Almost everyone has a pet, even if it is just a spider living in a kitchen corner that they refuse to kill. The reason you rarely see someone without a pet is because animals bring joy to their owners. You would think, because of that joy, you wouldn’t find abused animals, but we do. We’ve all seen the pictures or TV shows of rescued animals and it makes us feel like all the blood in our hearts is squishing out. But there’s another form of animal abuse not getting the attention it needs; unspayed or unneutered pets, especially cats.

I understand it sounds weird saying not fixing your pet is abuse since no one has touched them, but after seeing the results of what can happen to cats when they become feral is not a pretty site. I know this because, in my neighborhood, an owner left their unfixed cat behind while they moved away. What was one wild cat has blossomed into an overpopulation of felines: cats living under my house, in our garage (Its old and has holes, I guess it’s more like a shed), under tarps, or overturned wheel barrels. And unlike a feral cat on a farm with food to find in the woods or barn, they live in a town with limited food available. The cats in my neighborhood are scraggly and thin.

Every year a cat has a litter of kittens in our yard. This may sound fun and cute to see, but it’s not. If left untouched, they usually die leaving a pile of dead kittens. Even if you intercept capturing the kittens, feeding them yourself, half of them die due to already catching an illness from their mother. After living in my house for 16 years, I cannot even count how many cats I have seen die or found dead in an alley or somewhere else. My back yard is a giant grave for cats.

This story is not as heart wrenching as seeing a beaten up dog or a horse that is nothing but skin and bones, but it is sad. Sad because the solution, fixing one cat, something super easy to do, could have fixed the problem.

So, remember, fix your pet. If you are short on money, you can find free and reduced cost programs. Please, I beg you, remember this and remind others.

Do you have a story about feral cats you would like to share?