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post #31 of 53
I have volunteered at spay/neuter clinics for feral cats and barn cats. The vet techs we work with examine the cats if they are tame enough, to see how far along they are. It is up to the techs, who send some barn cats back home with the owners to bring back after the kittens are born.

We have done spays on a few cats who were very close to delivery...of one or two kittens. If the kittens are born with full fur, the techs actually take them and try to revive them and bottle feed them. Some have survived.

In general, many many cats are spayed and neutered. But the occasional cat is sent back home, and the occasional kitten survives. (We also had one kitty give birth in the trap at the clinic. I felt so bad for her...what a horrible way to give birth!)

I see Allie's point about overpopulation, but I am happy to be working with a rescue who takes in preggers kitties and fosters them until the kittens are adopted out. We do spay and neuter before adopting out the kittens and cats.

We do have one feral (Flower) who is likely pregnant who is scheduled to be spayed tomorrow. She is very wild, and we are simply overrun with kittens. As Allie said, there are too many cats for the available caretakers. Reality is reality...whether you want to think of that darling litter you allowed your baby to have as unwanted...only so many cats get adopted, and some go unhomed.

Festus got out at about 5 months. My response was to get her spayed. She was not in heat at the time, but I was horrified to consider her having a litter! I don't understand why people wait after a female sneaks outside. Just get her spayed that week, and she will be fine. Don't wait a month or 6 weeks before facing reality!
post #32 of 53
I personally don't agree with spay/abort procedures. (I foster kittens around the clock and volunteer at 5 shelters.) All of my animals are spayed/neutered- but never when pregnant (mine have never had the opportunity), all are indoors only- and I even had my rabbit spayed. All of my foster kittens are adopted out into responsible indoor-only homes only after they have been spayed.
post #33 of 53
Quote:
So, then, where is the medium. My personal opinion is, and Gaye and Katie both know this already, that we are way too soft on these people and they may not come to understand the gravity of the situation that they have just made worse. But like Gaye said, there comes a point when the blatant indignance of my and others' advice will cause people to act out and go against our advice.
lionessrampant...I can completely appreciate your stance and have a similiar reaction when people get excited about a pregnant cat or the birth of kittens...HOWEVER...I don't agree that we are too soft. You see...if we take a hard stance....we risk losing the posters forever. That means....we cannot help them through the pregnancy, we cannot help them to keep their cat contained with her kittens, we cannot provide them with low cost spay/neuter options and we cannot rejoice with them when the kittens are properly placed (hopefully already vetted) and when mom is spayed. We must adjust our message in order to reach the maximum amount of people and help the maximum amount of cats. Simply because you and I are ok with abort/spay, doesn't mean that others are...even within the rescue community...people do not all agree on abort/spay. So why then do we expect a brand new poster who has either found a pregnant cat or has a cat that accidentally got out to agree to a procedure that others in the rescue community do not agree with?? As stated earlier....we must change our tactic in order to help as many cats as possible. Sure...offer up the spay/abort option...but when they say "No"...respect the decision and help them to ensure that the mom is fixed and the kittens are properly placed.

Katie
post #34 of 53
Allie, you already know this (at least I hope you already know this), I have a deep, abiding personal respect for you and for your beliefs, and for the work you do on a daily basis. It doesn't seem fair at all to me that there are those who, like me, cannot do the work you do. I don't have the stomach for it. And so it falls to those, like you, who can do it willingly and with nothing but love in your heart. You may not know this, but in all honesty, you and people like you are truly my heros. I used to do shelter work locally. I was very active at one time. I still am but to a much lesser degree and on a much smaller scale. So, I do understand what that picture you wanted to post looks like. And for those who might not understand, let me just say it is the stuff of nightmares.

The Spay/Neuter - Spay/Abort message is a good one ... you will have no arguements from me on that ever. But there is such a thing as being able to adapt to any certain individual's unique situation. It isn't being too soft nor is it being at all contrary to the message of responsible cat care to change the tactic to one which is proven to work in order to get that important message precisely where it needs to go. If someone, regardless of what their circumstances are - be they a foster, a rescue, a breeder and yes, even the irresponsible ones - decides to allow a pregnancy to progress, then we help them do that. We answer their questions without imparting our personal opinions or beliefs, we assist them in whatever ways we can. And when the time comes, we lead them to the final step in that process - spay/neuter, not only the queen but the resulting kittens as well. If an individual cannot spay/neuter kittens before placement, (and while where you are may be more progressive in doing this, many areas still are not) then we strongly encourage a spay/neuter agreement which is strictly enforced and we recommend that people take the time and make the efforts to follow up on that agreement.

For example: On the PC&KC forum here, in the past, you've been fairly consistant with posting an oftentimes strongly-worded reply to a new member, even after that member has commented that they are not interested in pursuing the suggestions you've made. For you, from where I sit, the ~only~ thing to do is to terminate that pregnancy - no questions asked. There is no middle ground for you. It is all your endgame or they are being completely irresponsible. But there are many different kinds of people represented there ... there are rescue groups, people fostering or those who have taken in a pregnant stray or are assisting a pregnant feral. There are those who have attempted to take the appropriate measures until their vet felt comfortable altering and yet despite all of their good efforts, they have a pregnant cat. There are breeders. And then there is the very tiny percentage of the whole who are simply irresponsible, no other word for it. Those are the ones we do NOT want to annoy with our constant bra-burning and bleating endlessly on about the plight of homeless cats the world over ... we want to share in their joy and gain their trust, their friendship even, so we can lead them to the right decision. We simply cannot and will not EVER reach them through an extremely judgemental attitude or tone.

I am sorry the thought of someone's joy in experiencing a litter of kittens sickens you - it makes me very sad that you feel that way about it. There is absolutely nothing more uplifting and somehow just spiritually "right" about the amusing antics of kittens. With your very short-sighted philosophies about spaying and neutering everyone across the board - no matter what the circumstances - never again will anyone ever know that joy. Yes, it might be years into the future, yes, it will most certainly take a lot of time before that happens, but happen it will. Who are we to say that God was wrong when he told Noah to collect all of the animals two by two so they would not become extinct after the great flood?
post #35 of 53
Thread Starter 
Gaye, you know that I would love to have a conscience light enough to rejoice in the birth of babycats. I would love to someday in a perfect world, come to your cattery and pick out my new pair of kittens (even in a perfect world, my opinion is that the little buggers belong in pairs) because the problems we face now would be no more (and in that perfect world, I would like one seal and one blue, so keep that in mind for when we finally get to stop euthanizing).

I guess what makes me sick is the fact that I've seen (not at my shelter, but at the last one I volunteered at) dead cats literally laying in a pile of kittens and cats who got there by no fault of their own...only because there are not enough homes for them. When you actually stand in a room and physically see that, you never want to see a kitten born until all of the existing cats are in homes. With all of the ferals out there, with everyone who will inevitably fall through the cracks....there will ALWAYS be kittens being born. Even if I see in my lifetime the euth number go from 4 million to 1 or 2 million, I will be THRILLED.

Most people don't know how many animals are euthanized every year. Most people don't know that spay-abort is an issue. Most people don't realize that shelters hate being called for surrenders....and that no-kills remain full just about 100% of the time. People CERTAINLY don't realize that healthy, playful, gorgeous, completely adoptable kittens get put down for no reason whatsoever.

I guess that's why I'd rather see everyone spay-abort. If every breeder were like you and a few others on this site (and admittedly, there are a few breeders even here that I think have no business breeding) and everyone else spayed or neutered their animals (Oh, and I'd also like to see organizations like the AKC and CFA stop requiring show animals to be intact...sends the WRONG message) and people, vets and municipalities were more open to the ideas of spay-abort, pediatric s/n and TNR, we'd be doing ok. But those are NOT the case. TNR was actually illegal in Chicago until recently. Thank goodness though, that virtually every vet around here will do pediatric s/n and all shelters are required by law to s/n before pets are adopted out.

There is a big poster at my shelter that says "When we stop having them, we can stop killing them". That's what I, as a rescuer, must live by.
post #36 of 53
I wish there was a fast, efficient way to do an advanced search on everyone who ever posted about a pregnant cat in the PC&KC forum here who then followed up with spay/neuter when the process had ended. I think it would help you to see for yourself that the actual number of people we DID reach there far exceeds the number we lost. We must also remember that there is a large number of people who come to visit our forums yet never post. They read what we have to say and we hope they come away better educated and much more responsible in the care of their cats.

In your own area, there is a rescue called Paws of Chicago and because I feel strongly that you need something a little more positive to reflect upon right now, I learned from visiting their web site tonight that since their inception in 1997, they reduced the e-rate by roughly one half. In just under ten years! I think that is absolutely phenomenal! It does show that there is hope ... that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. It may not be a very big light yet, nor is it very bright yet, but it IS there.

Allie, your job is indeed a thankless one, there is no doubt. Perhaps you should consider a change of venue ... instead focusing your efforts on an area of rescue which has a much more positive result or one that has a more positive impact on the numbers. It seems to me that being constantly subjected to surrender calls and in the past, having to experience the piles of cats has left you in a place where you are not able to see beyond the nightmare. There is a much bigger and brighter picture here. And as the saying goes, it is always darkest before the dawn. Take some hope from the fact that while I do not know how to prove it, the numbers are coming down. Maybe not by that 3 million you mentioned, but they are coming down.

I also wish the perfect world you mentioned existed now, but it doesn't. And it won't if we continue to lose the interest of those very people we need so desperately to reach. We can accomplish the goal of reducing the overpopulation issue, but we have to be realistic. It cannot be done overnight. I agree that allowing a pregnant queen to deliver might, in the short term, seem to add to the problem, but in fact, if we can reach the caregiver of that queen with the message of responsible cat care, we have eliminated the problem long term - we reach them one at a time and we may find that they will reach out to someone who will then reach out to someone else ...
post #37 of 53
I have never allowed for a litter of cats or dogs ... I did finally get my mom to neuter our GSD ( she grew up in the time of one litter is ggod) ... I beleive so stongly I am not one to breed that I pick my fish as to not have the ability for them too suprise me ...

I COULDNT knowingly allow a spay abort unless the mothers life was endangered .... I know cats dont have morals but I DO ... just my 2 cents
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I have never allowed for a litter of cats or dogs ... I did finally get my mom to neuter our GSD ( she grew up in the time of one litter is ggod) ... I beleive so stongly I am not one to breed that I pick my fish as to not have the ability for them too suprise me ...

I COULDNT knowingly allow a spay abort unless the mothers life was endangered .... I know cats dont have morals but I DO ... just my 2 cents
I'm glad to hear your mom had the doggie altared! All of my animals are spayed (but never a spay/abort). Even my rabbit is fixed lol. -boy was that an adventure to keep her still after surgery!
post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
I'm glad to hear your mom had the doggie altared! All of my animals are spayed (but never a spay/abort). Even my rabbit is fixed lol. -boy was that an adventure to keep her still after surgery!
In all seriousness.....spay/abort is a crucial part of working on the overpopulation. I can appreciate that you would not personally spay/abort...but would expect you to respect those of who do make that decision and offer it up to others. No one WANTS to have to spay/abort...but with the adoption rate in some counties as low as 10%, it's either spay/abort or kill more kittens that have already been born. I think if you were faced with that dilemma...you would have to at least consider the option.

Katie
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
In all seriousness.....spay/abort is a crucial part of working on the overpopulation. I can appreciate that you would not personally spay/abort...but would expect you to respect those of who do make that decision and offer it up to others. No one WANTS to have to spay/abort...but with the adoption rate in some counties as low as 10%, it's either spay/abort or kill more kittens that have already been born. I think if you were faced with that dilemma...you would have to at least consider the option.

Katie
I never criticized anyone for it- if you read my previous posts you will see that I stated " I personally do not agree with spay/aborts."- look a page or two back I didn't say anything about anyone else, nor did i criticize their choice. I am faced with that delima on a daily basis- i foster around the clock for serveral of my local animal shetlers, do TNR's, make shelter/vet runs, foster abused animals- i am very aware of the situation. I never criticized anyone on it...But personally I would never do it- to me, an abortion is an abortion no matter how catagorize it. Also - in response to your comment on my post- please notice- ALL of my animals are spayed/neutered and all are indoors only-My animals will not contribute to the overpopulation! They never had a chance to get pregnant. So before you criticize my post- please read it and see that I in no way criticized anyone for that choice- i simply stated that I 'personally" do not agree with spay/aborts....i didn't say anything about those who do.
post #41 of 53
Trully...the wink, came across as rather snarky to me. My cats are all fixed....yet, I support spay/abort in situations where the choice is either spay/abort or euthanize. It truly is a necessary evil in a time when less than 50% of all cats/kittens in my state make it out of shelters alive.

Katie
post #42 of 53
I don't think I would do it cause it is a life and wether they are killed once they are born or before it is still a life so you may as well give them a chance if the cat gets pregnant. However a person should just get the cat fixed in the first place to prevent the problem.
post #43 of 53
KrazyCatLover - the problem with giving hte kittens a chance is that in some parts of America, an incredibly high amount of cats are pts due to no home and no space in rescues, so what kind of chance are we actually giving them?? In the UK, we dont have as many kill shelters, I dont personally know of one, but it does mean we have cats stay in rescues longer - one of my fosters has been here for 13 months now, I do wonder if he will ever find a home. He is happy here, but the money and space used for him, could help other needy cats.
post #44 of 53
Woo hoo! I can post here now! I've been wanting to add my two cents here.

Personally, I support spay-aborts. I have recommended them before on a rabbit forum for accidental pregnancies, abandoned/rescued rabbits, etc where good homes can not be guaranteed for the babies and the owner might not be able to afford emergency care for the mom and babies. I do consider the health of the mom more important than the life of the babies, and I consider the life of animals already in rescues and shelters (and there are soooo many rabbits) to be more important than the lives of the unborn. I don't think I would do it if the fetuses are old enough to live outside the womb, but that's my only exception.

I feel that I am responsible for any animal lives I might bring into this world, whether the pregnancy is "my fault" or not. Can I guarantee a loving, permanent home to any animal? No, not unless I keep them all myself. I also feel responsibility for animals in shelters and rescues. I can only take care of so many animals myself, so I do what I can to help them through donations, encouraging people to adopt, and educating anyone who's interested in spay/neuter and the plight of shelter animals. I think that allowing more homeless animals to be born only hurts the shelter animals who are still looking for homes and might have to be euthanized.

I understand that many people have personal feelings about this subject, and I do understand. But I do think it's more important to care for those that have already been born. I've never had to make this decision myself, but I know what I would choose.
post #45 of 53
I personally think it is more of an attitude problem than a pet overpopulation problem. Most people who own cats in the U.S. still only own single cats, as owng multiple cats in U.S. is still mostly a social taboo, as accounted for by this article.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...l/4173677.html

I am agast by his comments and I hope that him, or any of his relatives, would never be elected again.

So many people have questioned me why I needed to get five (used to be six) cats at such a tender young age (especially as a genetics researcher) that I have stopped talking about cats to my coworkers altogether. There seems to be an unwritten rule that if you have half a dozen cats in your early twenties, then you must have some kind of mental defect that makes you get hundreds of cats in your eighties. It is so unfair.

Okay, I must quit my whining right now before I become the offical crybaby of the TCS forums.

If everyone can afford socially and culturally to adopt five cats and not have a stigma attached to their name, than there will never be any pet overpopulation problem. The problem lies in society's contempt for multiple cat ownership.
post #46 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei View Post
If everyone can afford socially and culturally to adopt five cats and not have a stigma attached to their name, than there will never be any pet overpopulation problem. The problem lies in society's contempt for multiple cat ownership.
Actually, I'm pretty sure that we could all own 10 cats, and if we didn't put spaying and neutering at the top of our lists on how to properly care for them, we'd all have 100 cats.

While I DO agree with you that there is an unfair stigma attached to us "cat ladies", I don't think removing that stigma would do anything to alleviate teh population problem. When I'm at work, the calls I take usually have to do with a couple things: 1. moving, 2. allergies, 3. a new baby (sometimes the new babies are allergic) and 4. the cat has some behavior problem, usually going oiutside the box or being too aggressive. I have probably taken 2 calls in all the years I have worked there in which a cat was being dumped because the owner had too many cats. And even then, they never cite other people's opinion of them as a motivator. usually it's a landlord.

The problem is twofold: 1. cats (and other companion animals) are viewed as being disposable and inferior beings to humans and 2. PEOPLE DON'T SPAY OR NEUTER THEIR PETS!!!! They let them have one litter because they think it's good for them, they don't want to emasculate their males or rob their females of the joys of motherhood, or they don't have enough money and play the "ooops! Oh well!" card when the cat comes back pregnant. They, they don't bother to get the litter fixed before they leave for their new homes and you ultimately have kittens that have an "oops" litter as well.
post #47 of 53
Quote:
I personally think it is more of an attitude problem than a pet overpopulation problem. Most people who own cats in the U.S. still only own single cats, as owng multiple cats in U.S. is still mostly a social taboo, as accounted for by this article.
I disagree about the attitude towards cats.....most of the people who come to our adoption events already have a cat and are trying to adopt a companion for that cat. I think a lot of people have multiples.

Katie
post #48 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant View Post
While I DO agree with you that there is an unfair stigma attached to us "cat ladies", I don't think removing that stigma would do anything to alleviate teh population problem. When I'm at work, the calls I take usually have to do with a couple things: 1. moving, 2. allergies, 3. a new baby (sometimes the new babies are allergic) and 4. the cat has some behavior problem, usually going oiutside the box or being too aggressive. I have probably taken 2 calls in all the years I have worked there in which a cat was being dumped because the owner had too many cats. And even then, they never cite other people's opinion of them as a motivator. usually it's a landlord.

This probably isn't exactly the right thread for this, but thought it should be mentioned somewhere. I took my kids the the pediatrician last week for their well-child check-ups. I mentioned having taken in a stray and her kittens and questioned whether my kid's allergies were a reult of this. He said 1) having animals in the household with children less than 3 years of age actually minimizes the risk of animal allergies later in life and 2) that because of our particular family history with allergies, our kids were suffering from ragweed allergies. At no time did our dear pediatrician ever try to place blame on the cats. I was so happy after hearing horror stories on the forums about kids with allergies.

Now to the crux of the forum, when we first spotted Ruby, we (along with our cat-crusader neighbor) first thought of spay-abort. We figured it was too late (and we were right as she gave birth 2 weeks after being found, and vets here won't do it past 6 weeks). All of Ruby's kitties have wonderful homes--all have been spayed/neutered by their new owners (we asked for vet receipts--the last one came in yesterday) except Shannon (the one we are keeping) because the vet who is currently accepting low-cost vouchers won't do it until 4 lbs or 4 months. But to think that we could have found Ruby a few weeks earlier and had a spay/abort only makes me think that the people who are taking such good care of her kittens now, could have been taking care of others, instead, makes me sad.
post #49 of 53
Shengmei - I dont think the answer is as simple as people owning multiple cats. Some people genuinely can't afford it, and some cats woudln't be happy in a multicat household - 2 of my fosters need to be rehomed as indoor only cats. On the surface, Tom looks happy here, sleeps on the bed with teh girls - yet he sprays when there is a foster in that he doesn't like (which is at the moment). And Martha only comes out of her room to pick a fight. So sometimes the cats dictate how many you can have, and also with working hours, people dont always have the time for multiple cats, and I woudl rather home a foster to a single cat household and guarantee they are goign to have a good amount of time spent on them, than rehome to a multicat household where their attention might be limited. Neutering is the only answer to the problem, and I think early spay/neuter should be done more.
post #50 of 53
I also don't think that the answer is owning multiple (as in many) cats. Even if everyone who like cats crammed in as many spayed/neutered shelter cats into their homes as they could, I still think there wouldn't be enough room. And while I know many people with only one cat, I know just as many with two or more. Maybe it's just the area I'm in, but having several cats doesn't seem to have a stigma here. 5+ is more unusual and you might get some questions, but 2-3 seems pretty normal.

And not everyone can take care of 5+ cats, financially or emotionally. Vet bills can get very expensive. Wouldn't it be better for the cats to take care of one or a few in the best manner possible versus scrounging for money for food and routine vet bills? And then there's the cats that simply don't get along with many others and become aggressive develop behavior problems if kept in multi-cat or more-than-two-cat homes.

I think the real problem is that people see no problem in allowing their cats to have litter after litter. Hey, they can just get homes via a "Free to good home" ad. Everybody likes kittens, at least until they grow up or claw the couch. But that's the fault of the new owner, not the fault of the person who let their cat have kittens, isn't it?

And while many of the kittens at my local shelter were from litters of strays, I don't remember seeing any of their moms in the shelter. They're still out there breeding. Nobody ever thinks to bring them in with their babies, even for TNR.
post #51 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
Trully...the wink, came across as rather snarky to me. My cats are all fixed....yet, I support spay/abort in situations where the choice is either spay/abort or euthanize. It truly is a necessary evil in a time when less than 50% of all cats/kittens in my state make it out of shelters alive.

Katie
Once again, you sincerly should take the time to re-read all of my posts before you criticize, not just pick and choose lines. I never once said anything against people who support the procedure. I work with shelters on a daily basis and I foster around the clock...I know the current situation and why the procedure becomes necessary. As a matter of fact, Memphis Animal Services is one of the most high-kill shelters in the nation...I am well aware of the situation. The idea of the thread was to ask people their stance on the "spay abort" issue. I simple stated that in my personal opinion, I did not agree with it. I never once criticized those who do agree with it. Not once! Please take the time to thoroughly read the posts before you criticize people. I never once criticized you for your stance- it is your own personal opinion and I respect that. You do a lot of positive work to help animals and that is admirable. I am not in any way criticizing you for your stance on the issue- I do however think that you picking me out for my personal opinion is rude. I did not criticize you on your stance, I ask that you show me the same politeness.
post #52 of 53
Quote:
I never once criticized you for your stance- it is your own personal opinion and I respect that.
It's part of my volunteer work as a spay assistant at the feral cat clinic. It would seem we have both chosen volunteer work that reflects our stance on the matter.

Katie
post #53 of 53
This is a reminder to posters to refrain from making all too personal remarks. Failure to observe forum rules will result in edits, deletions, and/or issuing warnings or infractions.
http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17161
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