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Another idea to stop cat overpopulation.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have been thinking long and hard about this, being that we live in a world where cats have become too numerous, and need our help. My first thought was about what type of cats are too numerous. Most of the feral cats we all see are domestic short/longhair cats. I asked myself why they become so numerous. First of all it doesnt take much for one pair of cats to make dozens more, and second because alot of people dont spay/neuter there pets. Another reason is some places have no predators, so cats are not harmed by the envirnment or wildlife. A negative side to having feral cats around also affects people too. Those people who hate cats or abuse animals, well having feral cats around with nobody to protect them just gives these people an easy way to hurt more animals, and leads more of those people to become murders and abusers, and eventually jail. So then I thought; it's the cats ability to profusely breed thats the main reason so many got here so soon, and then I thought of something. Since most ferals are domestic short/longhairs, why dont we make a ban to stop professional breeders to stop breeding these cats, and to ban domestic short/longhair from being allowed to enter cat shows. Why do we need to breed a cat breed that we see everyday roaming our streets, with an out of control population? Banning them from breeding is helpful, and heres why. Lets say you have a "best in show" quality male and female domestic cat, so you breed them hoping for some more show quality kittens. Well possibly out of 6 kittens mabye only 1 or none of them will be good enough to be entered in a cat show. And what happens to the rest of the ordinary kittens, well they are given away to ordinary people for pets. Not only have you now increased the cat population trying to get more top quality cats, but some of those kittens may never be fixed by there owners, and may add to the growing population if the owners are not responsible. Banning them from being allowed in a cat show will stop the temptation from trying to breed "the perfect" domestic short/longhair cat. Plus, instead of money going towards buying from a breeder, people will spend there money on buying a cat from an animal shelter. So what steps would we need to take? Heres my plan, just an idea not saying it would work or not.

1. Make it against the law to be able to breed domestic short/longhair cats. (this should be at least in the US and UK) If anybody owns one of these cats, and it's not fixed, they MUST bring it to the vet and get it fixed, or they will be fined. (this stands as long as it is able to health wise, or depending on age)

2. Each cat in a shelter cat MUST have it's breed identified. All domestic short/longhair MUST be fixed after being brought into the shelter. (all shelter cats should be fixed reguardless of breed, but some shelters may not fix other breeds) Any cat mixed with a domestic short/longhair counts as being the same breed as a feral cat (domestic short/longhair), meaning theres too many of them, so no breeding.

3. If the cat has no trace of domestic short/longhair, then it will be allowed to be bred by professional breeders, since you dont see too many other cat breeds as ferals.

4. Spay/neutering should be free, most cats are not fixed because people plainly dont want to pay money just to fix their cats.

I dont know if any of these rules actually are in effect, but seriously (domestic short/longhair) breeders should stop breeding this breed of cat.
post #2 of 18
Originally Posted by keith p
4. Spay/neutering should be free, most cats are not fixed because people plainly dont want to pay money just to fix their cats.
I definitely agree with you on point 4. When younger kids (such as college) move out and decide to get their own pet, many can't afford the costs of spay/neuter. Heck, when I got Luna, the total cost (after anesthetics, heart rate monitor, and the actualy spay(or neuter..I always confuse) it was $220! I of course paid it, but still. A procedure that the majority of vets recommends due to animal health (females animals are more likely to grow overarian cysts than female humans) and then we have to pay out of pocket for it.

As for the rest...sorry I'm not into cat shows, so I really don't have an opinion on domestics.
post #3 of 18
Er, I'm not sure you understand where the DSH/DLHs come from that are in cat shows, or how they're judged. A very large percentage of them DID come from shelters, rescues, strays, whathaveyou, and ALL of them HAVE been neutered/spayed (If over 8 months I believe it is) as that's the rules. There is no standard for HHP (Household Pets) so there is nothing to breed for. HHP's are usually judged strictly on condition, health, grooming, perhaps how "pretty" they are, and lastly perhaps personality.
post #4 of 18
This sounds good but how are we going to police this? Who is going to enforce the mandatory spay and neuter policy? It would be considered an invasion of privacy by many people. As it is, the FDA is supposed to inspect commercial kennels and large liscensed breeders across the USA and the last time i heard last fall there were like 11 FDA inspectors who supposed to inspect these breeders. They cant even keep up with their workload. I dont think i have ever heard of a professional DSH/DMH/DLH breeder either. I think most people who have litters of DSH/DLH/DMH have accidental litters usually the first time or they just have barn cats or just dont care. Also, most professional breeders who show their animals, sell their pet quality and some show animals with spay neuter contracts. I have seen this more in the cat world as far as spay/.neuter contracts with show cats. Also, how will each cat coming into a shelter be positively ID'd by breed when it could be 1/2 & 1/2 mix or even a poor quality purebred? My BIL's solid white stray cat that he adopted has the face of a british shorthair as well as the build. But this cat was born to a black slender build mother and they think the father was a pointed siamese looking cat. Cats dont carry around birth certificates showing their parentage. That too would take up a ton of time & money that shelters right now dont have. While i am apalled at the rising cost of spay neuter surgeries in the recent years, I totally understand that vets must cover their costs. Spay Neuters are probably the most common surgery done by vets and this along with vaccines constitute their bread & water. I think that low cost spay/neuter programs should be publicised more as well as more publicity on the advantages of spay/neuter. Also you will always have people who do not believe that cats are nothing but animals, property if you will. These same people will always believe that you dont need to spay neuter cats.

I agree with you in that the overpopulation problem is extensive and overwhelming but there is almost no way that any of the things you suggested could be enforced.
post #5 of 18
i cannot see anyway this could be enforced, who would police and pay for it? also if you say no DLH/SH can be bred your probaby going to run up against some civil rights issue through the courts as if people can breed Pedigree why cant they breed domestic cats etc. some bright spark is bound to want to challenge it.

not convinced it would reduce the feral cat population greatly as they are already out there and breeding. Free spay/neuter great idea also we need lots of educaton

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok hows this for another idea. I saw on tv where a helicopter threw bait out of it, the bait was eaten by raccons, vaccinating them from getting rabies.

Could it be possible to do the same for cats, except after being eaten the food would make male cats sterile, and female cats not able to get pregnant, sort of like a birth control treat. Mabye even sell it on the market to people with feral cats in the area. Mabye make it so the effects would last forever, and the only thing you pay for is the cat treats, no trapping involved!
post #7 of 18
I no in Hong Kong some parts of the SPCA capyure ferals and Spay/neuter them. But as normal all these things come down to cost. Your birtcontrol treat idea sounds ok but the problem is you would have to keep topping it up.
post #8 of 18
but what if someones pet ate the birth control and they wanted to breed them? they could sue.

I think education is they key. i think the goverment or atleast all the animal charities should do an awareness drive so people realise the effects of not latering thier pet.
post #9 of 18
Originally Posted by keith p
Ok hows this for another idea. I saw on tv where a helicopter threw bait out of it, the bait was eaten by raccons, vaccinating them from getting rabies.
Sorry Keith, nope . Same problems apply that apply with the rabies vaccine (I live in a state where this has been/is being done and have read a few articles on it,) you get some animals that get no medication, and some that get too much medication. I'm afraid that at this time TNR is the best solution to actual feral populations, and education for the rest of us.

A national advertising campaign (NOT like something that *shudder* PETA would put out ... ) about the importance of spaying and neutering your pets; that would really get the word out there. We here are all responsible pet/show owners/breeders and already know what the right thing to do is. A lot of this information we know because we actively went seeking it, or ran across it at the vet's office, or in reading or some such, or in online communities like TCS. It's more the "casual" owners who are so clueless I'd guess. For them you need a billboard and a catchy ad in the middle of NFL Monday Night (or whatever they play now .)
post #10 of 18
Get more cat owners to join TCS. Then they'll all be smarter about taking care of their cats, and maybe that will reduce the feral population. Besides, the Internet will reach many people that wouldn't get the message anywhere else. Then there's other media outlets such as radio and TV for people who don't have computers. I agree that, as with many social problems, education is vital.
post #11 of 18
Keith...what you are suggesting requires a lot of enforcement....remember...littering is illegal and yet....there is no lack of litter.

post #12 of 18
They actually are working on a variety of oral contraceptives for cats for the feral populations. Thus far they haven't perfected it enough to be implimented. But the problem, as Cindy pointed out, is that you will have some who get no meds and others will get too much, so you will still have a small portion of the population still able to breed. In addition, you have to ensure that giving too much of the med won't cause other health issues for those cats (one idea they were working on was using salmonella in low doses to make the cats sterile, but the dosage issue was a large one).
post #13 of 18
Keith, your heart is in the right place, so keep thinking.

You gave me an idea. This is kind of far fetched, but bear with me anyway. Imagine a reward system? It could be anything from vouchers for pet supplies (if we could get the manufacturers involved, it would be good advertisment for them) or maybe even a lottery - every time you got a cat or dog spayed/neutered your name goes in. Those who do TNR would have a lot more chances. Where would the money come from? Maybe vets would contribute $1.00 of their fee. It could increase the amount of spays/neuters they do. Maybe the government could help fund it.

A national advertising program, as RoseHawke suggested is a great idea too.
post #14 of 18
Except who's going to pay for #4? Nothing is ever free. Spaying and neutering incur expenses. Somebody has to pay for it. Can you imagine a referendum to raise taxes in order to pay for spaying and neutering all the cats in a city?
post #15 of 18
Our local Humane Society got a grant to help fund spay/neuters for poor folks. We set it up so that the vets give a 25% discount and then we cover all but $10 to spay female dogs over 40 pounds and all female cats brought in by people eligible for food stamps. We focused on dogs over 40 pounds because they have such large litters AND because it is very difficult to adopt out large dogs (cute little dogs are usually adopted quickly from our shelter). For male dogs and cats and for the small female dogs we are covering 50% of the spay/neuter surgery.

Hopefully this will help reduce the number of stray cats and dogs (and animals surrendered to the shelter).

We also work with people in the community to TNR feral colonies. We have a deal with a local vet clinic where they neuter and vaccinate (rabies) feral cats for $15 and spay for $35.
post #16 of 18
I really think education is the main key. I am amazed at the number of people that I hear/read saying they want their cats to have at least one litter so their kids can experience it.

Also, as far as cost goes... (some) people say they can't afford to get their pet spayed or neutered, but lets say at a low cost clinic, that could be the price of dinner and a movie out. I'm not saying that's the case for everyone, but in some cases, it's all a matter of choice and priority.
post #17 of 18
Ya know what should happen.......


You get a bunch of vets, like a dozen or more....than you call the guinness book of world records...and say that you want to break or establish the record for spay/neutered cats in a day.....

Publicity from animal welfare places would probably pay for the whole event....and imagine all the kits you could get fixed....!!!!!!!!
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Here is my final idea. How about making a non-gory,non-violent documentary about stray cats, like what they did for march of the penguins. It would be a great way to educate the public, since all ages go to the movies. Kids dont really watch the discovery channel because it's either boring, or the good shows are on when there at school, or asleep, so seeing a movie about cats, well lots of kids would love to see that type of movie. Nobody these days seem to like researching, so seeing the documentary will give them knowledge, without them having to lift a finger and read a book. I'm sure this type of movie is possible, and I think it would be great if someone pulled through and made it.
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