Fewer unwanted cats in Regina

REGINA – In the past four month, almost 700 cats have come through the doors at the Regina Humane Society. That number is on the decline, thanks to spay and neuter programs.

“The good news is it’s 100 less cats than we had last year at this time,” said Lisa Koch, the society’s executive director. “It’s heading in the right direction, when people spay and neuter their cats. This is what we see as an outcome.”

In 2011, the Humane Society started subsidizing sterilization fees for low income pet owners.

“That program has made a tremendous impact on the number of incoming animals,” Koch said. In three years, 1,000 fewer animals have come through the shelter doors. She added the decline comes at a time when Regina’s population is increasing.

The Regina Cat Rescue is also noticing the decrease. The volunteer agency traps, neuters and releases stray and feral cats.

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In 2010, the group rescued 14 liters of kittens from feral colonies. In 2014, they only had to rescue two liters.

“The majority of the cats are abandoned. People move away and leave them behind. A big problem in the city is a lack of pet friendly housing,” said volunteer Sandra Klarer. “These cats didn’t ask to be here. They’re here because of irresponsible people, for the most part.”

The Regina Cat Rescue sterilizes cats at 33 colonies around the city, most of which are in the North Central neighbourhood and the Warehouse District.

“A cat gets pregnant, it ends up on the street, it has between four and eight kittens, it can have three litters a year, the kittens have litters, and before you know it, you have a huge problem,” Klarer said.

In addition to bringing down the population, the surgery helps calm the cats.

“They don’t have the need to breed anymore, so the nuisance behaviour disappears – the fighting, the screaming in the middle of the night.”

Both the Regina Cat Rescue and the Humane Society are currently in need of foster families to help care for kittens before they can be adopted.

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