Project Purr Low/Cost Spay Neuter Program
For 20 years, Project Purr has provided an affordable low-cost spay/neuter veterinary package for feral cats/kittens to all residents of Santa Cruz County, regardless of income. Project Purr’s cat rescue is the financial commitment to keep feral cat/kitten spay/neuter surgery affordable.
NEW! Animal Hospital of Soquel
2651 Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz
Monday-Friday 8:00AM-6:00PM NO surgeries on Sat/Closed Sunday
Call 831/475-0432 to schedule your appointment
Please call BEFORE trapping to assure surgery space is available, and if you are unsuccessful trapping, please call to let them know and reschedule.
Drop off cats in individual traps between 7:30 - 8 a.m. before regular clinic is open Monday - Friday. Pick up before 6 p.m. on the same day.
740 East Lake Avenue in Watsonville
7 days a week, 7:00AM-6:00PM
Although a $25.00 fee from YOU is required,
Cats/kittens must be 4 months (about 4 pounds) to participate in this program.
Anesthesia, Spay/Neuter, FVRCP and Rabies Vaccines, Parasite Control
Mandatory Ear Tip (ear tipping is the humane surgical removal of 1/4” of the tip of the right ear which becomes a visible life-saving permanent identification mark)
Watsonville Animal Shelter
580 Airport Blvd.
Watsonville, CA 95076
Monday-Sat 9am-12pm, 1pm-5:30pm
Santa Cruz County Animal Services Authority
2200 7th Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA. 95062
Tuesday -Sunday 9am-1pm, 2pm-5:30pm
Friends of Watsonville Animal Shelter (FOWAS) Feral Cat Voucher Program: Unlimited FREE FERAL CAT SPAY/NEUTER for TNR to businesses of Watsonville/Freedom. Thank you FOWAS! Call 831/454-7303 for more info.
Surgery After-Care Instructions
Take the cat/kitten home and leave it in the covered trap in a safe, quiet, and warm location overnight. Release the cat/kitten the next morning in the exact area where it was trapped. Over time the stitches will dissolve. Provide fresh water and quality dry food daily in the established feeding location. It is always best to feed early in the day. Food should be eaten or gone by nightfall to avoid attracting nocturnal animals such as skunks, opossums, raccoons, and predators.
Continue daily feeding after release even though the cat may not return for several days.
So You Found Kittens!
Do not be too quick to assume that just because the mother cat is not currently present, the kittens are orphans. If the kittens are not in immediate danger, quietly wait and observe from a distance to see if the mother returns. If in doublt as to how to proceed, call Santa Cruz County Animal Services as soon as possible.
Orphan kitten care can be found online at http://www.sanjoseanimals.com/feralsOrphanCare.asp.
For Your Information
Female cats can be spayed when pregnant. They are almost always in heat, pregnant, or lactating (nursing).
Nursing mom-cats can go into heat and be pregnant with a litter as they nurse their present litter.
Unspayed female kittens can come into heat and conceive at 16 weeks of age.
Gestation (time before birth) is about 63 days. A 6-month-old-kitten can have a litter of kittens.
Siblings (brothers/sisters) will mate with each other.
At around 5 months of age an unneutered male can begin territorial spraying.
Not only female cats are responsible for kittens. An unaltered male cat can father hundreds of kittens, so always trap and neuter tomcats too.
Prior to trapping, inform your neighbors about your intention to trap and your plan for the cats that you are trapping. This allows your neighbors time to collar or confine their pets.
Obtain permission before trapping or returning feral cats/kittens to private property.
Plan your trapping day carefully. Remember, if you trap a cat/kitten and release it for some reason, it is unlikely that you will be able to catch it again - they learn very quickly.
Be sure that feral kittens that you trapping for spay/neuter are at least 4 months of age (about 4 pounds). Kittens younger than 4 months of age cannot tolerate injectable anesthesia. At 4 months of age they can also get a rabies shot.
Do not leave a cat/kitten in the trap for more than 12 hours.
If the cat/kitten seems especially wary, put the trap out for a couple of days with the door securely fastened open to allow the cat/kitten time to become accustomed to its presence. Cover the bottom of the trap with folded newspaper.Do not feed the cat/kitten the day/night before you are going to trap.
Bait the trap with tuna. Use an unbreakable container the size of a cottage cheese carton. Make sure that the back door is latched, and set the trap.
After baiting the trap, open the trap door by pushing the top of the door in and pulling the bottom of the door upward. There is a small hook attached to the right side of the trap top. It hooks onto a tiny metal cylinder (rivet) on the right side of the door. The hook holds the door in an open position which also raises the trip plate. When the cat steps on the plate, it will cause the hook to release the door and close the trap.
Test traps for steadiness. Traps must not move when entered.Keep a close watch on the trap, checking it frequently. As soon as the cat/kitten is trapped, cover the trap completely with a large towel. Covering the trap will help to quiet the cat/kitten.
Lift the cover to be sure that you have the correct cat and not a neighbor's pet or a previously altered ear-tipped feral.
Move the covered trap to a quiet, enclosed, safe area until ready to transport. Make certain that the cat/kitten will not be exposed to extreme heat, cold, or wet at any time. Keep children and pets away from traps.
It is best to confine trapping efforts to daylight hours. Trapping after dark may result in trapped skunks, raccoons, or opossums, which can be dangerous and difficult to extract from a trap. However, with close monitoring, dusk is often a good time to trap cats/kittens.
When transporting the trap, place a layer of waterproof material and a towel beneath the trap to protect the interior of your vehicle.
Congratulations! Spay/Neuter Saves Lives!