Mews & Views

Mews & Views -- A blog for cat lovers everywhere with a focus on the low-income pet cats of northern and central New Mexico.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Feral Cat Assistance Through Community Grants

We recently awarded our Community Cat Program’s first feral cat TNR grant to the Animal Welfare Coalition of Northeastern New Mexico.  This grant will enable them to continue an important project they began earlier this year with a similar ASPCA grant.  Under that grant they fixed 180 free-roaming feral cats in San Miguel and surrounding counties.    Our grant should help them double that number.

San Miguel county is also one of the 10 counties we target with our low-income pet cat spay/neuter program – which over the last few years – has funded the sterilization of almost 6,500 cats through the 27 veterinary clinics that work with us.  These local clinics make free-and-local spay/neuter a welcome reality for low-income guardians – including the elderly, the disabled, the un-or under-employed, young families living on a tight budget and students.   Once their pet cats are sterilized, they become easier to care for – no more kittening, spraying and yowling – and stand a better chance of keeping their “forever” homes forever.      Those that don’t get fixed are always at  risk of being relinquished to shelters or abandoned outdoors where they form or join feral cat colonies.  

While our spay/neuter program isn't equipped to directly work with feral cats – we support the work of groups that can which is why we’re happy to fund the Animal Welfare Coalition project.  Their efforts complement our basic pet cat spay/neuter work and help further our mission of reducing the New Mexico cat population to a manageable number – stemming the growth of feral cat colonies and reducing shelter intake and euthanasias. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Yet another reason to fix your cat.

A few days ago we took a spay/neuter application from a woman with two cats – she wanted to get one of the cats spayed, but thought she’d need to give the other one to the shelter because there was “something wrong with her” and she lacked the money to take the cat to a vet for treatment.  We asked what was wrong with the cat and she said she didn't feel well and was oozing pus from her vagina.
We suggested getting vouchers for both cats anyway and taking the one that was sick to the vet asap – it’s possible spaying her would take care of the problem and she could keep her cat – and if the vet thought something else was wrong -- we may be able to cover some or all of the treatment cost if it was an acute health issue.

Lucky for this cat her mom took her in quickly and sure enough – the problem was pyometra – and the cure was getting her spayed.  Pyometra is an infection of the uterus and – if not treated quickly can lead to sepsis and death of the cat.  Only female cats that have not been spayed can get this type of infection – so when you’re weighing the odds of whether to let your cat reproduce or fix her – think of how sad you’d be to see your cat sick with a totally preventable infection.  Other illnesses your cats can’t get after they’re fixed include mammary gland tumors, uterine cancer and – in male cats – testicular cancer.

We still maintain the number one reason to fix your pet cats is that they’ll be easier for you to care for and will be better long-term companions but with secondary reasons like these – who wouldn’t want to get their cats fixed – sooner rather than later?