The veterinary community is often the first place caring people turn to with questions about cats. It’s critical that veterinary professionals have the information they need to help all cats–whether they’re pet, stray, or feral. When caring for cats understanding cats’ needs and behavior is critical. Alley Cat Allies helps educate veterinary professionals not only by making sure they have the accurate, current, and specialized information they need about cats, but we also help to bring awareness to the big issues that face cats in shelters and society so that they can help advocate on cats’ behalf.
Caring for All Cats
Helping veterinary professionals have the accurate, current, and specialized information they need to advise the public, and treat the furry patients that come in through clinic doors, is part of Alley Cat Allies’ work. We have assisted veterinary schools throughout the country to design new curriculum for students to learn the specialized care and needs of community cats. Through our partnership with the Humane Alliance we have been able to enable more veterinarians to help their communities humanely address community cat populations. As the leaders in community cat care, Alley Cat Allies is here to fill the gaps!
- Veterinary Resource Center – Community cats require a special veterinary approach that takes into account their unique needs and the fact that they are unsocialized to humans. Our resource center gives veterinarians information about community cats, their care, and their needs.
- Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) – Through a TNR program unowned, outdoor cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and returned to their outdoor home. By offering services for Trap-Neuter-Return initiatives veterinarians can help even more cats.
Plan to Scan
When veterinarians, animal control officers, or shelter workers take the time to scan for microchips, pets that are chipped can be reunited with their owners, or in the case of community cats, returned to their outdoor homes. That means far less risk of companion animals and community cats being unnecessarily killed in shelters.
Encourage your clients to have their animals microchipped and don’t forget to scan all new patients, including stray cats brought into your office. Then, help your clients register their microchips so shelters can find them when they need to!
The Wait is Over When Her Weight is Over 2 Pounds
Pediatric spay and neuter surgery, which veterinarians perform when healthy kittens weigh 2 pounds, at about 2 months old, is the most effective way to prevent litters. Many animal shelters perform pediatric spay and neuter before they offer cats for adoption, and the movement is gaining momentum in clinics around the U.S.
In a move in this direction, the American Veterinary Medical Association recently endorsed a recommendation by the Veterinary Task Force on Feline Sterilization and the Fix by Five campaign to spay and neuter cats by 5 months old, instead of the customary 6 months old. Veterinarians who support earlier-age spay and neuter are encouraged to list their practice on the Fix by Five web page to support this important movement.
Wait Until 8
Empower clients to become kitten caregivers using Alley Cat Allies’ Kitten Care Kits. Preparing a few to have on hand for when clients bring in neonatal kittens during Kitten Season. These kits include all the supplies needed to care for neonatal kittens until they can be spayed or neutered.
Beyond Healthcare: Advocating to Save Cats’ Lives
Cats not only need medical care from veterinary professionals, they need their voice as well. As authorities on cats, veterinarians can play a critical role in speaking up for cats’ wellbeing. We advocate for new protocols and laws around medical treatment of cats and organize and mobilize veterinarians to be advocates for animals.
- Sign the Pledge: Veterinarians Stand Behind Trap-Neuter-Return!
- Feral Friends Network – Our Feral Friends Network includes feline-friendly veterinarians who offer low-cost spay/neuter, and/or full-service treatment for community cats.
- Look at That Cat! A Quick Guide to Identifying Cats
- A Visual Guide to Cat Body Language
- Sample Veterinary Protocols: Microchipping and Scanning
- Cat Behavior Webinar Series
- Better Together: TNVR and Public Health Webinar