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Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is the Zimmer Feline Foundation?
2. Business hours?
3. At what age can my cats be fixed?
4. Can my cat be fixed while she's in heat, pregnant or nursing kittens?
5. Are her kittens eligible for vouchers?
6. Are feral cats (ie, cats you cannot reliably handle) eligible?
7. May I go to a clinic not listed on your voucher?
8. Do you help pay veterinary bills for sick or injured cats?
9. If my cat was fixed or went in for veterinary treatment before I knew about your programs, can you reimburse me for the cost if I later apply?
10. If I’m not approved for vouchers, how else can I get my cats fixed on a tight budget?
11. Do you take in cats for adoption?
12. Do you work with other groups to spay and neuter cats?


1. What is the Zimmer Feline Foundation?

We are a 501(c)3 private operating foundation established in 1980.  Our focus on cat spay/neuter began in Michigan in 2000 with our TLC for The Love of Cats program.  After moving to New Mexico in 2009, we continued that focus.  To date (December, 2015), we've funded the sterilization of over 23,000 cats.  In 2013 we added an veterinary treatment program to our services to further help low-income families care for their pet cats and in 2014 we added a community outreach program to help other New Mexico non-profits provide local cat services.

Our mission is to prevent pet cats from losing their homes simply because their caregivers lack the money to sterilize them or treat their injuries. Our experience indicates that this significantly reduces both the pet relinquishment rates at animal control shelters and the formation of feral cat colonies,
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2. Business Hours?

We take phone cals between 8:30a.m. and 5:00p.m. weekdays (except major holidays) and return voice mails promptly during those hours.
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3. At what age can my cats be fixed?

Cats can be safely sterilized as young as 8 weeks and 2 pounds – this is the standard practice at many animal shelters that require sterilization prior to adoption.  In private veterinary practice, the age of sterilization may vary from 8 weeks to 6 months, depending on the individual veterinarian’s preference.  But since cats can be sexually active at 16 weeks, we strongly recommend you get them fixed no later than that to prevent an accidental litter.

If you have older cats, they too can (and should) be fixed provided they are in overall good health. 
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Yes.  Most veterinarians are willing to spay cats that are pregnant or in heat,  If you suspect your cat is pregnant, have her spayed as soon as possible – the more pregnant she is, the more complicated the surgery (and the fewer the vets willing to perform the operation).

Under some circumstances, vets will fix a nursing mom cat when the kittens are a few weeks old – and give her back quickly so the kittens don’t miss too many feedings.  But they normally prefer waiting until the mother has weaned her kittens to spay her.

If this is the case with your cat, encourage the kittens to start eating on their own when they’re about 4 weeks old and as soon as they’re weaned, take the mom cat in to be spayed.  She can get pregnant while she’s nursing so if you don’t act quickly you may have another litter to deal with.
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5. Are her kittens eligible for vouchers?

Yes, but only if you keep and spay the mother — and only if you intend to keep the kittens as your own pets.  If you plan to give them to others, they must apply for vouchers themselves.  Our programs are for pet cats in permanent homes — and we expect applicants to be making that commitment.  We process kitten vouchers when they are 12 weeks old.
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6. Are feral cats (i.e., cats you cannot reliably handle) eligible?

No.  Our program relies on our Participants making (and keeping) pre‐arranged veterinary appointments so that the clinics we work with are not faced with last‐minute cancellations because the cat did not show the morning of the appointment.   If you need help getting feral cats fixed, call us and we may be able to refer you to an organization that specializes in their spay/neuter. 
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7. May I go to a clinic not listed on your voucher?

No — but if there’s a specific clinic you’d like to use, refer them to the Participating Veterinary Clinics page of our website.  If they’re interested in participating they can contact us and if we can, we’ll add them to our list.
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8. Do you help pay veterinary bills for sick or injured cats?

Yes — see our Veterinary Care Assistance program.
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9. If my cat was fixed or went in for veterinary treatment before I knew about your programs, can you reimburse me for the cost if I later apply?

We’re sorry but we can only pay for work done after an application is approved and a voucher has been issued.  Payments are made directly to the clinic after receipt of both their bill and a copy of our voucher.
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10. If I’m not approved for your vouchers, how else can I get my cats fixed on a tight budget?

If you are declined our vouchers, here are a few suggestions of other ways to minimize your spay/neuter costs:

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11. Do you take in cats for adoption?

No.  We do no form of cat rescue.  For assistance with cat adoptions, visit Petfinder and search for rescues and shelters by zip code.
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12. Do you work with other groups to spay and neuter cats?

On occasion we can help other organizations provide free and local cat spay/neuter for cats — if they are working in an area that our basic voucher program doesn’t help and if they do not require a co‐pay from the caregiver.  Feline organizations can refer to our Community Cat Program for additional information.
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