As kitten season kicks off, local shelters urge you to spay and neuter stray cats
As spring approaches, the birds and bees will be coming out, and so will the kittens.
While this may sound cute and exciting, shelter managers say without the proper precautions, cat populations can quickly soar out of control.
That's why local shelters are asking that you spay and neuter not only just your pets, but stray cats as well.
Siobhan Wyatt, the Shelter Manager at Wicomico Humane Society said, "This time of year is especially important to get the pets spayed and neutered because the spring kittens are being conceived now, so getting them spayed and neutered now is going to reduce a lot of the unwanted spring litters."
Shelter managers say animal control can take care of most stray cats, but in certain counties, there are restrictions.
Wyatt said, "So the ordinance in Wicomico County is that city animal control is able to track cats within the city limits however, in the county limits, animal control cannot trap because cats are considered free roaming."
That's why it is so crucial for residents to take action.
Wyatt said, "So it's very important that the homeowner or the property owner is the one trapping and getting pets spayed and neutered to help over population disease and unwanted behaviors."
Those with the humane society say stray or feral cats that have already been spayed or neutered have already had their ears clipped.
If you see a stray without that marking, you should call animal control or a local organization to come trap it for you. Otherwise, cat populations can quickly get out of control.
Pat Chance, a volunteer with Town Cats said, "An unspayed female cat, her male and all of their offspring producing two litters per year, in one year they can produce 12. In two years, 67. In three years, 376, and it just goes up from there."
All the more reason to get cats fixed so our shelters don't overcrowd.
Local shelter managers add there are a lot of myths out there about spaying and neutering that they want to debunk.
They say these myths unfortunately discourage many people from taking care of local dogs and cats.
A lot of pet owners worry that if they get their furry friend spayed or neutered, it will make them lazy, or even sluggish.
Shelter managers say, people also worry about the cost of spaying and neutering animals.
But officials say, there is no need to fret.
Jessica Summers, the Shelter Manager at Worcester Humane Society said, "So financially there are options out there, we're helping with that. Otherwise, a lot of people think getting your animal spayed or neutered will make them big fat and lazy but that is not true, it's just diet and exercise just like us."
Local organizations like Forgotten Cats and Community Cats Coalition offer free spaying and neutering.
Worcester County Humane Society will also be opening a low cost spay and neuter clinic in the coming months.