Category Archives: TNR

Cat overpopulation pyramid chart points to cat overpopulation being a national crisis.

While these cat pyramid overpopulation charts are not accurate, they draw attention to cat overpopulation being a national crisis.

There’s no doubt too many cats can come from one cat

Cat and dog overpopulation is a huge problem, so much so that some animal advocacy organizations call it a national crisis, a crisis that could be averted by having your pet spayed or neutered.

Cats are particularly hard-wired to reproduce, according to Stephanie Heikkinen DMV, of Maine Wood Mobile Vet, Livermore Falls, Maine. A cat can have a litter of kittens two to three times a year with up to six kittens in each litter, resulting in quite a few extra kittens. Each kitten can have a litter at six months. The results are exponential cat overpopulation with one cat having an average of 2.8 kittens per litter. The controversial cat overpopulation chart, while known to overstate the problem, does illustrate how big the problem is.

For dogs, the numbers are smaller, but still overwhelming. One dog’s offspring can result in 4,372 dogs in seven years. But chances are they don’t all survive. If they survive kittenhood or puppyhood, many succumb to illness, neglect, predators, or end up being euthanized in shelters around the country. That’s one reason the chart is flawed.

Cat overpopulation huge with over 70 million cats in US

Mallory Kerley, Media Coordinator of the ASPCA, says, “It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates indicate there are up to 70 million cats. The average number of litters a fertile cat produces is one to two a year with the average litter being from four to six kittens. An average dog produces one litter a year with four to six puppies.

Cat overpopulation pyramid, while not accurate portrays just how much of a national crisis cat overpopulation is

Cat overpopulation pyramid, while not accurate portrays just how much of a national crisis cat overpopulation is

Cat overpopulation pyramid, while not accurate portrays just how much of a national crisis cat overpopulation is[/caption]

Yet, only ten percent of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered, she said. About 75 percent of owned pets are neutered. The ASPCA estimates that five out of ten dogs in shelters, and seven out of ten cats in shelters are destroyed simply because there is no one to adopt them.

This cute kitten was a product of feral parents. He's a wonder. With TNR, perhaps another kitten would not have been euthanized, waiting for a home.

This cute kitten was a product of feral parents. He’s a wonder. With TNR, perhaps another kitten would not have been euthanized, waiting for a home.

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Even the Feral Cats love their soul mates cat, and here Blake and Faith express their love for one another.

National Feral Cat Day, Oct. 16, 2015 brings attention to community cats.

National Feral Cat Day marks its 15th anniversary on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. Inspired by this year’s theme, Evolution of the Cat Revolution, supporters are committing to make their own evolution in working toward animal control and sheltering practices that protect the lives of all cats with over 700 events worldwide.

In a press release, Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies, the advocacy organization that established National Feral Cat Day, said, ‘Our incredible success in promoting Trap-Neuter-Return for feral cats as a mainstream practice has saved countless lives, but there’s more to be done. We encourage cat advocates to continue with their own local evolution by taking the next step. It could be neutering a cat, speaking at a community meeting or spearheading a campaign for a local Trap-Neuter-Return ordinance. There’s always room to grow.’

Kitty enjoys sunshine

TNR, the best way to curb feral cat overpopulation

Despite all the research supporting how effective TNR programs are, many municipalities scorn its effectiveness, and look at controversial means like eradicating feral cat colonies, by moving them, or worse, euthanizing them. That’s why Paws for Reflection wants to focus on this all important day. It’s not a day, it’s a movement that needs to stay front and center.

Community cats are in trouble. Cat overpopulation is a huge problem not only in the United States, but worldwide.

We are happy to highlight this all important day. More than 1,500 events have taken place on this day since 2011. Volunteers are organizing spay/neuter clinics, arranging educational sessions, encouraging official governmental proclamations, and raising funds to support local Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs. Hundreds of these local, volunteer-driven events are listed on nationalferalcatday.org, which also has ideas that people can use to celebrate in their own communities.

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February 23 is Spay Day USA

Baby Kitty Lenny being bottle fed

Baby Kitty Lenny being bottle fed

Cats are hardwired to reproduce. They can go into heat every two weeks, and can a litter of kittens two to three times a year with up to six kittens in each litter, resulting in quite a few extra kittens.. Each kitten can have a litter at six months. The results are exponential with one cat with an average of 2.8 kittens per litter. The only way to stop explosive cat overpopulation is to spay/neuter.

February 23 is Spay Day USA, and at Paws for Reflection, we’ll make it a Worldwide Feline Spay/Neuter Day.

Now that February is waning, the days are getting longer. Though it may not feel much like spring, the additional daylight has a pronounced effect our furry friends, especially cats, who are physically constructed to reproduce. And many of these newborns will be cast into an animal shelter, or worse, left on the street to fend for themselves.

Cat overpopulation pyramid, while not accurate portrays just how much of a national crisis cat overpopulation is

Cat overpopulation pyramid, while not accurate portrays just how much of a national crisis cat overpopulation is

That’s why it’s so important to have your cat spay/neutered. Cost shouldn’t be a factor. There are lots of low-cost spay/neuter clinics. All you have to do is search for them.

Kitties can have more kitties as young as 4-months-old.

Kitties can have more kitties as young as 4-months-old.

Too many cats from 1 cat, 2 to 3 litters of kittens a year

Some people think they can just keep their cats inside. It’s not that simple. A cat can go into heat every two weeks or so. They go out of heat for five to six days and then if they are not impregnated, they go back into heat. Cats are hard-wired to try to reproduce, and they are physically constructed to virtually guarantee the females become pregnant. The heat cycle does not stop till they are impregnated with a litter of kittens.

Even when the female comes out of heat, she can conceive from one to two days afterward.

While in heat, the female will mate several times; sometimes with one male, sometimes with several. They are trying their darndest to reproduce.

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Feral cats need shelter as the temperatures dip.

Imagine, the life of a feral cat. They live outside, in colonies. They are skittish if not totally afraid of humans. They deal with the bitter winter cold, and harsh summer heat. They must fend for themselves and their colony, for food, water and shelter.

But, we humans can help, and by doing a few simple things, help them make it through the winter.

Let’s start with four simple things we humans can do to help the ferals and even our neighbor’s free roaming cats.

  • Before starting the car, tap the hood and check between the tires. Cat will look for a warm place will curl up in the engine or hide underneath the car.
  • Clean up any antifreeze spills. Antifreeze is sweet and irresistible to cats and other animals, but it’s really toxic and deadly. Click here to read about common symptoms of antifreeze poisoning in cats. Better yet, consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for more information.
  • Shovel out cat shelters when you’re clearing your driveway. Cats can get snowed in, so keep entrances clear and shovel an exit for cats who may be taking refuge under bushes, porches, or other hiding spots.
  • Refrain from using salt and chemical melting products. These products can be toxic to animals and harmful to their paws.
  • Feral cats need shelter in winter.

    Feral cats need shelter in winter.

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Feral cats need our help every day, all year long.

Feral cats need our help every day, all year long.

Trap Neuter Return (TNR): From the Alley to Main Street should be every day, not only on Oct. 16’s National Feral Cat Day.

National Feral Cat Day is one of the more important days to bring recognition to an ever present situation – the plight of feral cats.

Paws loves all cats, of all colors and flavors, regardless of where they live. Many of the ferals once lived with humans. Others are descendents of cats that were discarded by their people for one reason or another.

While some ferals are actually strays and can learn to live with humans again. It takes years for the truly feral cat to adjust to the humans that abandoned them. After all, would you trust a human if they had thrown you out into the wild to live out the rest of your days.

While Paws thinks cats are just the best, that thought is not shared by all. Many hate cats. Others tolerate them, and find them a nuisance. They spray, yawl and get into cat fights. They walk on their new cars, and defecate in their gardens. They find them a nuisance.

This anti-cat feeling is fueled by the fact that left in-tact, cats reproduce at a very high rate. They can have up to four litters a year. With multiple litters, they also have multiple kittens in each litter.

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Many of these little ones perish from malnutrition or predators. While the charts are misleading about how many cats come from one cat, there’s no doubt if not spayed and neutered, cats have a lot of cats. It is estimated, there are more feral cats in the United States than domestic cats.

That’s why Trap Neuter Programs are so important. If there are less cats, there will be less nuisance.

TNR addresses the vacuum effect – if the cats are removed from the area, another group will move in. There’s food and water and shelter. So why not make it their home.

If the cats do not reproduce, they can live out their years, and mark their territory. Another group won’t show up to take their place, and the numbers of feral cats will slowly be reduced.

These colonies usually have caregivers, who make sure the cats have shelter, food and water, all necessary for their survival.

TNR is not a quick fix, and in today’s society of instantaneous communication, humans expect to have everything fixed yesterday. That’s not going to happen with the feral cat issue. However, slow, persistent work will pay off. It’s good for the cats, and good for the humans.

National Feral Cat Day also draws attention to the problem of ferals in shelters, and promotes setting up barn cat programs. If the ferals can be re-homed to live in barns, they can do their part for rodent control, while being moved from an area where they are not wanted.

Re-homing is more humane than extermination.

Here we cite some facts from the national feral cat organization, Alley Cat Allies, which states they are the only national organization dedicated to the protection of cats., with more than 500,000 supporters nationwide in the movement to protect and improve cats’ lives.

  • ‘Alley Cat Allies launched National Feral Cat Day® on our 10th anniversary in 2001 to raise awareness about feral cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them.
  • National Feral Cat Day® is observed on October 16 every year.
    More and more people celebrate National Feral Cat Day® each year. Since 2011, more than 1,000 National Feral Cat Day events have taken place—spreading the word and helping feral cats all over the country and abroad.
  • Feral cats have lived alongside humans for more than 10,000 years. They are the same species as pet cats. Feral cats, also called community or outdoor cats, live in groups called colonies and can thrive in every landscape. They are just as healthy as pet cats, but they are not socialized to humans and are therefore unadoptable.
  • Trap-Neuter-Return—a humane approach to managing and caring for feral cats—is the only effective method of stabilizing feral cat colonies. In the last decade, the number of local governments with official policies endorsing TNR for feral cats has increased tenfold, with hundreds of cities and towns successfully carrying out TNR.
  • However, in the majority of cities, feral cats are still caught and brought to animal pounds and shelters where they are killed. The shelter system is the number one cause of death for cats in the United States. About 70 percent  of cats who enter shelters are euthanized.’

Did you do something for your community cats on National Feral Cat Day? Do you help feral cats? Why do you think people hate the ferals so much? Please share your thoughts and weigh in on the discussion.

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Category: Feral Cats, Rescue, TNR

Catpersonable BJ Bangs



At Paws for Reflection, we're serious about cats, writing about cat health, cat rescue and cat news. We delve into why cats are the absolute best soul mates. We spring in a little humor with lots of travel tips, photos and a few feline tales, making Paws for Reflection a must stop for cat information on the cat crazed Internet. BJ is an award-winning blogger/journalist, communications professional and photographer.

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