We are going to take a pause from featuring an individual cat this week to address a very important issue…..kittens. Spring is undoubtedly kitten season in the Rainy River District as it is throughout Canada and the northern United States. We are seeing a lot of local posts on Facebook about people who have kittens looking for homes. This means that they have a female cat they have not yet had spayed. We do not presume we have the right to tell anyone what to do, but please, if your female cat has just had a litter, consider getting her spayed once the kittens are weaned. We have not been in operation very long, but we are already keenly aware of the overabundance of unaltered cats, domestic, stray and feral that are “out and about” doing cat things in the region. We can only stop this if every cat owner takes responsibility for their own animal. If you are not part of the solution, you are likely part of the problem. If you really and truly cannot afford to get your cat spayed or neutered, please contact us and, depending on your circumstances, we may be able to provide some assistance.
To those of you who have recently become “parents”; as you search for a forever home for those cute little bundles of fur, please do two things. Firstly, charge an adoption fee. It may be as little as $50 but if there is some financial commitment involved, it may reduce the likelihood of someone taking a kitten they cannot really afford, and also (hopefully) eliminate those people who may be taking the kitten for the wrong reasons. Although we have not heard of anything happening here, there are many horror stories of people claiming kittens as “pets” only to feed them to their own exotic pets such as snakes.
Secondly, try and get a firm commitment from the person adopting the kitten that they will get it spayed or neutered. One of the benefits of adopting through a rescue is that the rescue will ensure that the animal is “fixed”, either before it goes to its’ forever home, or as part of the follow-up process. In a perfect world, all people who adopt out dogs or cats should have the same responsibility.
Finally, if you are considering adopting a kitten, please consider the costs and commitment involved. You may be adopting a kitten, but you are committing to give a loving home to an adult cat, who will need to be fed, have vet bills and MUST be spayed or neutered. If you cannot currently afford those costs, you are not being fair to yourself or to the animal. That does not mean you will never have a pet. You may just need to wait until your economic circumstances have changed.
These are only suggestions. As stated earlier, we are not trying to tell people what to do. However, the reason Best for Kitty exists is because, through no fault of their own, cats or kittens in our district end up in need of help. Nothing would make us happier than to have less demand for our services. If all pet owners work together, maybe we can move closer to that elusive goal of no stray or abandoned cats in our district.