A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Call for Veterinarians to Help “Fix” Annual Kitten Invasion

The May Spay Challenge aims to reduce numbers of homeless kittens and help solve cat overpopulation.
Kitten season is coming, and so is Alley Cat Rescue's May Spay Challenge!
Photo via Adobe Stock.

You’ve all heard of kitten season, right? It’s that time of year when temperatures warm, flowers bloom, and animal shelters are inundated with kittens in need of homes.

Many people just call it “spring.”

Kitten season sounds cute and cuddly, but it’s actually a big problem for shelters, not to mention cats. That’s because there are often so many homeless kittens that shelters become overcrowded and overwhelmed. Many cats never make it out of the shelter alive. Annually, some 30% of the over 3.2 million cats that enter US shelters are euthanized.

What can be done to improve those numbers? Well, since many of those kittens who land in shelters are born to free-roaming mothers, Alley Cat Rescue, a national nonprofit dedicated to the welfare of cats, says that one solution is to sterilize outdoor cats.

Fewer fertile cats = fewer kittens born = fewer homeless kittens in shelters

The May Spay Challenge

Obviously, not just anyone can spay or neuter a cat. It takes a veterinarian to do that, and so Alley Cat Rescue has an annual May Spay Challenge to encourage vets to participate in trap-neuter-return (TNR) projects with local rescues. 

Alley Cat Rescue president and founder Louise Holton says, “Most kittens in shelters lose their lives, as shelters cannot cope with the influx. If this was a feline disease, veterinarians would want to end it. But cat overpopulation has an easy simple answer: spay and neuter cats.”

In the May Spay Challenge, vets are called on to sterilize one feral cat per week during the month of May. That can add up to a lot of sterilizations, which means a lot of feline pregnancies prevented and, ultimately, fewer homeless kittens born.

The May Spay Challenge got its start back in 2010. So far, over 1,200 veterinary hospitals in the US, Canada, Israel, Croatia, and South Africa have participated, and over 30,000 feral cats have been spayed or neutered. Alley Cat Rescue expects even greater participation this year.

Veterinary practices are encouraged to take the May Spay Challenge, and individuals can invite their local clinics to participate. Find out more here: http://www.saveacat.org/may-spay-challenge.html