2017-05-17 / Top News

Kitten season highlights need to spay, neuter pets

The number of feral kittens being born spikes this time of year. The Gulf Coast Humane Society urges pet owners to get their cats spayed 
COURTESY PHOTOS The number of feral kittens being born spikes this time of year. The Gulf Coast Humane Society urges pet owners to get their cats spayed COURTESY PHOTOS There will be a pitter-patter of paws throughout the next few months with the arrival of kitten season.

The Florida wet season isn’t the only thing raining cats and dogs. The arrival of kittens being born spikes this time of year.

With each litter born, it gets more and more difficult to sustain a cat population which balloons annually. The best way to curb such the growth is to spay or neuter your pets.

That’s the message being carried out by the Gulf Coast Humane Society, Lee County Domestic Animal Services and Fortunate Ferals.

“This partnership allows the message of spaying or neutering to reach more people and it is a very important message, considering the amount of homeless kittens which come through our doors during this time of year,” said Gulf Coast Humane Society Executive Director Jennifer Galloway.

Throughout the month of May, messages of the arriving fur herd of cats will be spread, with the main slogan “Stop the CATastrophe.”

The campaign will be topped off by a “Kitten Shower” from 10 a.m. to noon, May 27, at the LCDAS, 5600 Banner Dr., Fort Myers. The shower will feature educational booths on trap-neuter-release, fostering, spay-neutering, what to do if you find an abandoned kitten and other topics.

The shower is free and open to the public.

The gift registry includes baby blankets, water bowls, kitten nursing bottles, flat dishes, digital thermometers, cat beds, Dawn dish soap, cat nail trimmers and Royal Canin Baby Cat Food.

The cost to spay or neuter your pet is much cheaper than raising a litter of puppies or kittens. Pets that have had the procedure are healthier and live longer.

Although it’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats there are in the U.S., cats on average produce two litters each year, with four to six per litter. For dogs, a fertile female will have one litter per year with four to six per litter.

Of the animals which are brought to shelters, like the Gulf Coast Humane Society located in Fort Myers at 2010 Arcadia Street, only 10-percent have been spayed or neutered.

“It’s in our mission statement to educate about the importance of spaying and neutering,” Galloway said. “Spaying and neutering are the best ways to control animal population, as well as giving your pet a healthier and happier life.”

The GCHS Spay and Neuter Clinic, also located at 2010 Arcadia Street, has performed well over 6,000 spay and neutering surgeries since it opened Aug. 25, 2015. That is literally tens of thousands of pets’ lives saved, due to controlling the pet population.

“If you think you cannot afford a spay or neuter surgery, call Gulf Coast Humane Society,” Galloway said. “We are here to help.”

Several other top reasons to spay or neuter your pet include:

• Avoiding the “dreaded” heat: Female felines go into heat for up to four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. They will yowl and urinate more frequently, while female dogs will discharge blood. Spaying will end these symptoms.

• Better behavior: Many aggression problems by male cats and dogs can be lessened if they are neutered, as well as roaming problems can be cut down.

• Your pet will not gain weight after being spayed/neutered: The lack of exercise and over-feeding is the cause of overweight pets, not spaying or neutering.

• Fighting pet overpopulation: Millions of unwanted cats and dogs are euthanized annually, or suffer as strays. Gulf Coast Humane Society is dedicated to provide a non-lethal solution to the problem of shelter pet overpopulation.

For more information about the GCHS Spay and Neuter Clinic and to set an appointment for your pet, call 332-1573 or go to the GCHS website at www.gulfcoasthumanesociety.org. ¦

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