Anyone who has witnessed a cat mating will get a queasy feeling. It looks brutal when the cat pushes the cat down and fertilizes it. Country people may have seen the act before.

One might think that such mating cats only exist in the village in this country. Where, for example, the farmer’s family doesn’t castrate their cats because the animals are supposed to catch mice and rats and it doesn’t bother them if they reproduce.

Not even close. According to consistent reports from animal shelters and animal protection organizations, a large number of stray cats are now roaming through cities and metropolitan regions in Germany. Exactly how many there are is unknown. Because the feral domestic cats usually live in secret, on brownfield sites, company premises or under bridges. The German Animal Welfare Association, for example, estimates that there could be around two million.

According to reports, they are former pets who were abandoned or descendants of unneutered domestic cats.

There can be a number of reasons why people don’t have their cats neutered. Some would like their cat to have offspring at least once in their life, which will later be placed in loving hands. The animal is then castrated. For others, the intervention at the vet seems too expensive. And some cat owners are of the opinion that you shouldn’t “spoil the fun” for the animals.

However, in several interviews and press articles, representatives of animal shelters and animal protection organizations clearly do away with the “fun” theory. For female cats and tomcats, reproduction means stress and dangers that can also be fatal, they warn and advise castration.

When a cat becomes sexually mature for the first time at around five to eight months, it enters a kind of hormonal state of emergency. She screams and whines to lure a hangover, sprays urine, and rolls on the floor. That is why this phase is also called heat. During this time, their entire behavior is fixed only on the sex drive. Some animals lose a lot of weight during this time.

The cat goes into heat two to three times a year – which means that it can have young as often. There are an average of three to four kittens per litter. According to a graphic by the animal protection organization “Four Paws”, it is possible that a single pair of cats can produce up to 12,680 offspring after five years. That also means a lot of potential misery: some free-ranging cats are so sick and weak that they cannot care for their offspring.

“Cats have an extremely high reproduction rate,” says Dalia Zohni, specialist for pets at the German Animal Welfare Association, in an interview with the star. “Reproduction is only for conservation in cats. It’s no fun for them.” In the case of stray cats, many kittens die in the first few months of their lives, Zohni says. Reasons are diseases and malnutrition.

The Animal Welfare Association is committed to nationwide castration and identification requirements for domestic cats in Germany. Because the misery that unneutered cats produce is extreme, as repeatedly shown by reports on the websites of animal welfare organizations throughout Germany that try to help the animals with neutering and feeding campaigns. Many of these feral animals cannot be adopted as pets.

The urge to produce offspring is so strong that tomcats will travel great distances to find a mate. The risk of being run over on such a hike or dying after a fight is great. According to a report by the Hamburg Animal Welfare Association, for example, pet owners are often not even aware of how much damage they are doing to their cats if they do not have them neutered.

A helper at a feeding station for strays in Hamburg expressed it quite drastically some time ago: “The urge to mate is a stressful, unpleasant part of their lives,” she said of the animals that are ready to mate and roaming around outside. It is not compatible with animal love to constantly expose one’s own cat or tomcat to the dangers of carelessly extensive partner searches. Cats can be killed or injured in turf wars, or contract deadly diseases.

So love among cats is less like romance—it’s more an urge to produce as many offspring as possible. A great psychological and physical stress for parents and their offspring. And in the worst case, great misery can result.

Sources: German Animal Welfare Association, Hamburg Animal Welfare Association, Four Paws, Stray Aid Ni-No,

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