There’s practically no such thing and until people figure that out, we’re going to struggle with cat over-population. Don’t get me wrong; I love my cats and hope I will always have cats. But there are too many of them living in horrible conditions. There’s nothing “natural” about cats eating garbage and getting hit by cars.
Unfortunately, there’s a long-held misconception (ha!) that letting a cat (or dog!) have a litter before spaying is beneficial. More recent science has refuted that.
Both the American Veterinary Association and the Canadian Veterinary Association advocate early spay/neuter, particularly with shelter and rescue animals. The rescue that Foster Dad John works with (Purrfect Pals, Arlington, WA) follows the two pounds or eight weeks, whichever comes last, guideline. TCR goes with two pounds for males, a little bigger for females. There’s some interesting reading on the Vet Association websites about it, including information on some early faulty studies that indicated it was harmful to spay/neuter so early. Unfortunately, many vets still hold with this. Newer studies show that early spay/neuter can have more benefits than just population control and can be healthier for the animals.
Get your pets fixed! If cost is an issue, check with local shelters and/or humane societies. Many, many of them have low cost clinics or special days. Educate yourself on the benefits of early spay/neuter.
This was posted on the Toronto Cat Rescue fosters’ Facebook page:
And finally, the amazing Shelly Roche of Tiny Kittens in Langley, BC, made this sobering poster: