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Dublin: -1°C Monday 1 March 2021

Campaign underway to have stray cats neutered

Cat owners and casual feeders are being encouraged to help tackling the overpopulation issue.

Image: cat via shutterstock

A CAMPAIGN AIMED at getting people to neuter stray cats has kicked off, hoping to tackle the cat overpopulation problem.

The catchily named ‘spay that stray’ campaign has been launched by Feral Cats Ireland as part of Feral Cat Awareness Week.

The campaign encourages people who feed stray cats to go to the extra effort of having them neutered. Its aim is to avoid unwanted litters of kittens.

In Ireland there are an estimated 200,000 stray and feral cats with 300,000 kittens born each year during kitten season. The high birthrate is attributed in part to people neglecting to have their cats neutered. Speaking about the issue, Maureen O’Malley from Feral Cats Ireland said:

Most of the time, people don’t think ahead and it’s a total shock when the stray they’ve been feeding has kittens and even more of a shock when they call the local rescue to take the kittens and are told, sorry we’re full.

The campaign, which is in its fifth year, runs until this Saturday. Feral Cats Ireland offer a service called Trap Neuter Return (TNR), to help the public prevent cat overpopulation. With TNR, cats are humanely trapped, given a health check at a vet, neutered, treated for parasites and ear tipped to show they have received the health check.

The cost of spaying a cat can be upwards of €70. The campaign highlights the fact this should be considered good value, when compared with the cost of feeding a litter of kittens.

The US based website Spay USA notes that unspayed cats, starting with one male and one female cat and continuing with their offspring, producing two litters with 2.8 surviving kittens per year, would produce over 11 million cats in less than ten years.

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