One Way To Control The Cat Population

By Crystal C. Long

Cat-overpopulation falls into three main categories: people jump into being a pet parent without first considering all the responsibilities, therefore, surrendering them to shelters when it becomes “too much work;” people shop rather than adopt; and lastly, failing to get their cat spayed. The harsh reality is that the rate of cats being adopted is much less than dogs.

Conventional wisdom dictates that cats should be spayed or neutered at six months of age or older. Still, Esther Mechler disagrees with the Director of Maine-based Marian’s Dream (a nonprofit that aims to end dog and cat overpopulation). Instead, she advises that cats are best spayed/neutered within five months.

We will get ahead of unplanned litters, but there are also numerous advantages attached, “if cats are fixed by five months, they will most likely not spray and mark and roam. It is those behaviors that cost male cats their homes. In addition, female cats are over 90 percent less likely to develop mammary gland cancer if they are fixed by five months.” Mechler stated. “Both of these are hormone-driven, and by spaying or neutering early in life—before the hormones kick in—we help keep cats in their homes and with the expectation of a happier, healthier life.”

 It is to no surprise that Mechler is a considerable cat-lover. “When I was 7 or 8 years old, I lobbied long and hard for a cocker spaniel, but my parents never caved! So instead, we somehow adopted a little black and white kitten. He stole our hearts for sure, and I have had cats ever since. Why? Because they’re so independent, so complex, so graceful, such individuals, and they have so much to teach us.”

Her love for felines inspired her to create the Fix by Five campaign. With a mission to reduce cat overpopulation by lowering the legal age of spaying/neutering cats down to five months or earlier, Mechler’s Fix by Five campaign recently gained the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) approval).

Most people either do not know when to spay/neuter their cats or think it was six months or older. And to this, Mechler suggested spreading the word. The Fix by Five campaign now has vet support, but we need to raise public awareness. There are a lot of problems out there, and solutions are often costly and complicated. Nevertheless, we are so pleased to have found a solution for several issues that plague felines—can we make “cat parents aware enough to be proactive with their kitties?”

For more information on Fix By Five,

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