The Bermuda SPCA‘s CatSnip effort, a program which provides funding assistance to private cat owners to have their cats spayed and neutered in an effort to reduce the unwanted cat population, has reportedly been a success to date, assisting with funding for more than 275 privately owned cats at a cost of approximately $48,525.
A spokesperson said, “The cat overpopulation in Bermuda continues to be a problem and unfortunately, there are not enough people seeking cats to home them all.
“The Bermuda SPCA offers, CatSnip, a program which provides funding assistance to private cat owners to have their cats spayed and neutered in an effort to reduce the unwanted cat population.
“Spay/neuter is an effective and humane way to save animals’ lives. Spaying [for females] and neutering [for males] are common surgeries veterinarians perform to stop animals from having accidental, surplus litters.
“Preventing litters reduces the number of animals for whom resources are not available. By neutering or spaying a family pet one can actively help solve the problem of overpopulation and also curbs unwanted behavioural patterns associated with sexual maturity and reduces the risk of certain diseases in both male and female cats.”
Jodi Corbett, SPCA Education Officer, said, “Cats have the unique ability to reproduce several times a year, with the busiest mating season being in March/April with kittens arriving in May/June.”
“They can go into heat as early as 4 1/2 months of age – sometimes earlier, and they can have litters several times a year. That is why there is an endless cycle of homeless cats.”
Deborah Titterton Narraway, Interim Executive Director, said, “The CatSnip program has been running since December 2013, and to date we have assisted with funding for over 275 privately owned cats at a cost of approx. $48,525.
“The positive trend we see is that people are spaying/neutering their cats at a younger age, 71% of these cats are under the age of one year.”
“To apply for funding, visit the SPCA website and complete and submit the two-part application form. There is a mandatory $20 fee which covers the cost to have the cat microchipped and each applicant is asked to make an additional donation towards the spay/neuter surgery.
“Once the application is approved the cat’s owner can collect a CatSnip voucher from the SPCA and contact either Bermuda Veterinary Services, Endsmeet Animal Hospital, or Ettrick Animal Hospital to make an appointment for the surgery.
“On appointment day the vet practices accept the CatSnip voucher as payment. The vets do charge the SPCA for their services but at a deeply discounted rate as their contribution to reducing the numbers of unwanted cats/kittens in Bermuda.
“At the Bermuda SPCA all cats and dogs are spayed/neutered and microchipped before leaving the Shelter as part of the medical care included with every adoption. And although the SPCA’s CatSnip program focuses on privately owned cats, the feral cat population is receiving the same support through the Bermuda Feline Assistance Bureau [BFAB].”