More people writing in to ask us to take in pregnant community cats, so that the mother cats give birth and the kittens can then be put up for adoption.
First of all, if you are looking after a community cat, please sterilise it early, so that the cat doesn't get pregnant in the first place. That would help prevent a lot of the attendant problems.
If however, you suddenly discover a pregnant community cat and discover you are in a quandary, here are a few things to consider. This is exempting people with religious objections, which is a different kettle of fish.
Quite a few people think that sterilising a pregnant cat is very cruel. No one, and I repeat, no one, feels good about sterilising a pregnant cat. It's not as if people who sterilise pregnant cats do it because (1) they've never factored in the cat's pregnancy or (2) they're just evil, evil people.
What has happened with the people who've written in so far is this - they put the cat with someone, and the cat gives birth. They then let the mother cat nurse the kittens as they look for homes. Then they discover, there are no homes and time is running out. They only have a limited amount of time before the friend is going to hand the cats back to them and they cannot take the cats in themselves. So they write in desperate and they say they will send the cats to be put down. In the meantime, the mother cat has been off the street so long that when put back into her territory, there's a good chance the vacuum effect has kicked in and she cannot fit back into her territory. She is likely to be driven away.
Here's the reality - there are far, far, FAR more cats than homes for cats. Every cat that is born takes away a home from another existing cat that also desperately needs a home. Your chances of the kitten being adopted are slim and even if you do get it adopted, that means another cat out there doesn't. If you are not prepared to take in the pregnant cat and all her kittens, then consider sterilisation immediately. Don't delay. The vet will let you know if it is not safe.
What is the point of 'saving' a mother cat and her as yet unborn kittens, only to kill the kittens later on after they are born?