KITTEN CRISIS: How one program is making big difference

THOUSANDS of unwanted kittens will never be born thanks to a program which makes the right choice cheaper.

New figures show 247 cats were desexed in 2019-20.

Councillor Zane O'Keefe said the council was proud to partner with the National Desexing Network to offer discounts to pension and concession card holders.

"It is compulsory for cats and dogs on the Fraser Coast to be desexed before 22 weeks of age, with some exemptions," he said.

"Desexing delivers a range of benefits including ensuring animals are more content, less aggressive and have fewer health problems, while it also reduces the numbers of unwanted animals that may have to later be euthanised.

"Each female cat can produce on average 10 kittens a year, so desexing 247 cats on the Fraser Coast through this support service last financial year helped prevent the birth of thousands of kittens."

Four Fraser Coast vet clinics participated in the National Desexing Network program to help families in need desex their pets.

Owners pay $65 to desex a female cat and $50 for any additional female cat in the same household, and $55 for a male cat.

The remainder of the vet fee is subsidised by Council and the NDN.

"The program provides ongoing support for residents who would not otherwise have been able to desex their pets," Animal Welfare League of Queensland Strategic Director Dr Joy Verrinder said.

"That includes pensioners and concession card holders, people on low incomes, or with too many cats; especially those have taken in a stray only to find it is pregnant.

"It has helped greatly break the breeding cycle where several litters can be born in quick succession as the mother cat can become pregnant while still weaning her kittens.

"Often these kittens are given away and also get pregnant within four to five months, and so the cycle goes on, if support is not available."

The council is participating in the program again this year.

For more information contact the National Desexing Network on 1300 36 89 92.