The Bermuda SPCA is offering financial assistance to private cat owners to have their pet spayed or neutered as part of the organisation’s CatSnip programme.
The overpopulation of cats in Bermuda presents a problem according to the SPCA as there are not enough people seeking cats to home them all.
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 four and a half 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.”
Spaying and neutering are common surgeries veterinarians perform to stop animals from having surplus litters.
By neutering or spaying a family pet one can actively help solve the problem of overpopulation and also curb unwanted behavioural patterns associated with sexual maturity and reduce the risk of certain diseases in both male and female cats. “The CatSnip programme has been running since December 2013, and to date we have assisted with funding for over 275 privately owned cats at a cost of approximately $48,525,” said Deborah Titterton Narraway, Interim executive director for the SPCA.
“The positive trend we see is that people are spaying/neutering their cats at a younger age, 71 per cent of these cats are under the age of one year old.”
To apply for funding, visit the SPCA website, www.spca.bm, 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.
The vet practices will accept the CatSnip voucher as payment.
By Sarah Lagan The Royal Gazette