already in desperate need? It's a win-win situation for her and the animals.

If she purposely breeds her cat, she is literally taking potential homes away from the ones who really need them. I am not sure she really understands the sheer volumes of euthenized cats, every single day. Not because they are ill, not because they have caused problems, not because they scratch, bite or pee outside the litter box. But because no one will give them a chance.

Maybe send her a link to this site?
post #13 of 20
Just a little addendum...maybe ask if she can sit in on a cat or dog being euthanized. I have seen euthanization happen and have never been the same. Seeing a healthy young cat or dog look up to people it trusts, and then seeing its body crumple as the drug takes its's something that will stick with me forever.
I felt guilty when I realized my foster cat was pregnant...I hated the fact that this cat was adding to the overpopulation of pets in this country. I can't imagine how I'd feel if I let one of my own pets get pregnant.
There are purebred animals in shelters being euthanized every day. Purebreds were purposely brought about by people...they were no accident. And there aren't homes for them. It's an absolute disgrace the way we play Creator with animals, making them because it's fun, keeping them whilte they're cute, and destroying innocent lives when we no longer have a use for them. I am absolutely not a religious person, but this gets to me.
post #14 of 20
Maybe you can tell her that my mom didn't bother to get Xena fixed, so she got pregnant at 8 months old after getting out and being hit by a car (it's a miracle that she survived this, by the way--she's as tough as nails). I blame myself, even though I was only 14. I feel I could have done something, but didn't. Xena gave birth to two dead kittens and two that were totally deformed. It was a horrible thing to witness and I will never get over it. This happened because she wasn't spayed in time. This is what happens when cats are not altered.

I had to explain to my friend that getting pets fixed is a necessary thing to do, and to not do so is cruel. She somehow believed that it was cruel to fix them. Considering that her own father behaved so foolishly with his animals, you would think she would learn from his mistakes, but she didn't.
post #15 of 20
If nothing else sways her, maybe you could talk about expense? Even if everything goes perfectly well for the momma and kittens, there are extra vet visits for all of them. And, if there are medical problems, she could be shelling out quite a sum.

Once kittens start moving around, they are as much work to take care of as a baby. Does she want to take care of 3-6 babies right now?

And is she prepared to find good homes for them all? I used to take in pregnant strays, and it was not easy to find good homes, where you KNOW they aren't going to be snake food or something.
post #16 of 20
You can also take it one step further - what if she does find "good" homes for the kittens but 2-3 months later, these kittens are abandoned at at shelter and most likely euthanized? Is she willing to incur the costs of spaying and neutering the kittens before they go to new homes? If not, she is also morally responsible for their offspring that may result.

I think the idea stated before about the cost of everything (potential vet bills if something goes wrong, spaying/neutering the kittens, vet visits for all of the vaccinations, etc) should be brought up as well as the potential health problems her cat could experience if she is not spayed.
post #17 of 20
Ok, so first of all... If she doesn't spay her cat, she has a good shot of having the cat get a pyometra and die from it. It is a DEADLY infection and is more common then a lot of people think.
Seconly, if she doesn't get the cat spayed, the cat will be at an increased risk of developing cancer. The statistics are something to the effect of... spay before 1st heat cycle - 5% chance of developing breast cancer, spay before second heat - 40% chance of devloping breast cancer, spay before 3rd heat - 80% chance of breast cancer, beyond that it like you never spayed her at all. I have seen animals come in and have to have one ENTIRE side of their mammary glands removed because they where engulfed with cancer. The cost for the surgery... around 1000 dollars. And there is a good chance the other side will get it too.
Lastly, she can NOT sell the kittens for ANY amount of money with out a health certificate. She CAN give them away for free though. In order to get a health certificate the kittens must be 8 weeks old, have there first set of shots, and be checked for internal parasites. The cost PER KITTEN for all of this? about 100 dollars. and this doesn't included the food, litter and everything else the kittens need to make it to 8 weeks old.

LAST YEAR tampa florida's animal services put over 20,000 animals down. TWENTY THOUSAND. Thats ONE shelter in ONE year. Thats 20,000 animals who will never have a home. They will never get to be loved by a family. They died because STUPID people didn't spay or neuter there pets which is the cause of this WHOLE big mess...

This poem makes me cry every time.. maybe your friend should read it and realize that the 20,000 animals at that shelter are more then just a number and more then just animals that never had a home. For all she knows... one of those kittens she finds a home for could end up like those 20,000....

"How could you?" by Jim Willis

When I was a puppy I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" - but then you'd relent and roll me over for a bellyrub.

My housetraining took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed, listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.

She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" - still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love."

As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them, especially their touch - because your touch was now so infrequent - and I would have defended them with my life if need be.

I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams. Together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway. There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being your dog to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.

Now you have a new career opportunity in another city and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family.

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog or cat, even one with "papers."

You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a goodbye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.

After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?"

They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you - that you had changed your mind - that this was all a bad dream...or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table, rubbed my ears and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.

She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself - a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. With my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not meant for her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever.

post #18 of 20
I think that everyone makes a good point. However, I think that the only thing your friend is going to see is that she wants to do this and all those statistics are not realistic to her.. much like saying there are people suffering and dying in third world countries every day .. it's only statistics. Unfortunately, as a general rule, we're a bit spoiled and most of us aren't really exposed to the turmoil and trouble that is reality, so we can gloss over it a bit, know that it's there, and not be confronted by it.

I think the best suggestion for her was the one to adopt or foster an already pregnant cat. While all the other posts here are extremely informed, my guess is you've already told her all that, taken her through the shelter and tried to drill this into her head. It doesn't make her a bad person for saying "that's not going to happen to me or mine", it just makes her human. Most of us have learned from our mistakes and are now advocates of more socially and ecologically responsible decisions, but.. I'm sure some of us did make those mistakes at one point. I did.

If it were me, I'd try to push the idea, and if you know it would be accepted, you might consider just getting her the pregnant female to foster. It would sort of take away the entire argument once the kitty was there in front of her. You'd have to make the determination as to whether that would work or not. You're the best judge of your friend's personality and level of responsibility.
post #19 of 20
Oh, and btw, good luck!
post #20 of 20
i was sort of one of them people , i took a cat in even though i was told she had been spayed , but her owners lost her paper work , me being nieve belived it , anyway she got pregnant and i was very happy i must admit.(this was before i knew any better)
but about 2 weeks before she was due to have her kittens she had to go to the vets as she had a large amount of blood in her stools . so they wormed her just in case(one that was ok to give while pregnant they said) and also a change of diet, this cost £80.00.
then 2 days before she delivered she had some bleeding not a little pink amount but very red . now this was the first time i had to deal with a pregnant cat. so i phoned the vet and asked them about it , they just told me to keep an eye on her.
2 days later she went into labour everything seemed to be going well, her first kitten was born and i couldnt really see to much as she was in my closet . but after about 20 mins or her licking she moved away and looked at me and meowed at me. i didnt know what to think but this tiny little thing was not moving or crying so i picked him up ( yes him) and he was very deformed and cleary not alive. i felt such sadness and heartache . i phoned the vets and they said to see how she goes. i phoned them back 2 hours later ( this was early hours of the morning by the way) so was an e vet. and they told me if she wasnt pushing then i was to leave her untill morning to see how she goes. again i didnt know anybetter and took there advice.
8 am that morning i must have feel asleep for an hour i phoned my normal vet who told me to bring her straight in as there was probley something wrong.
they took an xray to make sure there was more kittens in there and it showed 3 more. but she was not showing signs of going back into labour . so they gave her something to try and bring on the labour again. they did this twice with no effect . so done a c section .
all 3 babys was alive so i could come and pick them all up , when i got there 2 had died and the other one was very week . lilly was not intrested the kitten atall , so i was sent home with them and kmr for the kitten and a bill for £496.00. this kitten was so week that when i did put him by his mum he couldnt even suck. so every hour i was sryinge feeding him . for the first 2 days everything seemed to be going ok he was moving around more and getting stronger but still couldnt nurse himself , lilly was finally cleaning him and nesting down with him. but on the third day he went down hill so fast wouldnt take the kmr atall , i phoned the vet back up who said he was sure he wouldnt make it and there was nothing they could do . so for that next 24 hours i sat in the bedroom with lilly and the kitten trying with all i could to keep this kitten alive , on the fourth day he passed away in my arms. it felt like i had lost one of my own children and to this day the pain is still so much there. lilly would not let me take the kitten away she just cuddled up to him and licked him untill finally i burried him.
so it is not easy if something goes wrong in a pregnant cat . im just thankfull that lilly is still here. ( she went on to have another litter after getting out and going missing for 6 weeks ) but thats another story she was spayed 8 weeks after her having 3 healthy kittens.
but not only does it cost a hell of a lot with vet fees if something was to go wrong , but also so very heartbreaking on you and the cat and not fair atall to put your furry friend through this ordeal.
so please keep trying with your friend , but if she does want to go ahead anyway , i wish her all the luck. and make sure she is vet checked and is healthy and if possible dont let it be a stray who she mates with as they can carry all sorts of dieases. and make sure there are emergancy vet numbers on hand just in case.
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