Group Plans 1,000 Cat Spay/Neuter Surgeries

Month-long undertaking is in recognition of National Feral Cat Day.

Posted: October 07, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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The Arizona Cat Assistance Team (AzCATS), a nonprofit group that helps eliminate cat overpopulation in Maricopa County, Ariz., plans to spay/neuter 1,000 cats this month in honor of National Feral Cat Day, Oct. 16.

If successful, it would be the largest trap, neuter and return effort in AzCATS' seven-year history, according to the organization.

The AzCAT has neutered 788 cats in one month, which is its highest record so far, said the organizations president and chief executive officer, Melissa Newton.

The project is happening now instead of during the summer cat breeding season because the lowest rates for pregnancy are in October, November and December, Newton said. The group can spay/neuter more cats now because veterinarian costs are much cheaper than during the breeding cycle. Each surgery costs about $32.

Caregivers who feed cat colonies are asked to withhold food for several days so that the cats can be lured into food-stocked traps and transported to a veterinarian for the spay/neuter surgery.

The AzCAT wants volunteers to help with trapping, transportation, answering phones and various administrative tasks as well, Newton said.

For more information, visit the AzCAT website

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