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26 March, 2021

It's time to 'snip and chip'

Cairns cat owners can have their furry friend ‘snipped and chipped’ for $30 under a collaboration between Council, local vets and the National Desexing Network.

Dr Richard Thomas from Cairns Veterinary Clinic and Division 6 Councillor Kristy Vallely with Kang, promoting the $30 cat desexing and microchipping program.

Cairns cat owners can have their furry friend 'snipped and chipped' for $30 under a collaboration between Council, local nets and National Desexing Network.

The desexing and microchipping offer, for male and female cats, is available to residents within the Cairns Regional Council area who are struggling to meet desexing costs.

Mayor Bob Manning said the initiative was a key way to reduce the number of unwanted cats in the region and the corresponding impact on residents and the environment.

“Our Animal Management team routinely collects large numbers of cats from residents’ homes; one Gordonvale property alone had more than 20 cats and kittens,” Cr Manning said.

“This number of cats is obviously unsustainable, as well as illegal under our local laws. But they contribute to many other problems. 

“Unwanted cats that are uncared for, allowed to roam or become feral can spread disease to other people’s pets, get into fights with domestic cats and dogs, cause road accidents and hunt and injure native wildlife.”

Being a tropical environment, there is no defined breeding season in Cairns, with female cats having three litters of up to eight kittens every 12 months.

“When you do the maths, a single female cat – and its off-spring – can generate 400,000 cats over its lifetime,” Cr Manning said.

“Attacking the problem at the source, by preventing litters in the first place, is the most cost-effective way of reducing the impact on our community.”

Dr Richard Thomas from Cairns Veterinary Clinic said there are significant benefits for cat owners as well.

Desexed cats are less likely to roam as they are not seeking to mate. This reduces their exposure to illnesses like Feline Aids, and injury and can extend their life expectancy by as much as three times.

“There are numerous benefits to desexing your cat such as reduced wandering, reduced subsequent injuries and reduced viral transmission,” Dr Thomas said.

“In female cats we have are reduced incidents of mammary tumours and uterine cancer. In male cats we have less marking and less testicular cancer.

“In addition to that, desexed pets tend to live longer and are slightly healthier.”

Cat owners who take part in the program can also have their cat microchipped as part of the $30 fee.

Microchipping is the best form of identification for your pet. If your cat is lost and handed in to the pound, Council can quickly check your details from the microchip database and reunite you with your pet.

The ‘snip and chip’ initiative is being coordinated by the National Desexing Network (NDN).

Residents simply need to contact the NDN, which will collect the resident contribution of $30 and connect them with a participating vet in their area.   

The NDN can be reached on 1300 368 992. Residents can also call Council on
1300 692 247 to be transferred to the NDN. 

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