By Jane Warshaw
The last Tuesday of every February is World Spay Day, an annual campaign by the Humane Society International and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.
Millions of unwanted cats and dogs are euthanized every year simply because there aren’t enough homes for them. And neutering means your cat will live a longer healthier life.
Dr. Daniel Lauridia, DVM of the Murray Hill Pet Hospital says, “It comes down to overpopulation of cats and dogs and protection from health issues…Male cats that are neutered can’t get testicular cancer and female cats can’t get uterine cancers.” He adds, “The risk of mammary cancer to female cats is reduced by approximately 24% due to removal of ovaries which produce estrogen. Unneutered cats also have more tendency to wander and become aggressive toward other cats which will lead to fighting/biting and an increase in spreading Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus.”
Still some people are reluctant to spay or neuter their kitty because of common misperceptions.
My cat will get fat.
Spaying or neutering doesn’t make animals gain weight. Dr. Mike Marder DVM, Diplomate. A.B.V.P., of The Village Veterinarian is adamant: “Surgery doesn’t cause obesity. Food does. Neutering does lower the metabolism, which lowers calories needed for maintenance, but it’s up to the owner to moderate caloric intake.” He adds, “Kitten food has more calories than adult food so after neutering, the food should be changed.”
My cat’s personality will change.
The Humane Society of the United States says that a cat’s personality is formed more by genetics and environment than sex hormones. Marder agrees. “Neutering an animal usually makes it a better pet. In males hormones can influence aggressiveness towards other males. Neutering decreases the aggression.”
There are many free or low cost clinics and programs in our area to make this surgery affordable. Here are just a few:
The ASPCA has Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinics in all five boroughs.
$5 spay/neuter, rabies and distemper vaccination, nail trim, and e-collar on a mobile clinic in all five boroughs with proof of public assistance. $125 per animal if you are not on public assistance. You can check their website for when their mobile clinic is in your neighborhood. Phone: (877) SPAY-NYC (877-772-9692)
The Toby Project. Neuter is free for male cats. Spay is free for female cats whose owners receive public assistance (please bring photo ID/proof of public assistance) or $60 for female cats owned by NYC residents not receiving public assistance.
Phone: (212) 799-1120, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Humane Society of New York- Animal Clinic
305 East 59th Street, NYC 10022. Phone: (212-752-4840)
HealthyPets Project of NYC. Headquartered on the Upper East Side. Offers free spay/neuter services, pet food and supplies for low income pet owners and assistance to those facing financial hardship due to a veterinary emergency with the goal of keeping pets in their homes, Applicants are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and must meet certain criteria. Email: email@example.com
You can find upcoming Low- Cost Spay/Neuter events on the website for The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, animalalliancnyc.org
Spaying or neutering is so important KittyKind requires it before any cat can be adopted. The problem of pet overpopulation is so critical that the ASPCA, Bideawee, and participating rescue groups in the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals also don’t adopt out animals that haven’t been spayed or neutered.
Spaying and neutering our cats is just one more thing KittyKind does to help you adopt the healthiest, happiest cat possible!
If you visited the Meow Parlour October of 2015, you probably met Sergey, our senior teddy bear who could well be the sweetest cat Meow Parlour ever fostered. Sergey came to KittyKind as an owner surrender with a severe limp. When KittyKind decided to have him re-examined, it became increasingly clear that his limping was more serious than what we were originally told by his previous owners. It turned out that Sergey‘s leg needed to be amputated in order for him to live a life without pain.
Sergey’s surgery was quickly scheduled, and KittyKind and the Meow Parlour began a campaign to raise funds to cover the cost of his surgery. The outpouring of financial and moral support from the community was nothing short of amazing, and Sergey’s surgery was not only covered in full via his fundraising campaign, it was a complete success. Here he is recovering at the vet’s office, begging for belly rubs and chin scratches just two days after his surgery:
Sergey’s miracles didn’t stop there. One of the community members following Sergey’s story just so happened to be his future adopter. In fact, when Sergey left the vet’s office, he completed his recovery in his new forever home! The cherry on the sundae that is the story of Sergey’s incredible journey is this update from his family:
“Sergey has brought nothing but joy to our household. His recovery in our home has been nothing short of extraordinary. Now, he can run as fast as any cat and has no trouble jumping on your lap for a hefty amount of cuddling. His affection knows no bounds. He is even friendly with his new brother and sister, Peaches and Cream, a pair of guinea pigs. Putting it simply, Sergey proves that adoption should always be the first option. While it is impossible for him to say it, you can truly see how happy he is to be with our family in his forever home.”
Our foster volunteers are a vital part of our mission to help find forever families for homeless cats. Foster parents provide a loving break from the busy environment of our adoption center at Petco Union Square, which is not always the best environment for senior cats or cats that cannot tolerate living in a confined space. Foster volunteers serve as adoption ambassadors for their foster kitties by promoting them throughout their community and at special events, and by sending updates to KittyKind to use on our social media. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
Here we have KK volunteers cleaning the cat cages at Petco the other day @ 3AM! Now this is amazing work for our feline friends here.
If you love cats, have time to contribute out of your day to volunteer, and don’t mind giving love to our cats looking for a forever home, then click here!
Cecil was a cat who came to KittyKind after being rescued, very very skinny, from being on the streets for too long. Beautiful, affectionate, and intelligent, Cecil gained weight and showed his rescuer that he was the perfect cat. Unfortunately he was FIV positive.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a chronic condition that can causes weaknesses in a cat’s immune system. Most FIV positive cats have gotten the virus in utero from an infected mother. It is extremely unlikely, if not impossible, for cats to get FIV from just being around infected cats, by sharing food bowls, or via a person touching a FIV-positive cat and then touching a FIV-negative cat. But it can be transmitted via blood, so a negative cat could contract FIV from being in a very bad fight with an FIV-positive cat. The wound would have to be very deep.
FIV cats generally show no signs of illness and require no additional vet care. But the stigma of the diagnosis can be an obstacle to getting a good home for an FIV+ cat.
Luckily, Cecil’s future adopters were not deterred by his status, and after meeting and interacting with him, decided to seal the deal and take this spectacular cat home. Cecil has a great home, and his adopters have a great cat!
I started at KittyKind in the summer of 1999, working as a cleaning volunteer with Dorothy G. I went into Petco one day to buy pet food and came across a wall of cats. Who wouldn’t be intrigued? About a week after starting, I found one of the rescuers crying in the back. When I asked why she was crying, she said five cats were not eating, were dehydrated, and she had five minutes to get back to work. I asked how I could help. My first job as a “meds” person was to write a cat’s name on a syringe, wash the syringe in the bathroom downstairs, and return the syringe, wrapped, to the cat’s cage. In those days there was no money for extra syringes. You used it until it broke.
To learn more, I talked to the rescuers and found out how they kept their cats healthy at home. As happens when you volunteer for KittyKind, you start adopting [more] cats. The cats I adopted from KittyKind, as well as the cats I already had, were little con-artists who concealed their health issues well. Within five years, I had a classroom at home: diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney, cardiac, and mega-colon. My vet had to teach me quickly how to treat these problems. (What I learned primarily was that I should’ve adopted the vet, first. I’m convinced every family needs one.)
At KittyKind, health volunteers were needed. There was just me and two other people, Jayne and Elise. I contacted local colleges, recruiting pre-vet and pre-med students (although anyone is welcome to the group). Then supplies were needed, more specifically, money for the supplies, raised through raffles, bake sales, and grants. Now there’s a sizable group of volunteers dedicated to keeping the cats healthy, and there’s even a vet who comes in on Saturdays, thanks to Marianne. At least eight KittyKind healthcare volunteers have gone on to vet school, in addition to those already in vet school programs when they started at KittyKind.
KittyKind has grown so much since the days of the wrapped syringe. Yet one fact remains: It’s still a haven for rescued cats and the volunteers the cats rescue.
The origin story: Mo was taken in by KittyKind with a group of other cats, and had a very tough time adjusting; he didn’t eat for several days and was very angry, and hissing at everyone. We were told it would probably be a challenging adjustment period, which would require extra work on our part, and he was unlikely to settle down quickly.
The day we met Mo, formerly known as Elmo, was the day we were taking him home as a foster. Mo was growling and upset when staff tried transferring him to the carrier; there was almost an escape and some (human) blood was shed. It wasn’t an easy start; Mo was anxious, skinny, losing fur, and generally pretty unhappy.
It took several months to earn Mo’s trust and for him to feel safe in his new home but eventually he started to become more relaxed and we formally adopted him. Mo bonded with me pretty early on, but it took some time for him to feel comfortable with my husband. I am happy to report that they are now best buds, and finally someone else is willing to keep my husband company while he plays video games!
Even though it took over a year, Mo is now the best lap cat ever and will jump onto the couch any time you sit so that he can be close by. When he’s not on your lap he likes to have a paw on you so you don’t forget he’s there (not that you could at the volume he purrs!)
He still enjoys his alone time, too – in the window watching birds mostly – but he’s proof that “less adoptable” cats can truly blossom when you give them the time and patience they need.
Thanks KittyKind and Meow Parlour for gifting us our little angel! We are so happy to have been able to give Buddha (formerly Athena) a forever home. From day one when she first walked into our home, she has brought us so much joy, love, and entertainment! The love we have for our little Buddha is unparalleled. She is an absolute bundle of joy and we can’t imagine a life without her. We look forward to each day with her and waking up to her bright, green curious eyes so full of love and warmth for many years to come.