How do I afford to neuter the feral/free roaming cats in my neighborhood?
First step is to call around and find a low-cost clinic in your area that will neuter feral cats. This may take a couple of Google searches and several phone calls. Most clinics require that you bring the feral cat in a trap. I have found that many rescue groups and shelters will loan traps, often times at no cost or with a refundable deposit.
Having trouble coming up with the money to neuter the ferals that you catch? The best thing to do is get your friends, family and neighbors involved. Often times people don’t know that this is an issue or don’t really see a problem with cats breeding.
Sometimes when I tell people that I trap cats and get them neutered, they look at me as if I was trapping cockroaches and getting them neutered. It’s not that they necessarily hate cats, they just don’t see the point to what I’m doing. I spend a few minutes and tell them that the foster kittens that come to me are usually in very bad shape. They come to me sick or injured and anyone with a heart doesn’t want to see a precious little kitten that is sick or injured. This is because they were born on the street.
Once I tell them that there are approximately 250,000 feral/free roaming cats in the Las Vegas Valley and that most of these cats will have kittens that will suffer before they die from the intense heat of the summer or the cold winter days, disease, car traffic, animal and human predators, they start to get it.
Then here comes my sales pitch. I “sell” them the benefit of neutering feral cats. I tell them that some businesses even request that we relocate feral cats to their property to keep the rodents away. They just don’t want them reproducing. We vaccinate all the cats we trap when they are neutered. (For some reason people think feral cats bring disease to humans and are a heath risk to them personally. Trust me, I hear this from people all the time.) Neutered males won’t be fighting to mate. (They don’t really care about that, but I do. Fights equal wounds equal infection equal cats suffering.) Neutered males will no longer spray to mark their territory. (Oh, they like hearing that.) Once I tell them that we neuter, vaccinate and return them right back to the life they were living and to the only home they have ever known, I usually get them on board. So, I’m doing the cat AND THEM a service! This is something that even people who hate cats can appreciate.
Now, once you’ve educated people as to why these cats need to be neutered, let them know the total cost you’re trying to raise. If you do that in an online campaign like GoFundMe.com or YouCaring.com make sure to post FREQUENT UPDATES. People need to see vet estimates and copies of receipts from the vet so they know that the money they are contributing is actually going to the care of the cats. Post a link in the bio of your personal Instagram, on your Facebook or twitter. Sometimes people can’t personally assist you with trapping, but they would like to donate to the cause.
Lastly, knock on the doors of the neighbors in the neighborhood you are trapping in. Pitch them the “sale”! Get them on board by asking them to physically help you trap or financially help you trap.
You can do it. I’m confident you can. Just think of all the suffering you will be preventing.