CINCINNATI — Cats, cats, and more cats. It’s not just animal shelters, but spay and neuter clinics that are now overwhelmed with stray cats. The overpopulation of cats coupled with a shortage of veterinarians has clinics struggling to keep up.
One after another, Dr. Amy Strabala is doing back-to-back surgeries on cats. She’s spaying and neutering as many as her hands can take.
“I cut down to part time because my body was starting to fall apart,” said Strabala.
She keeps going to keep cats from having more cats, but she said the stray cat overpopulation problem is happening faster.
“We’ve been seeing cats come into heat really young like 4 months old, and so, they can get pregnant that quickly,” said Strabala.
She said they’ve had to make some tough calls.
“That’s the hardest part of the job, like having the pregnant cats and having to terminate the pregnancies basically because if they’re trapped and they’re feral, and we know they’re pregnant, we still have to spay,” said Strabala.
More cats still keep coming in.
In fact, as she’s doing surgeries to keep them from reproducing, there’s an entire room full of even more trapped stray cats at the United Coalition for Animals, or the UCAN pay and neuter clinic in Cincinnati.
“The problem’s huge — plus there’s a lot of public complaints about behavior, yowling, fighting, and killing birds wildlife and things like that, so our goal here is eventually to have no outdoor cats,” said UCAN Executive Director Melanie Corwin.
Corwin said the nonprofit has been working through a backlog since the pandemic but they still want you to bring stray cats.
"The very best thing you could do is take it to a spay neuter clinic — one of ours. Surgery is free. Everything's free. So take it to one of ours. Get it — spay, neuter. We ear tip the left ear so you can tell in the distance that the animal has been altered,” said Corwin.
It's all an effort to try and keep more cats off the streets.