Reduces Risk Of Roaming
When female cats go into heat, both her hormones and instincts are urging her to find a mate. And if she’s your only cat, she’ll try to escape every time you open the door so that she can find one. Remember that males are also driven by hormones and the mating instinct, and will try their best to escape for the same reason. Both males and females are at risk outdoors of being injured as they cross roads and highways to mate. By neutering your cat, you’ll reduce this wanderlust and find they’re happy to stay put in the safe, comfy spot next to you on the couch.
What Age Should You Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the cornerstones of pet ownership in the United States. ASPCA statistics place the U.S. pet cat population at anywhere between 74 and 96 million and there may be as many as 70 million strays fending for themselves. Unfortunately, the ASPCA also estimates that 41 percent of cats who enter shelters cannot find a home and end up being euthanized. Breeders, shelters and rescue groups team up with vets and their staff to stem the tide of cat overpopulation but its bound to be a continuing battle for the foreseeable future.
If you find yourself with a new kitten in your household, spaying or neutering is something youll need to be thinking about soon. But at what age is it appropriate to spay or neuter a cat? More importantly, why should you consider having the procedure done at all?
Should You Get A Male Or Female Cat
The other day, I was lucky enough to visit with a kitten. Few things are as adorable as a tiny kitty tripping all over herself and pouncing on imaginary carpet interlopers. Pretty much every kitten is cute, but theyll be cats for a lot longer than theyll be kittens. Before you become completely smitten with the first cuddly ball of fur you meet, you should consider a basic question. Do you want a male or a female cat?
Each gender has pros and cons associated with it. Although feline personalities vary widely, male cats are often more friendly than female cats. Many male cats have a cuddly lap cat personality. Female cats are often more cautious and may take longer to trust you. However, once youve proven your worth, they too can be very affectionate. Male cats are often significantly larger than female cats. But if you want a calico cat, you pretty much have to get a female.
Although opinions differ, some people say that if you already have a cat, you may want to get one of the opposite sex. On the other hand, I introduced a female kitten into our household, which already had an older female cat and we havent had problems.
The bottom line is that cats are individuals. Both female and male cats can make wonderful companions. When you are tempted by that adorable kitten, remember he or she will be around for 10 or 15 years, so be sure you are prepared to make that type of commitment to a new pet.
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Pros & Cons Of Spaying & Neutering Cats
Its time to start thinking about spaying or neutering your cat. But, you are not quite sure if it is the right thing to do. If youre wondering whether you should just leave your cat as nature intended, consider the positive and negative aspects of spaying and neutering before making your decision.
Spaying The Positive Side
Spaying removes the risk of pregnancy.
Pet overpopulation is a serious problem and by allowing your cat to have litters, you are adding to the problem. Finding homes for your new family additions is not as easy as you may think. Even if you choose to keep the kittens, you will have the additional cost of vaccines, parasite control, toys and food for several pets. In addition to costs, the health of the mother can be in jeopardy during delivery. Some new mothers can have serious complications delivering kittens and can even develop health problems during nursing. All these potential problems can be avoided by spaying your cat.
Spaying makes for a calmer cat.
Without the drive to mate, your cat may be quieter and wont be prone to cat calls and the incessant need to seek out a mate. The spayed pet no longer attracts males and their annoying advances and serenades. Spayed cats are also easier to get along with. They tend to be more gentle and affectionate.
Spaying keeps your cat healthier.
Spaying The Negative Side
Spaying means sterilization.
Spaying may cause weight gain.
Neutering The Positive Side
Neutering removes the risk of pregnancy.
Dark Patches Of Fur In Siamese And Related Breeds
The skin temperature is important in determining the hair colour of some cats . This means that when a patch of hair is shaved the new hair may grow back a darker colour. However, this is only temporary and, as further hair growth occurs, the dark hairs are replaced by normal lighter coloured hairs.
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Should Female Cats Have A Litter Of Kittens Before Being Spayed
People used to think that female cats should have a litter of kittens before being spayed, but Corbett says theres no good reason for that. And if youre on the fence about spaying because youd like your children to experience kittens, he has an answer for that, too: become a foster family.
There are a lot of shelters that help moms and kittens and are able to provide that experience of raising kittens, Corbett says. But instead of adding more kittens to the world that need to find homes, youre helping homeless kittens.
When Should You Have Your Cat Fixed
Each pet is unique and your vet will be able to offer advice on when you should have your cat spayed or neutered. However, we typically recommend spaying or neutering kittens at around five to six months old. Adult cats can also be spayed or neutered.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
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What Are The Benefits Of Spaying Or Neutering Your Cat
Now that you have a better idea about when your cat should be sterilized, its important to highlight the benefits of the procedure. While you may want your kitten to one day experience the joys of motherhood or are afraid your male cat may feel less masculine if hes neutered, the spay/neuter surgery provides different health and behavioral benefits that can help your kitten live a longer and healthier life.
Female cats that are spayed before their first heat for example, have a reduced risk for malignant mammary tumors later in life, which is diagnosed in 95% of female cats. It also reduces the risk of your cat developing infections of the uterus and cancers of their reproductive organs. Additionally, it removes the possibility of complications that can occur with pregnancy and birthing. Spaying female cats also prevents heat cycles, which can last several months, and eliminates yowling, crying, and other erratic behavior.
For male cats, the benefits of neutering are mainly behavioral. However, the procedure does eliminate the possibility of testicular cancer and other prostate problems later in life. Neutering your male cat will reduce his inappropriate behaviors , marking inside your home, and fighting with other males.
When Should I Spay Or Neuter My Cat
Kittens can be spayed or neutered as young as six to eight weeks of age, however standard spay and neuter surgeries are most often performed when the kitten is between five and six months old. That said, it’s important to note that provided your cat is healthy, these procedures can be performed at any time during your cat’s life.
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How Will Spaying Affect My Cats Diet
As soon as your cat has been spayed, youll start to notice changes in their behaviorincluding their feeding habits. Their appetite can increase by 20-25%, but their actual energy expenditure reduces by 30%. This means its very easy for your queen to overeat and store the extra energy as fat. If you decide to spay your cat while they’re still a kitten, they will still be growing and therefore needs a food that supports this without encouraging them to put on weight unnecessarily. Specific food, formulated for spayed/neutered kittens, is one of the best things to feed them at this point.
Addresses Feline Welfare Issues
This is one of the results of unmitigated population growth in cats. If there are too many kittens getting born, there may be not enough people to adopt them and care for them. These cats will live in back alleys, thriving on whatever scraps of food they could find. It exposes them to many diseases and a lot of dangers.
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What Does A Spay Surgery Involve
This major surgical procedure requires general anesthesia. You will need to fast your cat the night prior to surgery. Most cats return home within 48 hours after surgery. Your veterinarian will advise you how long to withhold food and water, and any other details specific to your cat.
“Most cats return home within 48 hours after surgery.”
The operation is performed through a relatively small incision made most commonly in the midline of the abdomen, just below the umbilicus. Both ovaries are removed along with the entire uterus. The surgical incision will be closed with several layers of sutures. In many cases, skin sutures will be placed, and these will be removed after seven to ten days.
What Are The Cons Of Cat Neutering
There can be a few side-effects of cat neutering. One of the most common side-effects is weight gain. The metabolism of the cat goes down, and they move less. Luckily you can find various types of food to help against this happening. There are special cat foods for neutered cats that is less energetic than normal cat food, and helps to counter the weight gain. If you are unsure of what weight is normal, the average female adult cat weighs around 4kg. If you want to read more about cons of cat neutering, we recommend you read this article.
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How Can I Arrange To Spay Or Neuter My Cat
To get your cat spayed or neutered, make an appointment with your local veterinarian. Most vets require at least one pre-op appointment before the big day. Dont feed your cat the night before the procedure, but do give her water. On the morning of the operation, remove the water, too.
Spaying and neutering doesnt usually involve an overnight stay. Most of the time, youll drop your cat off with the vet in the morning, and youll pick her back up again in the afternoon. Then its home for a little TLC.
Spaying Or Neutering Your Cat
Having your cat spayed or neutered can provide a number of benefits for your cat’s health, prevent unwanted litters and curb undesirable behaviors. But what specific benefits does it offer your beloved pet, what is involved in the procedure and when should you have it performed on your kitty? Here, our West Chester vets explain the details of spaying or neutering your cat.
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Help Fight Pet Overpopulation
Did you know that millions of healthy cats are euthanized in the U.S. each year because there aren’t enough homes available? Spaying and neutering can help control the pet overpopulation crisis and reduces the number of strays, which end up in shelters instead of loving homes. Unfortunately, many end up homeless and are left to fend for themselves.
Thinking About Adding A Second Cat To The Family
If youre thinking about adding to your cat family, you may be confused about whether that second kitty should be an adult or a kitten. Male? Female? How can you be sure youll bring home a cat who will be a good match for your resident cat? Well, theres no way to guarantee the choice you make will result in a harmonious household, but I do have a few tips to help you hopefully increase your chances of a successful match.
For an elderly resident cat, dont try to match her up with a kitten. Kittens have very little respect for territory and boundaries. The revved-up kittens attempts at playful curiosity may end up being too stressful to the senior cat. If your elderly cat is ill, has limited mobility or is impaired in any way then its not a good idea to add a second cat at all. The last thing your elderly cat needs is more stress. If your older cat is happy, comfortable and content, carefully think about whether the stress of having to adjust to life with another cat will really be of benefit or not.
If your adult resident cat is playful, healthy, sociable and energetic, then a kitten might be a good choice. Just be sure the kitten you choose is old enough to go through the introduction and isnt put in a dangerous situation.
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How Are Spaying And Neutering Different
When we talk about getting a cat ‘fixed’ what does that actually mean?
When we fix female cats it’s called spaying. Spaying means that the vet surgically removes the cat’s uterus and ovaries, or sometimes just the ovaries, so that your cat is unable to have kittens.
Male cats are neutered or castrated when we get them fixed. This means that the vet surgically removes the cat’s testes so that your cat is no longer able to father kittens.
Is There An Optimal Age For Cat Spay Or Neuter
Philip A. Bushby
DVM, MS, DACVS
Dr. Bushby, a 1972 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, is a board-certified surgeon who has served on the MSU faculty for 42 years. He established the MSU CVM shelter program and is a frequent speaker on efficient spay/neuter techniques. He was a member of the organizing committee for the shelter medicine specialty board, received the ASPCA Henry Berg Award in 2008, the AVMA Animal Welfare Award in 2012, and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians Meritorious Service Award in 2015.
Over the past several decades, the recommended age for spay or neuter of cats has changed. At one time, the recommended age for spay was after the female cat had a litter, then it changed to after the first heat cycle, and eventually the veterinary profession settled on 6 months of age or older. Given that cats reach sexual maturity at about 5 months of age, more and more people are advocating lowering the spay/neuter age to 4 to 5 months and support early spay/neuter in animal shelters. All of these varied recommendations lead one to question: is there an optimal age at which cats should be spayed/neutered?
- Eliminates reproductive emergencies such as pyometra and dystocia
- Prevents unintended pregnancies
- Potentially decreases behavioral problems linked with cat relinquishment
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What If I Think My Cat Is Already Pregnant
Most cats dont display physical symptoms until two or three weeks into a pregnancy. If you suspect a pregnancy, get in touch with your vet as soon as possible. Some vets neuter female cats while theyre pregnant, ending the pregnancy and preventing future pregnancies at the same time. To find out more, ask your vet about their policies regarding spaying.
Timing The Spay Surgery
If your cat is in heat and you decided to wait to spay her, then it’s important to plan ahead. Remember that cats will continue to go into heat until they mate. This means a new heat cycle could begin just days to weeks after the last one ends. Finding the right window can be tough. Your vet may not be able to accommodate a last-minute surgery. Ask your vet about the best time to schedule the spay. If you can is showing signs of heat a day or two before the scheduled surgery, be sure to let your vet know as soon as possible.
Spaying And Neutering. Cornell University College Of Veterinary Medicine, 2020
Little, Susan E. Female Reproduction. The Cat, 2012, pp. 1195-1227. Elsevier, doi:10.1016/b978-1-4377-0660-4.00040-5
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Your Cat Will Be Better Behaved
Spayed or neutered cats are better behaved. They will be less likely to roam, yowl, wail, bite, display aggressive behavior, or spray or mark their territory. Intact males will do just about anything they can to find mates, including escaping from your home, which puts them at risk of injury or fights with other males. Roaming can also expose your cat to dangerous diseases, including feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. Spaying or neutering can help improve your cat’s mood. Unaltered pets become stressed when in heat, which can last several months out of the year. Spaying or neutering will help relieve stress and will leave you with a content pet. You’ll help curb undesirable behaviors without interfering with your furry companion’s unique personality.
When Is The Best Time To Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
Christina is a copywriter and a loving cat mom to an adorable Bombay named Zetta.
- Christina Rasmussen
- The 13 Best Cats for Kids
Getting a new feline friend is exciting with so much to check off your checklist. To make sure they live a long and happy life, you want to make sure your kitty is as healthy as can be. If youre welcoming a new cat into your home, you might be wondering whether or not its time to spay/neuter them.
While both are common procedures, there are a number of misconceptions about them. In this article, well walk you through the benefits of spay/neuter surgery, the best time to do it, and how to get started.
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