A spay/neuter thoughts and a possible debate... - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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A spay/neuter thoughts and a possible debate...

On another forum, someone posted they had a young manx cat get out the door and possibly get bred by male strays. She wanted to know if she could have her vet stop the spay (appt. next week) if they found she was pregnant.

I replied that I thought it would be irresponsible to waste the veterinarian's time that way, and why endanger the cat by finding out pregnancy status after surgically opening the cat. I advised her to either continue with the spay appointment and ask the Dr to not tell her if her kitty was indeed pregnant or change the appointment to a pregnancy check if she wished to allow her cat to birth.

Then someone replied (anthropomorphising) about 'how could we deny any living thing the indescribeable bond of love associated with having babies' and how she felt every being should have the right to birth at least once. To make this even more unusual (to my thinking) she volunteers at a shelter and fully understands the pet overpopulation problem.

Anyhow, I guess what I would like to discuss, is spaying, and spaying pregnant cats in particular.
...the scenario I wish to discuss...
Pregnant cat who is feral and cannot be spayed at any point without having to spay-terminate a pregnancy.

How would this situation be resolved between differing people who either see spaying as 'do it no matter what' and people who prefer to let the pregnancy take its' course and spay afterwards? Specifically, what if the feral cat cannot be spayed 'afterwards' because from being feral, she got pregnant again on her birthing-heat? I think this would create a conundrum from which there is no moral end for the live-and-let-live beliefs.
Can a person who views all life as precious and cannot bring themselves to terminate, be able to understand why this (spay-termination in the above situation) is sometimes necessary?

In this situation, I feel s/n could only be done by spay-termination of a pregnancy, especially if there is no where to keep this feral mother and her litter(s) safely until the kittens are weaned and she can be spayed knowing she is not pregnant.



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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 11:31 PM
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Heidi one of my ferals became pregnant last year ... the so and so escaped from her room .. and was out in a flash ...... of course she came back in a few days .. but I took her to the vet and had her spayed ....

I discussed this issue you mentioned with the vet ... in our sitaution in South Africa there was no choice .... is wasnt nice but I had her spayed .. and aborted 4 kittens .

The trouble is ... where would I have found homes for 4 kittens ???? homes that would have ensured the kittens were spayed etc .

IMO honest opinion if a cat needs to be spayed especially a feral then the responsible thing to do is to do it , its lousy but life is lousy .. at least we are preventing more kittens.

A feral that is on the loose that can be caught and spayed , must be spayed regardless of kittens . IMO

I was given a lot of flack about rescuing ... now I have 11 cats ... I have lost 6 in the past two years .... how many possible litters has that prevented ?????

I see to much tragedy here .. spaying/neutering is THE only option.

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Girl Cats : Magic, Garfield, Buggie,Lexie,Spike,Ginger,Blue,Spooky,Rotten, Trouble
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 12:29 PM
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I understand why some people aren't willing to terminate any cat's pregnancy. Many people regard unborn litters as faits accompli that they have no right to tinker with. That's a personal choice and I respect it. And I personally am a little queasy about it into the third trimester, just because they are so far along in their development. But before that, I think it's appropriate to abort.

I can only think of it as a lifeboat. Every home willing to adopt a cat, every shelter space, and every environmental niche where a feral cat can live is a seat on the lifeboat. The sad truth is that there are many, many more cats than seats. Every new kitten born, even if they go right into a loving home, displaces another cat or kitten who could have been rescued instead.

There's no way to sugarcoat it: cats are killed in absolutely sickening numbers, everywhere, daily, by animal control agencies and shelters. Every kitten born means that somewhere down the line, another cat is going to die. I don't like the idea of aborting kittens, I really don't. But given the choice between a litter of first- or second-trimester kittens and an equal number of already-born cats, I have to side with the latter.

Everybody has to make their own choice on this. I hope we can continue to respect one another's positions.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 12:30 AM
 
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Personally I would keep the kittens. I don't see why they can't have a chance at life, even though there are thousands of cats out there already. It wasn't there fault.

I have a Guinea pig that I just adopted that might be pregnant. I am going to have her and the babies checked out and then I will keep them. Yes I have room, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I didn't plan on having more than 2 guinea pigs, but the babies shouldn't suffer.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollypetsit
Personally I would keep the kittens. I don't see why they can't have a chance at life, even though there are thousands of cats out there already. It wasn't there fault.
I understand your point, and I have kept litters of kittens w/out aborting them, except for one instance.
You seem to have missed my point about this discussion, which is this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi n Q
Specifically, what if the feral cat cannot be spayed 'afterwards' because from being feral, she got pregnant again on her birthing-heat?
How does a person reconcile s/n and litter-aborting in situations where there is NO chance of spaying except with the possible/certain probability of a pregnancy?
The situation: a nursing feral, pregnant with next litter, no place to trap/hold mother and babies to allow weaning, birthing and taming to spay when known to not be pregnant. In this situation, the cat must be trapped and spayed in whatever condition it is found in. If a person was to wait until she were not pregnant I think the cat would never be spayed because she would be in a constant state of pregnancy.



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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 06:46 PM
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Beans adopted us and when I took her in to have her spayed, she was pregnant. I went ahead and had the kittens terminated. Didn't like it but knew it was the best thing for her and the kittens.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 11:14 PM
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It is a tough call. In a feral situation, I don't see that there is much choice. If there is no way to keep the cat until after the kittens are born and THEN spay the mother later, then spay/terminate is necessary.

I have to say though...I have problems when they do the spay and take out the kittens and they are so developed that they need to be quickly euthanized. I have volunteered with a s/n van that did feral populations. I always update all the computer records while they do the surguries in the back of the van.

I try not to look back there too much.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, I think that would be so very hard to do. I admit I never gave a thought about the people attending these types of spays.

I had to have Pretty's 2nd litter terminated. I already had her 1st litter in my bathroom and nowhere to keep her inside to birth the 2nd litter and tame her. She was extremely feral at the time and I do not think she would have handled captivity and kittens well at all.
I had a friend who trapped a feral who had her litter in captivity and she couldn't handle the captivity stress and canibalized her litter. Only one kitten survived.



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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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I understand that this would be very hard to come up with a solution and that sometimes the only possibility is to have the fetuses aborted. I have never been in the situation, but I know quite a few people who would help me with the feral mother and if need be, raise the kittens for her. I couldn't get the pregnancy terminated, unless there was some concern for the mother and or babies. I would be devastated and it would haunt me for the rest of my life.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 10:55 PM
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Heide there is no choice.

You and I both know once a feral is in a trap they most likely wont fall for it again down the line. My TNR group has trapped feral females which turned out to be pregnant. The vet said if we hadnt gone thru with the spay it would of meant the death of the mother because their uterus was so worn out from pregnancy after pregnancy from an early age. Their uteruses were jelly masses.


I read its estimated there are over 60 million feral cats in the US alone. times that with the view of "'how could we deny any living thing the indescribeable bond of love associated with having babies" doesnt understand over 40% of feral cats kittens die horrible deaths. Plus the HSUS estimates that a pair of breeding cats and their offspring can exponentially produce over 400,000 cats in 7 years. These cats will have poor nutrician, die horrible deaths, uncared for and sickly which is the fate of most of the ferals.

My group has had to turn away over 5 litters this month cuz there just wasnt room or people to bottle feed and raise the babies. 4 of the litters didnt make it. Owls, coyotes, and mother didnt have enough milk, etc. Spaying makes the most sense even if they are pregnant. It gives the mother a fight chance.

Side note ~ we only S/N colonies which people are willing to feed and give shelter to. There are so many out there we can pick and choose and we feel this is giving feral cats more of a fighting chance. Rather than S/N a cat and dump them back out there to be picked off right away.
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