Advised Procedures to Spay/Neuter
Multiple Tame, Semi-Tame or Feral
Stressed Cats
Unvaccinated or Showing Signs of Illness

You need to know:

Our goal is being an advocate for felines and two best ways are to help cats become altered and keep them out of shelters. For this reason, we offer the Free Spay Day for Feral, Semi-Tame, or Backyard Felines.

We have learned from experience that many unvaccinated, stressed felines harbor viruses that activate with the onset of a worrisome event, such as surgery or even transport by vehicle to an unfamiliar place, and can result in illnesses that even cause deaths. These deaths commonly occur 7 to 21 days post event.

How do we know this? We keep statistics. In 2014, 34% of the cats entering the Friends of Pets Rescue Program died, commonly within 14 days of arrival. In 2005, the number was nearly 50%. It is our belief the cats, mostly kittens, died for a variety of reasons, including: simply overwhelmed from stress after being transported from their location to a new place; stress from separation of known environment and feline family; stress of being vaccinated; the inherent distemper virus within the cat was activated upon a stressful event; or simply vulnerability due to a weak immune system, poor nutrition, and stress from abandonment.

The homeless cats you are planning to help likely have the same health problems. Please understand our pool of Klamath County cats is unhealthy due to causes related to overpopulation.

Be prepared to make a decision if cats arrive for surgery showing illnesses:

If the veterinarian detects health issues when cats arrive for surgery, you will be asked to make a choice of one of the following:

1: Continue with the planned surgeries but understand the risk and be aware that a feline could become more ill or even die post-surgically. It is possible that some cats will not show signs of illness at the time of surgery but die 7 to 21 days post-surgically.

2: Take the cats home and reschedule surgeries when the cats are healthier.

Steps you can take to increase chances for problem-free surgeries:

If you are planning to spay/neuter multiple tame, semi-tame, or feral felines, we make th following suggestions:

1. Vaccinate the cats before surgery. The protocol is a minimum of two vaccines, the second inoculation occurs 3 to 4 weeks after the first. Spay or neuter after the second vaccine.

2. De-worm the felines. To treat roundworms requires two does of strongid, the second dose given 10 days after the first. Treat tapeworms, if present, with droncit. Check for earmites.

3. Medicate to eradicate upper respiratory infections and diarrhea. If low body weight is characteristic, find out the reason and resolve the problem.

4. Plan to spay or neuter when felines weigh between 3 and 4 lbs, which is approx. 12 to 16 weeks of age.

5. If you are concerned about Feline Leukemia or FIV viruses, please talk with the veterinary staff about the cost of this test. These viruses are infectious to other cats and cause eventual death.

Feral cats are often impossible to handle. Caging them raises stress levels as well as puts the caregiver at risk for injury. Numbers 1, 2, and 3 above may not be realistic for feral cats.

Please value time:

I urge you to become informed so the choice you make regarding surgeries is the right one for you and the cat. I urge caregivers to work with their veterinarians. If that is not possible I will be glad to discuss the health of the cat and create options. Please understandmy primary duty is to take care of cats in our shelter and have limited time to spare. Veterinarians are busy managing their practice and have limited time also. We can give guidance but the choice will be yours. Our goal is to help the cats.

Thank you for caring about homeless cats. They are beautiful, too!

written February 27, 2014

Phone: 541-850-0750 ~ Email

Located in Klamath Falls, Oregon

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