|Low-cost Neutering Scheme|
The obvious benefit of neutering cats is that it prevents the birth of unwanted kittens. It also prevents antisocial habits developing and also considerably reduces the chance of a cat becoming infected with either FIV or FeLV, both deadly viruses.
An unspayed female will come into season and start calling from about 6/7 months old and will attract all the unneutered males in the district! There is a chance that when this happens the female will be chased by male cats and eventually become completely lost. The female is likely to be mated by several male cats and this increases the risk of infection by an FIV/FeLV positive male. A stray female cat can be responsible for a colony of 20 - 30 feral cats in just one year!
Unneutered male cats will spend less time at home because they will want to be out establishing and then defending their territory from other males and, of course, looking for females in season. When they go off in search of a female they also often cannot find their way home again. They will also spray strong smelling urine in their territory to put down a scent and sometimes this will extend to indoors.
Neutering cats will prevent all of this but a lesser known benefit is that they will be substantially less at risk from catching one of the deadly viruses, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) also popularly know as "cat aids" and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV). There is no cure for these viruses which are spread largely by infected cats biting other cats. Unneutered males will fight other males for territory and for females. They also bite the females during mating. Both males and females are therefore at risk of being infected.
TVAW has been running a low-cost neutering scheme since April 2000 and during that time has neutered approximately 600 cats.
The scheme is open to people on low incomes, particularly pensioners and those in receipt of benefit who would not otherwise be able to afford to have their cat neutered.
Under the scheme the owner pays £10 towards the cost of the operation for a male cat and £15 for a female cat. TVAW will pay the balance. Male cats can normally be neutered at 5/6 months and females at 6 months of age.
If you live in Reading, Maidenhead, Henley on Thames or Wokingham and think that you might qualify for financial help, or if you know of someone who might do so, please contact Monica on 01494 484527. The scheme is very straightforward and arrangements can be made very easily.