With the spread of COVID-19, there is a very real concern that there will be an increase in the number of feral cats on the streets. TNR programs that are designed to curb the population of feral cats have been largely suspended due to the pandemic. Without active TNR programs, which include the spaying and neutering of free roaming cats, there will undoubtedly be an increase in kittens born on the streets, especially as kitten season nears.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most vet clinics have temporarily closed. This means that TNR groups do not have access to mass spaying and neutering as they did before. Cats breed rapidly, with a female able to give birth at only five months old. Similarly, she can become pregnant again while still breastfeeding. One cat and her offspring can produce roughly 420,000 cats in just seven years, with the female giving birth to two or three litters per year.
While it’s easy to think of the ramifications of this pandemic on human populations, it’s important to remember the impact it has on feral cats as well. Some clinics are still open on an appointment only basis, so if you are still practicing TNR, contact your local vet clinics to see if they can assist with spay/neuter services.
Have you been affected by the shutdown of vet clinics during this pandemic? Are you still able to effectively TNR during this time? Please share your experiences with us in the comments below.
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