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Rockabilly band Stray Cats are cool, the real kind not so much

HUNTSVILLE – Poets have been inspired by the arrival of spring through the ages. One of them wrote that in springtime, love is carried on the breeze.

Cats know this all too well.

For that reason, Huntsville Animal Services is asking for help.

Every spring and summer, the organization sees dramatic increases in the number of kittens dropped off at the shelter. It creates a challenge because multiple litters of young kittens require extra care and neonatal attention, and there are never enough homes or foster families for all of them born in what is known as peak kitten season.

The message is simple to cat owners: spay and neuter, and don’t let them go strutting at night.

“People are often surprised to learn that a cat can become pregnant as early as four months of age, so being proactive about spaying and neutering is important,” Interim Director of Huntsville Animal Services Virgie Graham said. “Cats can safely have the simple procedure at about two months old or as soon as they weigh two pounds.”

According to Huntsville Animal Services, contrary to popular belief, allowing a cat to have at least one litter offers no health benefits. In reality, spaying or neutering can help protect a cat’s health. Males benefit from reduced rates of testicular cancer, while females are less likely to develop breast cancer and will never develop pyometra, a potentially life-threatening uterine infection.

Spayed and neutered pets are also less likely to roam or spray urine to mark territory.

Keep cats indoors

HAS goes on to report that outdoor cats can get into all sorts of trouble when they wander. Although pregnancy is certainly a concern, any cat that ventures outdoors is also at increased risk of being hit by a car or poisoned, either accidentally or intentionally, or being attacked or killed by another animal. Contact with other animals can also increase your pet’s risk of developing rabies, feline leukemia or other contagious diseases.

Fixing a cat can be done for as little as $5. For financial assistance with spay and neuter, learn more about the Fixin’ Alabama Spay/Neuter program at huntsvilleal.gov/spay-neuter.

If you live in Huntsville and you are on Medicaid, WIC, food stamps or social security disability, or if your annual income is less than $35,000, you quality for the discount rate.

For additional information on adoptions and fosters, visit Huntsville Animal Services at HuntsvilleAL.gov/animal, call 256-883-3782 or email [email protected].

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