Bendigo Animal Relief Centre (BARC) is encouraging residents to get their furry friends desexed before kitten season kicks off this spring.
Even if your pet cat is an inside cat, BARC recommends getting them desexed to reduce unwanted behaviours such as excessive vocalisation, fighting, wandering, and urine spraying.
BARC Operations Manager Fra Atyeo said the organisation launched its Bendigo Community Cat Program in 2021 to encourage residents who care for a stray cat to get the cat desexed with the intention of preventing unwanted litters.
"In round one the program saw 50 street cats desexed, microchipped, vaccinated, and registered and this season through round two we are aiming to desex 300 cats," Ms Atyeo said.
"The program is supported by Animal Welfare Victoria and aims to provide an affordable service to lower income households and our community's eligible residents to better care for their cats and to decrease the number of unwanted cats and kittens in our community.
"It's important to reduce the number of unwanted cats in our community, one female cat and her offspring can produce up to 5000 cats in seven years and this is a great opportunity to help stop this problem."
"Each year BARC receives over 2000 cats and kittens with close to half of these kittens coming from unwanted litters. One unwanted kitten is one too many, it's heartbreaking that Greater Bendigo produces so many unwanted cats and kittens each year.
"BARC runs this program with the services of local vets. In addition to getting desexed and vaccinated against diseases, cats are also microchipped and registered. This ensures a cat has the best possible chance of finding their way home should they become lost or missing."
For owners who have already got their new pet cat desexed, BARC is offering free microchipping and free first year registration.
Application is simple and interested Greater Bendigo residents can apply for the program on BARC's website at bendigoanimalreliefcentre.com.au/cat-desexing
BARC and the City of Greater Bendigo have also partnered with the National Desexing Network to provide discount cat desexing to residents with a pension/concession card.
More information on this program can be obtained by visiting ndn.org.au or by calling 1300 368 992.
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