The mission of Operation Catnip is to reduce the number of homeless stray and feral community cats by sterilizing as many cats as possible. To achieve this goal, Operation Catnip devotes most of its resources, including volunteer time and funding, to sterilization.
Other Medical Procedures
Community cats commonly arrive at each clinic with a variety of medical problems. While humane intentions mandate that these conditions receive appropriate veterinary attention, it is not always possible within the narrow limitations of an outpatient spay-neuter clinic to provide the complete care that every cat may need to regain health.
Generally, if the procedure is medically advisable (not cosmetic), easily corrected with available resources, requires little specialized post-operative care, has low risk of post-operative complications, and does not detract from the overall efficiency of the clinic, it will be performed. The following considerations help determine if additional medical procedures are appropriate:
- Does the condition interfere with the cat’s quality of life?
- Will treatment of the condition divert substantial surgery time and clinic resources from sterilization?
- Does the clinic have the necessary drugs, equipment, and expertise to perform the procedure properly?
- Will appropriate post-operative care be provided?
- Will the condition or its treatment interfere with the cat’s wellbeing after release?
What Procedures are Routinely Performed
- Neutering cryptorchid male
- Ovariohysterectomy for pyometra (unless septicemic)
- Repair of umbilical hernias in females as part of a ventral midline approach
- Repairing significant umbilical hernias in males
- Lancing and draining abscesses
- Suturing minor lacerations
- Removal of loose teeth
- Amputation of digits or tails
- Enucleation of injured and inflamed nonsalvable eyes
- Simple lumpectomies if mass interferes with normal function
- CPR, if underlying cause of arrest is likely to resolve, as in anesthetic complication
What Procedures are NOT Routinely Performed
Feral cats are commonly afflicted with more serious injuries such as fractured extremities and emaciation. While veterinary care for these injuries is indicated, such involved procedures are not within the scope of an outpatient clinic. These cases are referred to a full-service clinic where facilities are available for proper surgery and follow-up care. Humane euthanasia of debilitated cats is performed if suffering cannot be corrected. The Clinic Supervisor and lead veterinarian will make final determination regarding the provision of advanced treatments or euthanasia.
- Ophthalmic surgery
- Orthopedic surgeries
- Major tumor excisions
- Dental extractions requiring dental instruments or cutting drills
- Gastrointestinal or urologic surgeries
- Pinna amputations
- Surgeries judged to be primarily cosmetic
- Medical workups
- CPR, if underlying cause of arrest is a severe medical condition, or the cat is unlikely to survive