In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce 370,000 kittens, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Qualicum Pet Foods and Cat Rescue owner Deb Maddocks said a cat’s average litter consists of six kittens and most cats breed three times per year. That’s a lot of cats — many who end up stray.
Maddocks said she recognized feline overpopulation was a growing problem in Parksville Qualicum Beach.
So Maddocks and co-owner Barb Ashmead decided to do something about it — they started offering free certificates for people to get their cats spayed or neutered; as well as started checking cats for feline leukemia, fleas and worms.
Maddocks said in the last three years, more than 1,500 cats have used the free spay/neuter program and in the past few years she’s noticed a dramatic reduction in stray cats in the area. This Saturday the duo will be hosting the 10th annual Fur Ball silent and live auction dinner event at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre. On the dinner menu is roast beef and yorkshire pudding. Maddocks said there are around 175 items for auction — including a seven-night stay in a condo in Hawaii valued at $2,900, a few pieces of high end art and various gift baskets donated by local stores. The event will be Saturday, Feb. 21at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre. Tickets are $40 per person and all proceeds go to the cats. Doors open at 5 p.m. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 250-752-2797.