The 500 Cats Challenge
The Cat Protection Society of NSW is celebrating 60 years of caring for cats with a major discount desexing program in Sydney: the 500 Cats Challenge.
For just $50, pensioners and health care card holders can have their cat desexed and vaccinated. The goal is to have 500 cats desexed before the next kitten season.
“Desexing is good for a cat’s health and behaviour, it’s good for feline welfare and the environment and of course it curbs the number of unwanted and homeless cats,” Cat Protection CEO Kristina Vesk said “Vaccinations are essential to both individual cat health and feline population health.
“The usual price for cat desexing and vaccinating varies, but typically ranges from $135 to $300+ so this is a massive saving,” she said.
“We know that there are many very-loved cats whose owners are financially struggling so we’re really happy to be able to offer this program.
“We acknowledge the great support of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, who generously donated the vaccines for the 500 Cats Challenge, our amazing friends at 2GB for helping us to spread the word, and our wonderful vets and supporters who have made our significant investment in this program possible.”
Cats can reach sexual maturity as young as 4 months, so kittens can start having kittens. Sydney’s warm climate and long daylight hours mean feline reproduction occurs almost all year-round, with the ‘kitten season’ typically starting in spring and finishing in late autumn. According to Reproductive Biology and Behaviour of the Cat (Dr Carole Webb, 2010), one homeless cat can produce up to 41 kittens in a year. Assuming even half that number, desexing 500 cats would mean some 10,000 kittens will not be born to suffer.
Cat Protection was started in 1958 by a small group of volunteers concerned about the plight of street cats. Over the past 60 years, Cat Protection has helped with desexing tens of thousands of cats and was the first shelter to adopt early-age desexing so that no kitten went to a new home undesexed.