Opinion

De-sexing vital as cat numbers soar

By Madeleine Byron

For the love of pets, people; please get your cats de-sexed.

Every year more than 50,000 cats are surrendered or taken in by the RSPCA.

Sadly, more than 10,000 of these cats are humanely euthanased due to infection, medical reasons or behavioural issues.

But more than 25 per cent are euthanased because they are deemed feral.

It is now kitten season and already my Facebook feed is filled with regretful sales and rehoming requests for unwanted kittens.

As an owner of three female cats, I am wildly aware of the costs involved in housing a feline.

Every morning all three cats are fed a handful of biscuits and my partner and I are met, on arriving home in the evenings, with meowing demands for their dinner of canned meat.

Our first cat, Lucy, we adopted from a family member when she was old enough to be rehomed.

When we brought her home, arrangements were made for vaccinations and once she was aged six months she was booked in to get de-sexed.

Because her mother had fallen pregnant with her at only four months old, we decided to keep Lucy inside until that time came.

I remember bringing her home from the vets, all sluggish and grumpy from her operation and spending the afternoon with her on the couch until she began to act her normal self again.

I also remember coming home late one night from work and she had pulled her stitches out.

The point I am trying to get across, animals cost money and vet bills can be expensive.

But to me, Lucy is my everything.

And out of our three cats, Lucy is the most vet prone.

Last week my partner and I were sitting up watching the TV with Lucy by my side.

After moving my arm to get up I was alarmed when she hissed at me and started growling.

All these thoughts ran through my mind, snake bite, hit by a car, the list went on.

After getting in contact with our vet we rushed her into town fearing the worst.

The vet examined her, and we were advised it was more likely an injury or strain to her lower back and she was taken for an x-ray.

All bones were accounted for with no breaks and she was prescribed anti-inflammatory medication.

Because Lucy had a history with snakes the vet suggested we keep an eye on her overnight and to call if her condition deteriorated.

Needless to say, we paid our bill and were on our way.

We never found out what was wrong with her, but Lucy came home and would live to fight another day.

All our three cats caught cat flu several years ago after we introduced our third cat Jaz to the family.

Because she was a rescue cat, we were unaware of her history and the stress from moving her into a new home brought on symptoms of the disease.

Cat flu is highly contagious and unfortunately Jaz passed it on to Lucy and our second cat, Callie.

Ironically, I also had flu-like symptoms at the time and was home in bed.

The cats had to be kept inside, separated and given medication twice daily.

It wasn’t cheap and it was horrible watching them suffer but again we paid our bills and we got on with everyday life.

Our cats are a part of the family and provide comfort and happiness in the home.

We repay them by taking care of them.

When people get sick, they go to the doctors, pay their bills and move on.

When pets get sick it is the owner’s responsibility to seek vet assistance.

Leaving cats to run wild and continue to breed is unjust and is becoming out of control.