As mating time for cats approaches the Kitsap Humane Society is offering low-cost spay and neuter services for felines.
Cat Fix Week – Feb. 21-23 and 26-27 – will enable 300 cats to undergo sterilization at the shelter. Aim of the event is to guard against overpopulation of the furry animals. Deadline to sign up is Feb. 17 at www.kitsap-humane.org.
“Cats usually start to come into heat sometime in February and March, due to weather and sunlight. Then, 60-63 days later we will have a ton of kittens around,” said Jean Gibowski, KHS veterinary operations manager.
Intent of the program is to solve a purr-blem before it begins. “This is to prevent a surplus of kittens coming in and us being overloaded. If we can take care of that in advance it really frees up our vet services, adoption counselors, and the whole shelter to provide more care to the animals that are coming in,” Gibowski said.
Cost of spay and neuter service is $60, for owners who meet financial eligibility requirements, Gibowski explained. To qualify a household must make less than 80% of the average median income for Kitsap or Mason county. A single person would need an income below $57,680 and a four-person home, below $82,300. Homeless or low-income individuals can contact the shelter to request free services for their animal.
The need for spay and neuter services has increased in recent years. During the pandemic KHS and animal service providers across the nation were unable to provide many veterinary services, including fixing animals. “The University of Florida estimated that more than 2 million pets did not get fixed nationwide. Last year, we saw a huge increase in the number of kittens from previous years,” Gibowski said, adding in 2023, KHS took in 1,533 kittens.
This event is exclusively for cats, however eligible dog owners can have their pets spayed and neutered year-round at the shelter. Appointments for canines can be arranged on the shelter’s website.
The public can donate to KHS to help underwrite Cat Fix Week. Donations will go to paying for services for pet owners unable to cover the $60 fee. Contributions can be made on the shelter’s website.
Cat Fix Week coincides with World Spay Day Feb. 27. Spay Day was initiated by legendary singer-actress Doris Day and the Animal League in 1995.