Sheffield Hallam is offering free and reduced cost neutering in Sheffield and Rotherham to people on benefits and low wages.


Our veterinary team recommend that cats are neutered and spayed as soon as possible after they are four months old.

We can also arrange for your cat to be microchipped for £10. This will help rescues to return cats to their owners.


Neutering
Whether you love cats or hate them, you will probably agree that it is not in anyones interest, least of all the cats, for our neighbourhood to be overrun by unwanted cats. The leading national and local animal charities all agree that neutering both pet and feral cats is the most effective and humane way to control the cat population. For those on low incomes, help is available to pay for neutering.
Male & female cats will reach sexual maturity as young as 5-6 months old and will begin to produce litters. This is why Cats Protection recommend neutering from 4 months old . 
A female cat will come into season many times during the spring and summer months that are the breeding season, producing 2-3 litters a year, with an average litter size of 4-6 kittens. It’s easy to see how the numbers can get out of control - 18 kittens from 1 cat /per year.  A single breeding female cat, if she and her offspring are not neutered, could reproduce to a staggering 11 million cats over nine years!
Many cat owners are not aware that un-neutered, related cats will mate with each other.
 Janice from Sheffield Hallam is currently receiving up to 40 phone calls a day from members of the public looking to re-home unwanted cats or unwanted litters of kittens. 
In 2010 a study has shown 150,000 unwanted cats went through registered rescue centres in the UK. These numbers are expected to grow as many people find themselves on a reduced income in the wake of the economic downturn.
Feral cats

Cats Protection describes feral cats as those that have been born wild or that have lived so long away from humans that they can no longer be found new homes as pets. However, they are the same species as our pets and are equally protected in law.

There are colonies of feral cats in our neighbourhood. An uncontrolled feral colony will grow quickly; the cats will be susceptible to disease and may also become a nuisance. Simply removing the cats is not a long-term solution, as a new colony will soon move in. A controlled, healthy and manageable colony will deter other ferals from moving in and will keep vermin levels down.

Sheffield City Council’s Environmental Protection Service do not deal with the neutering or control of feral cats.

The best option, therefore, is to neuter all of the resident feral cats within as short a time frame as possible. Over a period of years this will reduce the size of the colony.
The Cats Protection League may be able to help towards the cost of neutering a feral colony, provided that the cats are returned to their original site.

The contribution is for assistance with neutering costs only and must not be used for other veterinary treatment or euthanasia. Your application needs to be made in advance of any neutering taking place, as payment cannot be made after the event. Local branches of Cats Protection may be able to help both with costs and practical assistance.

Pet cats

But pet cats do benefit from neutering too, by prevention of disease and unwanted kittens. 
 Often un-neutered pets are reported missing as they wonder away from home in search of a mate, these cats become free roaming strays or form feral groups sometimes causing nuisance and public health issues.
 
Senior Veterinary Surgeon at the PDSA,  Sean Wensley, explains: “Thousands of much-loved family pets are at risk every year from potentially life-threatening conditions, simply because they haven’t been neutered. 

Sean added: “When you also consider the misery and suffering brought about by stray animals and unwanted litters, the case for neutering pets has never been more compelling. 

”Neutering is a vital part of responsible pet care, and is a particularly important consideration in cats, dogs, ferrets and rabbits.”

Good news

Springfield Vet’s Surgery at Firth Park is running a scheme in conjunction with Cats Protection.  People on means tested benefits, pensioners and students can get their pet cat neutered for free. People considered to be on low incomes will be assessed on a case by case basis by Janice. They can also assist in neutering stray cats for free. 
Cats Protection may be able to help towards the cost of neutering a feral colony, provided that the cats are returned to their original site.
PDSA is currently working with Cats Protection and Dogs Trust to provide discounted cat and dog neutering for the pets of eligible clients. Cats Protection is subsidising the cost of cat neutering at all PDSA Pet Aid hospitals.
PDSA Vet Care services are available to pet owners who receive means tested help with their rent or Council Tax (Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support/Reduction).
The RSPCA might be able to help you with vets’ fees for neutering and vaccination, too.  Contact them if you would like help.
All of the charities mentioned welcome donations to help them in this important work and other aspects of animal welfare.  So a contribution, however small is always welcome.
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