Tuesday, February 23, 2016

World Spay Day: 3 ways you can celebrate (without a surgery)

This sweet kitty is waiting in a shelter kennel for her home
Think about your cats for a moment. Are all of them spayed or neutered? Every last one of them? Chances are, if you're a responsible pet owner with just one or two cats, you'll answer "yes" to this question. But, there's still a lot you can do to help with pet overpopulation.

For example, the last Tuesday in February is set aside, by the Humane Society International, for spay awareness. Yup, it's World Spay Day! (Catchy as hell, right? Well, maybe not.) And there are three key things you could do today to help mark the occasion. And none of them require heading to the vet with your cat in a box.

Option 1: Talk to a neighbor 

Do you share a street with a herd of cats? And do you hear those cats getting busy every night? If so, you're living next to someone who needs to hear the spay/neuter message. And if you pitch the conversation just right, you might make a difference.

For example, few people like to get accosted by a nosy neighbor who comes running up with advice about what should and should not be done with pets. And few people respond kindly to conversations that start with words like, "If you don't do something, I'll call the police!" or "You don't care about your cats at all!"

A better approach involves doing a little research. Contact your local humane society, and ask about low-cost spay/neuter programs in your community. If you can, pick up flyers from the society, or print out pages online. Then, take those docs with you when you talk, and point out how little it might cost the person to get the problem handled.

Option 2: Make a donation

Some spay/neuter programs rely on grants and other forms of traditional funding. But many rely on nice donations from community members just like you. A donation as small as $30 or $40 could cover the cost of one or more surgeries, and if you can't afford that much, even a tiny amount could help.

If you can't afford to fund a spay/neuter program with money, the facilities that provide these surgeries always need clean towels for cats in recovery. Scour your cupboards and look for those linens. You could help a cat in need.

Tiny kitten waiting for her spay surgery in her kennel

Option 3: Talk it up on social.

There are tons of misconceptions about what spay surgeries are for and how cats can really benefit from having a litter of kittens. These little misconceptions can keep people from scheduling the surgeries their cats need, and that can lead to many more unwanted kittens.

Social media is a great myth-busting tool. And there are all sorts of really clever infographics you can use to help spread the word about spays. I like this one from the RSCPA, for example. Share it, or one like it, and you could save a life!

RSPCA cat neutering advice
Avoid a cat-astrophe - An infographic created by the RSPCA

So go ahead. Celebrate the spay day today. Future cats will thank you!

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