A couple of the animal shelters in my area are hoping to reduce their overpopulation of cats by offering them free for adoption. One of the advantages of living in the northern States is that we experience one less breeding cycle due to extreme cold weather. That benefit does not seem to hold for this winter. It is odd to see infant kittens entering the shelter in the winter months in which it gives a reprieved to shelters dealing with the excess cats in the community. But, it appears that the cats are adapting.
Many communities face the problem of surplus cats and the cause is a result of our own good intentions. We see a hungry cat at our door, we feed it. As I have always said, “If there is sufficient food, cats will breed.” Well, we must be feeding the hell out of cats.
Every time an animal shelter starts offering “free cats,” someone will come out of the woodwork exclaiming that by doing so, we are devaluing cats. A free cat sends the message that cats have no value and people will treat the cats as having no vlaue. I have never witness anyone mistreating a cat because the cat was free. Animal Shelters face the problem of people giving away free kittens in front of shopping malls. An Animal Shelter would be smart to compete and fill the community with spayed and neutered kittens than to push their community to the free unsterilized cats offered for sale by irresponsible cat owners.
The fact that Animal Shelters are offering cats for free is evidence of the following:
- The No Kill Movement is lying to us that there is no pet overpopulation.
- Low cost spay/neuter programs are necessary to curb the overpopulation problem.
- Trap, neuter and release (TNR) programs are a critical component of reducing the feral cat problem in our communities.
- The community needs to understand their role in creating this problem.
I wish the shelters well in their efforts.