Pair of breeding cats produce 420,000 offspring in seven years
So, you ask, what exactly is a feral cat??? Read on, and you'll learn more about a problem that's causing a lot of suffering --- and costing you money!!!
Feral cats are the 'wild' offspring of domestic cats and are primarily the result of pet owners' abandonment or failure to spay and neuter their animals, allowing them to breed uncontrolled. Feral cat 'colonies' can be found behind shopping areas or businesses, in alleys, parks, abandoned buildings, and rural areas. They are elusive and do not trust humans.
Many people assume their animals will survive when they move away and leave them behind. Contrary to popular belief, domestic animals do not automatically return to their "natural" instincts and cannot fend for themselves! Already, U.S. animal shelters are forced to kill an estimated 15 million homeless cats and dogs annually. The alternative to humane euthanasia for almost every stray is a violent end or slow, painful death. Many "throwaways" die mercilessly outdoors from starvation, disease, abuse --- or as food to a predator.
A pair of breeding cats, which can have two or more litters per year, can exponentially produce 420,000 offspring over a seven-year period, And the overpopulation problem carries a hefty price tag. Statewide, million$ (largely from taxes) is spent by animal control agencies and shelters for cat-related expenses.
In response to this staggering problem, Wags & Whiskers was formed by Jean-Marie Peterson from Lakeview. Wags & Whiskers is a 501 (c) (3) organization that traps and finds homes for those that can be domesticated, and to the extent that funds are available, spays/neuters feral cats, then returns them to their caretakers. This service is provided to the community at no cost by licensed veterinarians and volunteers with one goal in mind: reducing the enormous number of homeless, unwanted cats.
Studies have proven that trap-neuter-release is the single most successful method of stabilizing and maintaining healthy feral cat colonies with the least possible cost to local governments and residents, while providing the best life for the animals themselves. Spaying/neutering homeless cats:
* Stabilizes the population at manageable levels
* Eliminates annoying behaviors associated with mating
* Is humane to the animals and fosters compassion in the neighborhoods
* Is more effective and less costly than repeated attempts at extermination ---
* costs for repeatedly trapping and killing feral colonies are far higher than promoting stable,
non-breeding colonies in the same location.
How can you be a part of the solution?
In Lakeview, Ephrata Soap Lake and Grant County:
* Spay or neuter your own pet! Sterilizing animals is an important step in maintaining their good health.
* Humane traps (with instructions) are available to borrow. Call the number below but please be patient---we often have a waiting list for traps.
* Become a volunteer and encourage your personal veterinarian to become involved!
* Tell people about the Wags & Whiskers If someone you know is caring for stray, unowned cats let them know about our services. Education is the key, so make others aware of the feral cat problem and tell them how they can help!
For more information, contact:
Wags & Whiskers
83 H Stfeet NE
Ephrata, WA 98823