Letter To The Editor Re: Kitty Post
Updated: Jan 30, 2022
Dear Mr. Bergmann:
Thank you for publishing the letter from L. R. Tokarz in the December issue of Beltsville News. The writer expressed concern that, by supporting cats in the wild, Beltsville Community Cats (BCC) is contributing to an overpopulation of cats and a decline in the bird population.
As a resident of Greenbelt, the writer may not be aware that BCC was incorporated to establish a Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Return program in Beltsville. Since 2019, BCC has trapped, spayed/neutered, and vaccinated 890 cats in the Beltsville area! Of that number, roughly half (457 cats) were returned to their original locations. The remaining 433 were young kittens or socialized adult cats that were placed with foster families to be socialized and prepared for adoption into forever homes.
On average, a fertile female cat (queen) has her first litter when she’s six months old. As Mr. Tokarz pointed out, a queen can have up to three litters a year, with an average of four kittens per litter. That’s 12 kittens per queen, per year. Six months later, the “newborn” kittens begin reproducing, and the cycle continues! With help from residents of and businesses in Beltsville, who assist BCC in locating and trapping free-roaming cats, we have and will continue to significantly reduce the feral cat population in our community.
It is the dream of Beltsville Community Cats that someday, there will be only a small population of community cats in Beltsville. We want almost every cat to be a housecat with a family that loves it or a sterilized community cat with a caretaker who provides for its daily needs. Until that time, we plan to look after the kitties that aren’t lucky enough to have someone to watch over them, and to make sure those kitties are sterilized so they can no longer reproduce.