Low-cost cat neutering scheme reaches landmark figure – with next session planned

Vet2U resident cat Ebeneezer

A Thanet volunteer group and a mobile veterinary service that teamed up in 2020 to reduce the influx of cats and kittens into local rescues say they have neutered 260 cats to date through a low cost scheme.

Missing Cats and Strays in Thanet (MCST) and Vet2U say action was needed, particularly during the covid pandemic when many vets were only taking on emergency appointments and meant neutering appointments were reduced or halted.

The group and vets say that post-pandemic the problem continued with pets given up due to the cost of living crisis or people returning to work and feeling unable to look after their animals properly.

At the end of last year one animal charity said it was caring for such a huge number of cats that costs for treating and caring for them could no longer be met,

Cats in Crisis had more than 100 cats in its care being looked after in the homes of volunteers as there is no rescue centre.

Lucy Cook, from MCST, said: “ To combat this we collaborated to try and get the wait lists down and reduced the price in order to provide an incentive to those struggling financially to get their cats neutered. Our offer is not means tested so it is available for anyone to use – regardless of income, unlike other low-cost services.

“Dr Kate Higgs, and nurses Carina, Kerry and Gemma all donate their time and skills to make this happen. In total we have managed to neuter over 260 cats.”

Neutering takes place at the Vet2u headquarters on the old Haine Road Industrial estate and is organised through Missing Cats and Strays in Thanet.

It costs £50 for a male and £75 for a female, with £10 extra if a microchip is needed. The price is inclusive of any medication.

It will be a legal requirement on June 10 this year to have cats 20 weeks of age onwards microchipped.

Lucy said: “Spaying and castrating reduces unwanted kittens and reduces transmission of potentially fatal diseases such as FIV and FELV. It also puts an end to any reproductive cancers or serious conditions such as pyometra.

“Sadly we find many unneutered cats go missing from their homes when they roam to find a mate- this also contributes to the amount of deceased cats we pick up on the roads. This not only affects the unneutered as many cats will be hassled and bullied by unneutered toms which causes them to roam or run away from home and sadly cross busy roads.”

Dr Kate Higgs, of Vet2u, added: “Part of our ethos is to be a vet practice that is part of the community. Helping the cats of Thanet to get neutered allows us to in part fulfil some of this role.

“It’s also great to know we are helping to reduce the population of unwanted cats in Thanet.”

The next neutering day will take place on April 16 and booking is essential by messaging Missing Cats and Strays in Thanet on Facebook.

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