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Too many cats

Quadra Island Cat Rescue looking for foster and forever homes for cats and kittens in their care
The Quadra Island Cat Rescue is looking for foster homes for cats and kittens in their care. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror

The Quadra Island Cat Rescue has more felines than foster and forever homes.

Volunteers at the rescue are struggling to find homes for cats and kittens in their care.

“Many people became pet owners during the pandemic, and that was beneficial for both the animals and their people. But a number of those pets now need to be re-homed,” said volunteer Janet Massey. “Batches of kittens and stray and abandoned cats are regularly turned over to us, and we’re taking care of far more than the current demand for pets in our area.”

In previous years, the rescue has been able to take animals they don’t have room for to a vet clinic in Victoria, but this year that clinic is struggling with the same issue. Without a shelter facility, the rescue has to rely on volunteers to foster cats and kittens that are waiting for their forever home. The group is asking more more people to temporarily foster or adopt cats.

“The challenges of managing the Quadra cat population never let up. Spaying and neutering is the long-term solution, and we urge absolutely everyone to get their cats and kittens fixed before they reproduce,” Massey said. “This helps prevent the fear and suffering of cats and kittens struggling for survival on their own.”

The group offers discounted rates for spays and neuters for island residents. They also received a grant from the BC SPCA for spaying and neutering a group of unsocialized cats in the Quathiaski Cove area.

Since 2009, island volunteers have helped more than 1,200 cats and kittens. Last year, Quadra Cat Rescue helped more than 100 felines and their people:

- 80 cats spayed/neutered thanks to grant funding and community donations

- 13 cats/kittens adopted to local homes (all vaccinated and fixed)

- 19 Quadra Island kittens adopted out through a Victoria vet clinic

- Five community cat colonies monitored (all spayed/neutered, population declining as older cats die)

- About a dozen unadoptable cats remain in permanent foster homes.

“Staying on top of the cat overpopulation problem is essential. Even a few kittens left unfixed can quickly set us back in our work because one unfixed pair of cats and their reproducing offspring can add up to 500 kittens within just three years,” adds Quadra Cat Rescue volunteer Valerie van Veen. “Getting your pet fixed is a vital step toward ensuring that every cat on Quadra Island is homed, healthy, and really wanted.”

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