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.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Our new tag line: for The Love of Cats

You may have noticed a new tag line popping up on our vouchers and other media saying “for The Love of Cats”.    Actually, it’s not really new as it was the tag line of our 2000-2009 Michigan cat programs. We’ve brought it back because our work here has expanded since we started in 2010 and we wanted to tie our programs together under a common name. 

Our Low-Income Pet Cat Spay/Neuter program was our first program and it continues to be our main work.
But we’ve added an Acute Care Program to also give low-income cats access to urgent care  for treatable medical emergencies.
And more recently we’ve added a Community Cat Outreach program allowing us to fund complementary spay/neuter programs for other nonprofits working in our service areas.   By strengthening their work, we can reach cats — including feral cats — our voucher program couldn’t easily reach.

We’re currently working with the Animal Welfare Coalition of Northeastern New Mexico, the Espanola Valley Humane Society, the McKinley County Humane Society  and Taos Feral Feline Friends — and  welcome inquiries from other area nonprofits.

So when you see our new tag line we hope you think of all the cats we’ve touched who will no longer lose their homes simply because their caregivers couldn’t afford their essential veterinary care.    In New Mexico this now totals over 8,500 cats.

What better way is there for us to show our love of cats than this?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Expanding our spay/neuter umbrella to include managed feral cat colonies.

For the last five years our free spay/neuter assistance has focused exclusively on lower-income individual and family pet cats.  And this is with good reason.  Pet cats in this demographic rarely come from shelters that fix the cats before placing them – the adoption fees are prohibitive.  So instead they get their cats the “old-fashioned” way – finding strays on the street or taking kittens from litters of other low-income homes with unfixed cats.  

And – just as they can’t afford an adoption fee, they can’t afford to fix the cats even at a low-cost spay/neuter clinic.  So they wait to save the money – or if they have a mix of cats – fix only the females (or males) and before they know it their cats get pregnant or start spraying and they can no longer tolerate living with them.  When this happens the cat(s) are abandoned outdoors (where they join feral cat colonies and continue reproducing) or are given to animal control shelters (where they are often put down for lack of immediate homes).    Empowering low-income caregivers to fix their cats quickly (by providing free and local spay/neuter) prevents these tragedies from happening – and makes a significant dent in the number of kittens born each year. 

Yet what about the cats that are already abandoned and living in outdoor colonies – shouldn't they be fixed too?  Yes.  And now we've established a separate ManagedTNR (trap-neuter-return) Program to address the special needs of fixing these outdoor cats.    Unlike our low-income voucher program that works directly with pet cat guardians, the TNR program seeks other non-profit groups working in our 10-county area* that can coordinate the live-trapping and transporting of feral cats to vet clinics for surgery.  The program is simple to use and we’ve posted all of the information including registration forms to our web site: 

For a practical guide on feral cat care, read our handbook:  Managing a Feral Cat Colony.    It gives you everything you need to know to care for outdoor cats.

*New Mexico counties of Bernalillo, Catron, Colfax, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Socorro, Taos, Torrance, and Valencia.