Archived Story

Program to help area stray cats

Published 9:33am Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Humane Society of Freeborn County’s unsocialized stray cat initiative offers help to people with outside cats.

The unsocialized stray cat initiative began four years ago. The program offers low cost spay and neuter services to people who have stray, feral or barn cats. There is also a discounted service to small towns and larger cities in Freeborn County, who have cat issues.

I have found as coordinator of this program it is sometimes the poorest of our community who share what little they have with these community cats.

These are the people and cats which need our help the most.

The main purpose of this program is to help manage community cat colonies and to stop the births of unwanted kittens and also to stop the steady stream of unwanted cats and kittens that flood area shelters.

Beginning in March and ending in November, there will be a once monthly trap, neuter, return clinic, which generally accommodates 20 adult cats.

The cats are humanely trapped in live traps. They will be given the anesthetic without having to be handled by the veterinary staff, brought to the clinic where they are spayed or neutered and vaccinated against distemper and rabies, they also are dewormed and given a shot of penicillin to help prevent any infection.

The cats are picked up the same day. They are left covered up and kept warm until the next morning when they are released. The cats are also ear-tipped, which makes it easier to identify which cats have been altered. The procedures are provided at a low cost to the property owner.

Last year, 129 cats were spayed or neutered through the program. Forty were male and 89 were female. Female cats have on average three litters per year. The average litter size is four kittens, and on average two of those kittens will be breeding females. That totals about 1068 kittens born.