RSPCA urges owners to desex pets

Cat times: Sue Merrick with kittens from the December surge at the Coffs Harbour RSPCA.
Cat times: Sue Merrick with kittens from the December surge at the Coffs Harbour RSPCA. Bruce Thomas

THE onus is on cat owners to desex their feline friends following an inundation of kittens and pregnant cats at the RSPCA in December.

There were 95 stray and surrendered cats, compared with 63 in December 2009.

This record high coincides with the release of a WIRES report saying Coffs Harbour is among the worst suburbs for cat and dog attacks on native wildlife.

RSPCA shelter manager, Sue Merrick, said people need to understand it is unacceptable to leave cats un-desexed.

“We shouldn’t tolerate certain behaviours, and un-desexed animals, particularly cats, should not be tolerated,” Ms Merrick said.

“When kittens are one week from fending for themselves the mum goes back on heat and is ready to have another litter and tom cats are dirty, they disappear, have fights away from home, get female cats pregnant and go feral.

“We need to get the message across that un-desexed cats are a problem.”

All kittens at the RSPCA are $190 which includes desexing, vaccination, worming, microchip, flea treatment and 30-day pet insurance.

Pet shops are not obliged to desex their kittens and often don’t to avoid passing this additional cost on to the buyer.

Desexing a cat can cost between $100 and $250 and Brontosaurus store manager, Katie Sippel, said this is a considerable expense which would increase the prices of their pets.

“We always say it’s best to get your cat desexed but we can’t make new owners because it is an expensive thing to do,” she said

“We encourage them and our vet offers a 10 per cent discount to desex their animal.”

Short-haired kittens at Brontosaurus cost $149 which includes vaccination and worming.

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