For The Love of Cats

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For The Love of CatsCare for lifelong feline companions

Zimmer Feline Foundation’s for The Love of Cats Programs promote the care and love of cats as our lifelong companions.

Cats thrive indoors and their caregiving needs are simple. Love them, feed them, and keep their litter box clean. In return, they will greet you at the door, purr while they sit on your lap, cuddle with you while you sleep, and wow you with their extraordinary ability to run, jump and chase things no one else can see. But, most importantly, they will show you unconditional love.

These special relationships enrich our lives, lower our stress and anxiety levels, improve our cardiovascular health, and reduce our feelings of loneliness. And we hope, with our free spay/neuter assistance, many more people will have the pleasure of associating with cats.

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"By associating with the cat, one only risks becoming richer."

— Colette
(1873-1954) 
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Helping Pet Cats Keep Their Indoor Homes ForeverBy Providing Free Cat Spay/Neuter Vouchers

It is easy to see how it happens. You adopt a stray cat or the kitten of a friend’s cat, and before you realize it, she is pregnant. Once her kittens are born you find homes for them but if you do not fix mom quickly, you will soon have another litter to deal with. We hear this story repeatedly from caregivers applying for spay/neuter vouchers and we wish we could have helped them sooner.

But as important as cat spay/neuter is to stem the number of kittens born annually, it is even more important for individual cats. Once sterilized, they are healthier, better companions, and more likely to keep their indoor homes forever.

The large-scale push to fix cats actually did not begin from a concern over “too many cats” but from the introduction of kitty litter in the 1950’s allowing them to move indoors as “companion pets.” Families adopted kittens, but as they matured, their yowling, spraying, and kittening became more than what even the most loving caregivers could endure. So, they appealed to their vets to find a way to stop these behaviors, and the fix they came up with was sterilization.

Shelters (who account for about 45% of cat adoptions) routinely fix kittens as young as 8 weeks old before adopting them out. But the remaining 55% of pet cats (those found outdoors or passed person-to-person) are often left intact. Not because their caregivers do not understand the importance of spay/neuter, but simply because they lack the money to pay for it.

And this is where we help. We pay the cost to fix these low-income family pet cats. And by doing so, more cats will keep their indoor homes forever. This is the best outcome for everyone. The cats, their caregivers, and the communities they live in.

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55%
of pet cats are often left intact by caregivers who can’t afford spay/neuter
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over
40,000 cats
have been fixed in
New Mexico through
our funding since
2010
more than
12,000 cats
fixed in
Michigan
before 2010
3,832 cats
in
17 counties
in New Mexico
fixed for free
in 2021

And Expanding The Safety Net For Community CatsThrough Nonprofit Partnerships

As effective as spay/neuter vouchers are, they work best with indoor pet cats that can keep a pre-scheduled vet appointment and live near one of our participating veterinary clinics. To help other cats (barn cats, yard cats, and feral cat colonies) – or those outside our service areas – we can partner with nonprofit clinics. They simply provide the community with free cat spay/neuter services, and we reimburse them for the charges they would have billed to the caregivers.

Collage of Woman with Cats

"The kittens are truly a gift of
love, laughter, and comfort. Your vouchers are a blessing. I was very concerned about how I was going to have them both attended to—perhaps get one kitten done and try to save up for the second.
When I found your number,
prayers were answered!"

— Di-An, Tome, NM Blue toy illustration
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Three-year old Kally went to the vet yesterday to redeem the free spay/neuter voucher we gave her.  During the pre-surgery exam, the doctor found a wound on her leg and so we sent them a veterinary care voucher to cover the cost cleaning it out and giving her an antibiotic injection.    As we close out the first half of 2022, we've funded the free spay or neuter of 1,100 indoor companion cats -- and another 600 vouchers are in the community still to be redeemed.    Also, 600 cats were fixed for free through our community non-profit partnerships,
Houdini's very-worried caregiver rushed him to the doctor yesterday and found out he had a urinary tract blockage.  She currently has no income so the vet had her contact us for help getting him unblocked.  We were more than happy to give them a veterinary care voucher for the blockage -- and a free spay/neuter voucher too -- so he could be neutered at the same time.  Hope he's better soon!
Chongie was fixed last week with one of our free spay/neuter vouchers but returned to the clinic today with an infected incision.  We provided a veterinary care voucher to cover the extra cost and she looks like she's going home sporting an e-collar which will help keep her from picking at the incision so it can heal.
Fabian's caregiver took him to the vet today to work on litter box issues -- and they used a 3-prong approach to treating him:  neutered him, treated him for an UTI infection, and sent him home with some litter magnet -- an additive to cat litter that makes the box more appealing for the cat to use.  His caregiver is on a very limited fixed income so we provided them with both a spay/neuter voucher and a veterinary care voucher to cover the costs.  Hope the treatments work!