As kitten season descends upon Warren County, I’ve noticed that social media is filled with posts about free kittens and people desperate to rehome litters.
It makes me sad to see these posts, especially because it is so preventable. A lack of interest in getting cats spayed or neutered is contributing to the wildfire of kittens sweeping across the county. I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule, but there’s way too much assistance out there for spaying and neutering for there to be this many kittens circulating and pet owners need to take responsibility for the pets’ lives they vowed to care for when they brought them into their home. When I take a new pet to the vet for the first time, I always ask when I can schedule their spay/neuter and it gets done ASAP.
A female cat can have up to three litters a year and it takes only mere months for any female kittens she produces to be able to bear their own litters. Thousands upon thousands of cats are born every year due to the fact owners are not getting their animals fixed or ensuring they go onto homes where they will be fixed. By removing their ability to contribute to the growing cat population, you give cats who are already in one of our rescues a better shot at being adopted.
The worst part? There’s not always warm and loving homes to adopt these kittens. Some wind up on the street where they become feral over time and their chance at a home drops further as few families are vying for the opportunity to take on a project cat with a bad temper. Sometimes, these kittens do go to homes, but the owner who receives them winds up not getting them fixed, resulting in more kittens.
For those who are unaware, there are groups dedicated to helping get the community’s cats fixed. Helping Animals of Warren County works tirelessly to get as many pets fixed as possible and can be contacted on Facebook or at (931) 743-7666. They are a small group and are always in need of volunteers to help them trap feral cats or transport cats to spay/neuter clinics.
Otherwise, Warren County Animal Control and Adoption Center is another place that is happy to direct you to resources for getting animals fixed. They, themselves, do not offer spay/neuter outside of the pets adopted from their facility, but they’re well-connected to the rescue network and have a wealth of information for those who ask. They can be reached on Facebook or by phone (931) 507-3647.
Please get your pets fixed, and keep the resources this county has in mind when you go to donate or want to volunteer time. Before you rehome a pet, try to get it fixed before it leaves your care. Make sure the little purring ball of love that you’re giving someone else is going to a good, responsible home.
Standard reporter Nikki Childers can be reached at 473-2191.