A new scheme to encourage cat owners across Wales to get their pets neutered and microchipped has been launched.
The Wales Cat Neutering and Microchipping Project is being run in partnership by RSPCA Cymru and Cats Protection and aims to encourage cat owners to neuter and microchip their pets.
RSPCA Cymru’s National Welfare Manager, Coralie Farren, said: “Neutering cats is so important as it can help prevent illnesses and reduce the number of unwanted kittens.
“Cats are able to start breeding from as young as four months-old and sometimes mate with their brothers and sisters.
“Spaying or snipping your cat is a straightforward procedure which prevents unwanted pregnancies in female cats and can help reduce fighting and roaming of male cats.
“Repeated breeding and fighting is unhealthy for cats and can increase the risk of disease.
“While microchipping is really important if a cat becomes lost or injured.”
Neutering Manager for Cat’s Protection, Jane Clements, said: “Neutering is such an important decision, which cat owners sometimes fail to make before their female cat has an unexpected litter of kittens!
“This is because many people don’t realise that kittens can reach puberty at four months of age. Female cats do not need to have a litter before they are spayed, and males can also be snipped at four months old.
“A spay or a snip has health benefits, can prevent injuries from roaming or fighting and generally allows cats to enjoy playing outside without the risk of getting pregnant or being hit by a car in the quest to find a mate.”
More than 100 vets across Wales have signed up to the scheme, which is available to cat owners who are in receipt of benefits or on a low income in Wales. For their cat to be neutered and microchipped the owner will only have to pay £5 – which is a fraction of the cost the procedures would usually be.
Those interested in taking part in the scheme can check if they qualify and if there is a vet (that has signed up to the scheme) near them by visiting www.RSPCA.cymru/neutering or by phoning 03000 12 12 12 option 2.
If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). We are a charity and rely on public donations to exist.
The scheme only covers the cost of the neutering operation and microchip insertion. Any extra costs or procedures will need to be covered by the owner.
You should qualify for help if a) you receive a state benefit b) you’re on a low household income or c) you’re a full time student or pensioner.
The phone number is charged at local rates.
You may have heard that it’s good for cats to have a litter of kittens before they are spayed – but this isn’t true. Once she has been spayed your kitten will be able to do all the things cats enjoy doing, like going starting to explore outdoors, climbing trees and playing.
Your boy cat will need to have a simple operation, called the snip. This can stop him from spraying in your house to mark his territory, which can be very smelly, and getting nasty injuries from fights. He will also be less likely to wander off and get run over, as cats that are snipped tend to stay closer to home.
The operation is very simple. He or she will be given an anaesthetic. Once they are back at home (on the same day) they will need to say in for a short time – the vet will advise – but they will soon be fit and well again.
Neutering has benefits that apply not only to cats but also to dogs and other animals such as rabbits and ferrets.
For more information about cat neutering visit – www.rspca.cymru/neutering