Low Cost Cat Neutering 2014
The Linacre Cat Neuter Project 2013 final report
Garston rescue £3700
• Contact was established with a large number of existing community groups through the offices of Sefton Council for Voluntary Services already working with families, debt issues, advice provision, community support and social housing providers. All were provided with an outline of the project, its funders and three channels to register cats for the project. Many chose to publish the project on their websites and we asked all community groups to ensure all their staff were aware of the opportunity
Kirkby clinic 449
• Post surgery problems for all the clinics were minimal in what can be a challenging situation where cat recovery in often chaotic households could be expected to be difficult. Very little veterinary intervention was required after surgery. The project is indebted to the work, professionalism and flexibility of all the clinics in accommodating the Project.
• The 2013 neuter figures included the following Linacre targeted postcode figures which amounted to 35% of the Merseyside figures. Significantly the L20 figures are down for the fourth year, from 13%. When the Project was started it was 17% of the total annual neuter numbers conducted by the Project. Take up from the Linacre postcodes across the board was down, reflecting the increase in reactive neutering across the city in other postcodes. Increasingly many of the clinics across the city are signposting the public to the project when they deem a genuine need.
L11;2012 97 8% L11; 2013 42 3.8%
• The charity has drawn up an 8 point impact plan to measure and assess how effective this scheme on the ground will be. It argues that over a number of years assessment of its collated data will show reductions in age, male-female ratio, litters produced, percentage of pregnant cats etc. The charity has identified these key 8 areas of impact;
• Male ; female ratio
A Male ; female ratio
• Resistance to male neutering in both cats and dogs from male household members is notably strong. To measure impact over a number of years a decline in the need for female neutering should be observable
B Age at neuter by gender
Rehoming cats 2012 M = 0.8 F = 0.87 Rehoming cats 2013 M = 0.8 F = 0.87
• The project works towards an early age of neutering. For most females that are unneutered by the age of 1.3, a pregnancy is unavoidable. For the first year since Linacre started in 2009 female age at neuter in L20 has dropped; the charity aims to neuter before its first season.
C Percentage of females pregnant or in season at neuter
Merseyside average 2012 18.8% Merseyside average 2013 19.4%
• A reduction in these high figures needs to be essential in reducing feline overpopulation. The figure for Liverpool 20 has dropped from 28.4% to 17%. The figure for Liverpool 11 of 4% stands out suggesting an absence of older unneutered female cats or that the project has not reached the audience it should be addressing.
D Percentage of cats from dysfunctional houses
Merseyside average 2012 7.6% Merseyside average 2013 9%
• Dysfunctional here indicates problems with alcohol, drugs and/or hygiene. Often these houses are multi-cat and quite chaotic houses generally with multi-agency needs. Accessing them and gaining co-operation can be challenging. The charity works on the principle of leaving the adult cats in what is often a poor environment but which will reduce the likelihood of acquiring further animals and then breeding again. Post neuter visits have affirmed this to be the case in most circumstances. Liverpool 20 figures have dropped from 11.1% during the last three years. Again the figure for Liverpool 11 stands out. The higher Merseyside average than most Linacre postcodes does suggest that targeted neutering has already pinpointed many of these properties
Merseyside average 2012 35.4% 0.65 Merseyside average 2013 38.2% 0.8
• Ideally both of these figures should register low numbers and percentages. Liverpool 20 has dropped from 40.7% three years ago and an average numbers of litters per female dropped from 1.9 to 0.4. Both results confirm reduced breeding rates in these wards and together with some of the other data here suggestive of project impact
• Initial data collection in previous years proved that in Liverpool 20 over 32% of households got their cat from the street. The Project was surprised by this finding but targeted street cats and feral cats for that reason. This figure is substantially less now but did slightly increase this year. It is widely accepted by welfare professionals that Liverpool has a huge feral cat problem that is tackled with too few resources. A consequence of this is the larger unneutered household cat numbers derived from the street. Tackling overbreeding in a given area has firstly to tackle the number on the streets. It should be noted here that if the street cats are added to the house cats whose owners tell us that they got them off the street in the first place then the Merseyside figure of 28% becomes 35%. In other words 35% of the public this Project helped only acquired their cats because the animals were ownerless or feral and needed intervention to provide food, shelter and/or a home.
G Percentage of cats from households owning over three cats
Merseyside average 2012 52% Merseyside average 2013 59%
• This surprising figure ignores logic in a deprived area where resources are tight. Not neutering means a household ends up with several generations of cats. Neutered cat households stay at the normal one or two cats. Because households lack guidance, advice or direct access to a scheme, the problem multiplies. The Liverpool 20 figure has risen from 37% from three years ago; the project is aware that the offer of cheap or free neutering can be regarded as an incentive to collect too many cats
• It cannot be stressed how surprising the charity found the almost complete lack of existing contact households in the target areas had with other animal health professionals. Only 16 cats of the 1108 came from a welfare charity. Only six households had cat flaps installed. Only 5.9% of the total had already vaccinated their cats. Only 6.7% had registered their cat to a private practice. Another 5.5% of cats were registered to the pdsa clinics in the city. Twelve had previously chipped their cats. Any regard to these figures must conclude that well over 90% of the households worked with had no prior access to advice, guidance and experience from welfare professionals
H Where were cats acquired from?
Area 2012 Bred Family/friend Street Pet shop
• If the project does not know where cats are acquired from it cannot tackle root causes. Access to the Project allows guidance to a social grouping where it is self evident there has been no access to welfare professionals previously. Breeding within the household can be tackled by the Project’s doorstep approach. Its street work can and will reduce the availability of young cats to households that never really wanted a cat in the first place. It should be stressed that a large number of these street derived cats simply arrived on a doorstep, feeding by the household commenced and the cat moved in. Family and friend derived cats will always be a factor but it is important to stress that this is the predominant medium along with the word and praise of neighbours by which the Project has spread its message and enabled its work to progress on difficult estates. Working with the community has been integral to its success
The charity commenced an intensive blanket neuter program within the postcode of Liverpool 20, with the assistance of external funders and working on the ground with voluntary and professional community agencies in 2009. It has taken its method of working and now applied it to other deprived north Liverpool areas
None of this work would have started without the patient support of all our funders; Cats Protection, Garston Cat Rescue, Persula Foundation, Jean Marchig Fund and Southport animal welfare group. Nor would it have progressed without the keenness and generosity of the private vet clinics who have agreed to reduce their prices to do this work; Whitecross vets, Megan and Rachel’s team at Vets 4 Pets Old Swan, Michael and Mandy’s team at Withy Grove clinic, Catherine’s team at the Kirkby vet clinic and David and Sara’s team at Vets 4 Pets Walton Vale. Thanks to you all
2013 Assisted Cat Neuter Project Details.
The Linacre Cats Protection Project 2011 - 2012 final report
B Male ; female ratio
C Percentage of females pregnant or in season at neuter
D Percentage of cats from dysfunctional houses
E Litters admitted to the charity by postcode
F Percentage of females already had litter at point of neuter
Average number of litters per females done
G Percentage owned cats neutered; percentage street cats neutered
H Percentage of cats from households owning over three cats
I Percentage of adult cats admitted to the charity that were unneutered
Where were cats acquired from?
None of this work would have started without the patient support of all our funders; Cats Protection, Garston Cat Rescue, Persula Foundation, Jean Marchig Fund and Southport animal welfare group. Nor would it have progressed without the keenness and generosity of the private vet clinics who have agreed to reduce their prices to do this work; Whitecross vets, Vets 4 Pets, Just Cats, Withy Grove clinic, Kirkby clinic and Hillcrest. Thanks to you all
2012 Subsidised Neutering Scheme on Merseyside
Freshfields Animal Rescue is offering the cheapest cat neutering in Liverpool!!!
Asking for a voluntary contribution of only £10 for male cats and £15 for females it is only open to low income households in Liverpool, Knowsley and Sefton
Please note - for multi cat households additional help is available! Please do not be put off by the £10/£15 fee just contact us with full information regarding ALL of the cats in your household and we will create a plan that works for ALL of us!
In 2012 the charity is concentrating on the following postcodes and will prioritise households in these areas;
Liverpool 4, 8, 11, 20, 21 & 30
Households living outside these postcodes will be eligible but may have a longer wait. Currently there is a 4 week waiting time. The charity manages about 25 a week
To register your cats for the project, give us your name, address, phone numbers [2 please], postcode and sex of your cats in one of the following ways:
Cats Protection Assisted Neuter Program 2011- Annual Report
Freshfields Animal Rescue neutered 1351 cats during 2011
In line with Cats Protection policy, the charity has phased out its reliance on the national charity to subsidise its cost of neutering cats formally admitted to us for rehoming [269 were neutered in 2010]. Both the feral cat colony trap, neuter and release numbers for 2010  and the household door to door neuters for low income households for 2010  were increased substantially. In 2011, the rehoming unit of the cattery at Freshfields admitted 554 cats and kittens that were unwanted [499 in 2010] and successfully placed 502 in permanent homes [503 in 2010]
The charity worked well with 5 clinics in the north-west as follows. Their respective totals were;
All our main 5 clinics have now adopted intradermal stitching with female spays resulting in far fewer post surgery complications where owned cats returned to their household then go on to remove the stitching usually within the first 24 hours, despite buster collaring. This is reflected in the very low post op complication ratio of 1:160. It has also meant a saving to the charity both in expensive emergency treatment and little need for purchasing buster collars. Congratulations to Megan Brannigan and Rachel Hughes, practice partner and head vet nurse respectively at vets4pets www.vets4pets.com who achieved a completely clear run with no post surgery difficulties.
In 2011 the first phase of the Linacre Project was completed in September where 376 cats from households within Liverpool 20 were neutered for low income households. Very much a pilot project, the charity has started its second phase of the project with external funding from the Persula Foundation and Jean Marchig Fund and been able to extend its modus operandi from Liverpool 20 to other areas of Liverpool. Another 98 cats have already been neutered for this second phase of the Linacre Project . Because the charity has for over 3 years now been extensively working on the ground within Liverpool 20 and building a rapport with other community bodies already established in the area, it has developed a growing database of information on households and cat ownership that it is increasingly able to use to assess strategies, impact, effectiveness and need. It has also made the charity realise that for a program to be truly effective a 5 year plan is essential
Essentially however the charity has drawn up a 9 point impact plan to measure and assess how effective this scheme on the ground will be. It argues that over a number of years assessment of its collated data will show reductions in age, male-female ratio, litters produced, percentage of pregnants etc. The charity has identified these key 9 areas of impact;
So for instance, just using its Liverpool 20 data, the number of unneutered cats admitted to the shelter from this one postcode has declined as follows
The number of kittens admitted to the shelter from the one postcode has declined as follows
Assessing the data more generally, 3.7% of the cats neutered were direct referrals from other agencies like health visitors, social workers, child support workers and housing officers. The charity wishes to build on this figure for 2012. Households with clear issues of alcohol, drugs and serious hygiene situations, we classified as dysfunctional and accounted for 16.6% [188 cats] of the work we did. Only 37.7% of the total cats done under the project were male reflecting the unwillingness of usually male members of the household to allow their male cats to be sterilised, preferring instead to put up with the stink of male cats at home. 12.4% of the females spayed were already pregnant and had to be aborted [104 cats]. Cumulatively the 841 female cats participating in the scheme had already had 337 litters. 66% of all the cats had to be collected and delivered back to their household. Only 26.7% possessed their own secure cat carrier. Average age at neuter for the males was 1.4 years, and females 1.46 years. 62% of the cats were from households owning 3 or more cats. Cats by postcode were neutered as below
Despite the heavy involvement within Liverpool 20 over the last 3 years, the 14.3% figure is only marginally down from the 17% figure in 2009
Financially the following organisation have contributed to the direct cost of neutering in 2011
In addition Freshfields have met all the extra costs involved in these projects, like wage bill, ambulance costs, deflea needs, wormers [£1172.08 alone], overnight accommodation needs etc. These totalled £21,536. Finally Freshfields needs to acknowledge firstly the support of those bodies who have contributed externally to allow the charity to carry on its vital fieldwork in Liverpool and secondly the clinics that have carried out the work at discounted rates and put up with burdens this work has sometimes placed on their own essential work for their practice. We are grateful
Linacre Project Year End Report
The 2010/2011 year end report for the Linacre Project Cat Neuter Scheme is out now and available to download (see below). The report has gathered some interesting statistical information and aided Freshfields in seeing a clear path forward for the project to the end of 2012 as minimum.
2010 - Assisted Cat Neuter Report (Latest Update)
Figures for the year were as follows for the Liverpool shelter;
Adoptions 503 [2009 524]
As can be seen there was a substantial rise in the level of door to door domestic work the charity undertook solely because Cats Protection raised their level of voucher funding, this is predicted to rise further as long as the budget from CP remains roughly constant.
The charity has increased the number of clinics it now uses on Merseyside to 5 to cope with the rise in work, http://www.ruffordvets.com are handling all the Liverpool 20 project cats, http://www.justcats.co.uk mainly handle all the charity rehoming work, http://www.withygrovevets.co.uk focus on our feral work and 2 new additions http://www.vets4pets.com in Old Swan and http://www.hillcrestanimalhospital.co.uk have joined to tackle our domestic door to door workload. We have negotiated set prices for all our neuter work with each practice to cap it at £30. Over 80% of households have their cats picked up by the scheme to ensure the surgery takes place. Although increasing the cost of the scheme to this charity, this practice is a necessity to guarantee an end to breeding there, because so many of the households we are dealing with are dysfunctional.
The pilot project in Liverpool 20 [Linacre] funded by Jean Sainsbury, Jean Marchig and the Persula Foundation progresses well. Regarded as the most deprived area in north Liverpool it previously had eaten up over 17% of our CP budget in 2009 and has seen the charity working very closely with many existing community groups on the ground within the wards referring problems onto Freshfields. One of the strongest results of this collaboration has been the response of several social housing providers who have seized the initiative, published the neuter scheme in their own magazines and put the info onto their own websites. This has led to literally a deluge of requests to access the scheme, currently putting through on average 30 to 40 cats a week, still leaving a waiting list of approx 10 weeks at any one time
In a breakdown of postcodes that are and have accessed the scheme it is clear that the ripple effect of the advertising done for the Linacre Project within the various community groups and by the social housing providers has spilled over into other postcodes where tenants have seized the opportunity our work has offered. For instance in Liverpool 11 numbers have jumped from 1 to 54, Liverpool 21 33 to 84, Southport [PR8 and PR9] 38 to 64 from 2009 to 2010. Because we have been active within Liverpool 20 before the new project came on line in August the figure there has jumped from 123 to 205, 2009 to 2010
The preparation done to launch the scheme in Liverpool 20 as well as the need to satisfy the funders meant an appraisal of our modus operandi, how we keep track of the various budgets, what info we needed to gather from households so we could assess future need for the project and how we process that material. This has led to an increase in the admin work the neutering schemes have generated but to allow us to gauge accurately where and how these schemes need to be pushed we have had to computerize the info we are gathering. All of these could be relevant in future decision making on project direction; post surgery problems, number/type of agency referrals to the charity, number of dysfunctional houses dealt with, numbers in season/pregnant/litters had, households without own carrier/transport etc. This will allow us to report more extensively on the issues that Merseyside faces and as a charity with limited means reliant on grant assistance for this field work to focus on areas that the evidence proves we need to act.
Funding is reasonably secure for 2011 allowing us to further develop our community work across Merseyside, the Linacre Project work in Liverpool 20 will continue to the end of the summer. The feral colony work across the county will be substantial leading up to the spring before breeding starts again. The door to door domestic neutering for households on benefits and in social housing is set to increase even further. The charity regards this preventative work as essential and is keen for supporters to subsidize the charity's commitment to it.
Linacre Cat Neutering Project
Freshfields Animal Rescue Liverpool formed a partnership with the Persula Foundation, Jean Sainsbury Trust and the Jean Marchig Trust in 2010 allowing for the sterilisation of 400 cats within the two wards of Linacre and Derby in Liverpool 20, Sefton for families on low income.
The scheme has worked door to door as well as through the effective offices and channels of existing community groups on the ground in Linacre to maximise awareness and take up of the scheme.
The charity has used the scheme to produce a detailed statistical assessment of cat health and medical state from within low income households derived from both basic consent/admittance forms and detailed vet exams under sedation. All the surgery has been carried out by Rufford Vet Group in Southport. As of June 2011 we have now neutered 311 cats and envisage finishing the first year of this project at the end of August 2011.
The charity has produced a follow up 'outcomes assessment' where participating households are contacted within 4 months of surgery to measure why neutering had not previously taken place and the benefits to the household that neutering has brought socially and economically. The charity will produce a statistical assessment from its figures in conjunction with John Moores University. We will be using the data collected to produce a more accurate assessment of cat ownership, veterinary access by owners, breeding and specific welfare issues within Liverpool 20 that can be related to income threshold and which in the future we can build upon as we focus our fieldwork into areas that need us most. We see this scheme as a pilot project which we could replicate in other deprived wards of Liverpool in the future. In particular we will be cross-referencing the figures from this project with all the data collated from our other neutering project.
This is a new project deliberately targeting a specific, concise area where analysis of the charity's records have proven absolute need and will be running alongside an existing project sponsored financially by Cats Protection that has been running for several years across the whole of Merseyside and that allows neutering for all households where breeding is taking place. In 2010 Cats Protection allowed us a £32,000 budget for this county wide scheme, and in 2011 gave us £25,000. By the end of June with this scheme we had neutered 602 cats for households.
Like many independent animal rescue charities, Freshfields does not have the funds to begin, let alone sustain, such vital projects as these. Without the financial support of our sponsors these projects could not happen and our work in the community would be a fraction of what it is today. The charity strongly believes that cat ownership should be open to all but to promote responsible ownership, to control over breeding and to minimise nuisance impact on neighbours, there needs to be proactive neutering schemes that can assist households lacking the means to secure a stable pet home.
Be a part of the SOLUTION…not the Problem!
Why Neuter Your Pet?
Neutering (spaying, castration, doctoring) is carried out for a variety of reasons in cats, dogs and smaller pets such as rabbits or guinea pigs. In all species neutering is permanent and obviously stops animals breeding. Neutered females will not reproduce and neutered males will not be able to impregnate un-neutered females should they manage to slip out. All neutering involves anesthesia but it is straightforward routine surgery on a healthy animal so the risks are negligible. It is worth remembering that there is both a stray dog and cat problem in this country and that charities like us are overrun with unwanted pets. Other rescue centres put these unwanted animals to sleep as there are not enough homes for them all. Freshfields has a strict non destruction policy – we deal with the situation and continually educate responsible owners by providing this information.
Various aspects in the species are discussed below:
Male Cats (Toms) – If not castrated, male cats are likely to be smelly and are more likely to fight, roam and spray urine in the house. Fighting can lead to abscesses and the spread of serious diseases such as FIV (‘Feline Aids’). Toms are usually neutered at 5 -6 months of age.
Female Cats (Queens) – Female cats can breed prolifically, up to 3 litters a year of possibly 8 – 10 kittens. Having them neutered stops this procedure. Queens are usually neutered at 5 – 6 months of age.
Male Dogs – Castration is a good idea not only because it stops them mating and adding to the unwanted dog problem but it also helps with a selection of behavioural problems such as excessive barking, aggressiveness, hypersexual behaviour, roaming, inappropriate urination etc. There are also health benefits to castration including a decreased risk of prostate problems in later life and no risk of testicular cancer. Male dogs can be castrated at any age over 6 months.
Female Dogs (Bitches) – Spaying involves a total hysterectomy. It stops them coming into season every 6 months when there is the mess of bleeding as well as dogs hanging around and difficulties when they are taken out for a walk. Neutering stops the risk of serious diseases in later life such as cervical cancer and an infected womb or pyometra, it also stops false pregnancies. If actioned before 4 years of age it also decreases the risk of mammary cancer.
It is a common myth that neutered bitches put on weight. It is true that neutered bitches are more prone to put on weight than unneutered ones but ONLY if they get too much to eat or too little exercise. In a healthy animal, food eaten and exercise are the two important things controlling weight and control of these will prevent weight increase. The other often talked about side effect of spaying is incontinence later in life. There is at present NO evidence that neutered bitches are more prone to this than unneutered ones. Bitches can be spayed at any time when they are not in season. Spaying before they ever have a season is commonly done; this makes the surgery easier and safer as the womb is smaller. The animals recover quicker and the cost is cheaper!
Rabbits – Neutering your rabbit has many benefits for you and your rabbit. Some rabbits can be very territorial and aggressive, neutering them usually eliminates these traits. Rabbits like the company of other rabbits so many people get them in pairs when they are young but don’t get them neutered. Same sex pairs often fight when they mature and mixed sexes will always breed. Unneutered males are at risk from testicular cancer and unneutered females are at a great risk from ovarian cancers which can effect up to 50% of female rabbits over 5 yrs old. Male rabbits can be neutered from 4-6mths old. Females can be neutered from 5-6 mths old. Over 24000 rabbits are abandoned yearly at rescues across the country.
If you require any other information regarding neutering or are in any way confused about any of the information in this leaflet please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff at Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre for more details …
… We will always be happy to help, giving sensible information about neutering helps us long term because if you understand the importance of neutering from the start we will inevitably see fewer and fewer unwanted animals – which is always our primary goal!