Cruz Azul Murcia, in addition to helping pet owners on limited incomes, is now active in helping to reduce the number of feral cats in the Murcia region.
Last Christmas saw the arrival of four young, abandoned cats on the Sucina Golf urbanisation. Residents started feeding them in the hope they would be able to handle them and take them to the vet to be sterilised. Quite quickly two of the cats produced seven kittens between them! Residents realised they would soon be overrun with feral cats if they didn’t work together to find a solution.
Sucina Golf resident, Denise Standen – a volunteer at the Cruz Azul Centre in San Javier – sought advice from Vice President, Sue Thomason. The idea of a Trap-Neuter-Return campaign was put to the Sucina Golf residents, who were keen to get things moving. They knew how quickly things could move on.
When it comes to reproduction, cats are prolific breeders. One female kitty can produce an average of 12 kittens each year if not spayed. Once a kitten reaches puberty, typically between 5 and 9 months of age, she will be able to reproduce. Some kitties mature as young as 3½ months old, usually after they reach around 2 kilos in weight. In warm climates such as ours, the females can remain in heat all year-round.
Trap-Neuter-Return means the cats are humanely trapped in their colony, taken to a local vet to be sterilised, ear-clipped and vaccinated under anaesthetic and then returned to their colony site. Ear-clipping is to indicate the cat has been sterilised. Cats are normally returned to their colony on the same day with good antibiotic protection.
Cruz Azul provided the traps and explained the procedure to the Sucina Golf residents. These neighbours got together and donated towards the neutering costs, with Cruz Azul paying for two of the operations. They have so far managed to sterilise three of the four mothers and two of the kittens, so they are well on their way to controlling their cat colony, without cruelty, so that cats and residents can live happily side by side.
Cruz Azul Murcia is always happy to help local communities control their cat colonies. Co-operation between neighbours is the key to a successful campaign, raising funds for the operations and co-ordinating the Trap-Neuter-Return campaign, following the guidelines that Cruz Azul Murcia provides. Traps are available free of charge at the Cruz Azul Centre in San Javier and volunteers are happy to take everyone through the correct procedure.
If you would like to know more, please give Sue Thomason a call on 693 017 616.
Cruz Azul Murcia is a registered charity (No. 11.720/1a) and exists to provide veterinary care for the sick and injured pets of people in need and to promote responsible pet ownership.
If you or someone you know needs help, or you would like to volunteer or donate, please call 693 017 616 or visit their website: www.cruzazulmurcia.es