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A Christmas gift of kindness

Lately, many kittens are being dropped off at ASG Veterinary Clinic at the Department of Agriculture, as the owners of the cats become overwhelmed with the large numbers of kittens being born.

Cats can have up to three litters a year with as many as 8 kittens in each litter. Cats start reproducing at the age of six months. A female cat can have up to 100 kittens during her life. As the kittens mature, they will start reproducing and a single pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years. 

As the dog overpopulation starts to be under better control here on American Samoa, the cat population has seen a population boom. 

The veterinary clinic is concerned if this continues, the island could start to see a large feral population of cats. 

This is a challenge for many communities in the United States, especially on some of the Hawaiian Islands. While many people are proponents of cats for their impact on rodent populations, it is important to remember that cats hunt wild birds and reptiles as well. A large, unchecked cat population can be devastating for the wildlife population on a small island such as ours. 

Cats can make wonderful pets, but is important they receive health care, just like we would provide dogs and other pets. Cats should be dewormed regularly, treated for fleas, vaccinated against feline diseases, and very importantly, SPAYED and NEUTERED. 

The ASG Veterinary Clinic asks for the cooperation of cat owners on island to help prevent an overpopulation problem of cats, by sterilizing their pets. 

Cats (and dogs) can be brought to the clinic in Tafuna Monday through Friday, from 7:30 to 9 am to be dropped off for surgery. Surgery patients should not be fed in the morning, and are ready to go home in the afternoon. 

Don’t forget: For a possible Christmas gift — an act of kindness too — currently, the clinic has 8 kittens needing homes.They are spayed/neutered and dewormed. The adoption fee is $10 to help cover the surgery. 

And for these holidays time, the staff of ASG Veterinary Clinic and the DoA, under the leadership of Director Filifaatali M. U. Fuiava, would like to wish the Territory a Merry Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.