Reasons Why You Should Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
Youre doing more than helping to control the pet population
Youve probably heard people, especially animal rescuers and shelter workers, talk about the importance of spaying your female cat or neutering your male cat. But is it really that necessary? And would you be doing more harm to your cat by putting him or her through this surgery?
The truth is that spaying and neutering is an important component not only of population control but also of your pets overall health. These surgeries are so commonplace and safe that there is hardly any need to worry about side effects. Continue reading to learn some of the best reasons why you should make sure every member of your feline family is spayed or neutered at a young age.
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Your Female Cat Wont Go Into Heat and Will Be Healthier
Female cats who are intact will typically go into heat every three weeks, with the heat cycle lasting an average of four to five days, once the breeding season hits. During this time, your female will yowl to get attention and may even urinate all over the house in an attempt to find and secure a mate.
In addition to never having to deal with an annoying heat cycle from your female cat, your spayed feline will also be healthier, as shell be far less susceptible to breast cancer and will have no risk of uterine complications . To get the most protection from these disorders, have your pet spayed before her first heat.
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Spaying Your Female Pet Will Help Her Live Longer
Spaying your kitten when she is 3 to 6 months old will virtually eliminate the risk that she will develop mammary cancer when she’s older. Additionally, spaying your kitten prevents many different infections and cancers that occur in the uterus and ovaries.
A study of 460,000 cats and 2.2 million dogs found that spayed cats live 39% longer and spayed dogs live 23% longer than their unspayed counterparts. Like cats, spayed dogs are less likely to develop certain cancers, as well as pyometra, a potentially fatal uterine infection.
What Happens If You Dont Neuter Your Cat
Millions of cats are born in the U.S. every year, and many of those kittens are not spayed or neutered. This can lead to several health problems for the cats, as well as the communities they live in. Unneutered cats can develop roaming behaviors, and will sometimes leave their homes in search of mates.
This phenomenon is called feline stray while the cats are typically found by animal control, it usually costs money and resources for the community to capture, house, and care for the animals. The best way to avoid this is to get your cat neutered as early as possible.
If youre a pet owner, you know that cats are just as much a part of the family as anyone else. Thats why, if you plan to have your cat for a long time, you should definitely consider spaying or neutering your cat.
Spaying and neutering are routine surgical procedures done by veterinarians to prevent pets from reproducing, and since the majority of pet owners choose to spay and neuter their pets, adoption agencies and shelters wont let you adopt until you do.
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What Are The Health Effects Of Spaying Or Neutering A Cat
Of course, while spaying or neutering procedures are routine and considered safe, risk cannot be totally eliminated from every surgical or medical procedure. For example, cats who have been spayed or neutered do tend to gain weight if their diets are not adjusted accordingly. Neutered male cats are also at increased risk for developing urinary blockages.
The benefits of neutering or spaying almost always outweigh the risks. However, you should always ask your vet which choices are best for your pet.
What Are Spaying And Neutering
Spaying and neutering cats are probably the most common procedures in any cat clinic. Both are done while the cat is under general anesthesia.
Neutering a male cat involves making small incisions in the scrotum and removing the testes. No sutures are made and the scrotal sacs are usually covered with antibiotics and left to heal.
Spaying a female cat is an abdominal surgery, which entails the removal of the cat’s uterus and ovaries.
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When Should You Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
Kittens as young as eight weeks old can be spayed or neutered safely. Cats altered before six months of age will have a lower risk of developing behavioral or health problems, as compared to those that undergo these procedures later in life. Spaying and neutering early in life may even prevent problem behaviors before they develop. If an unaltered cat is displaying problem behaviors, it’s never too late to spay or neuter, regardless of age.
Whens The Best Time To Have My Kitten Neutered
Ideally, you should have your kitten neutered around puberty in male cats, this is between six to twelve months old. Male cats tend to reach sexual maturity, and therefore begin looking for a mate, between seven and twelve months old. Neutering can be done successfully from as young as three months. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the best time for your kitten.
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Benefits Of Spaying Your Female Cat
Your tiny little kitten may actually be mature enough to have kittens of her own before she is even six months old. By spaying your female cat before she is mature enough to have kittens, you help to reduce the population of unwanted cats in your neighborhood.
Not only that, female cats can have as many as four litters a year. When we consider that the average litter can range in size from two kittens to as many as ten kittens, that is a staggering number of unwanted cats.
Spaying your kitten before she has her first heat can help to reduce her risk of pyometra as well as mammary tumors. It’s also important to note that female cats carrying infectious diseases can pass serious conditions on to their kittens who go on to spread the disease even further. Pregnancy and the birth process can be risky for young cats, and costly to their owners.
It is estimated that cats in the USA kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds each year. Keeping the numbers of homeless cats to a minimum can help to save the lives of countless birds and other wildlife.
Deter Nuisance Behaviors
Why You Should Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
The decision to spay or neuter your cat will be one of the biggest decisions you make regarding your cats health and welfare as well as the welfare of other cats. The pet overpopulation problem is devastatingly serious and animals are being put to death every day because shelters simply dont have the room. Healthy animals are put to death because people dont act responsibly. According to the ASPCA, seven out of ten cats are put to death simply because theres no one to adopt them.
Some people may feel as long as they keep their cats indoors theres no risk to having them remain intact. Pet overpopulation isnt the only reason to spay or neuter your cat. There are health concerns and behavioral implications as well.
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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.
When To Neuter A Cat
Most veterinarians say that the best age to neuter a kitten is between three and six months of age. In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend you neuter your kitten sooner or later depending on your cats situation.
Neutering your cat when he is still a kitten will help you take full advantage of the health and behavioral benefits of neutering.
Older cats may not see the same level of behavioral benefits. However, neutering will still reduce the incidence of testicular tumors , in addition to eliminating your cats ability to reproduce.
Neutering may also be medically necessary if your cats testicles become infected or injured.
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What Does Neutering Your Cat Do
There are several advantages to neutering your cat. Perhaps the biggest incentive for owners is the reduced risk of health problems like testicular cancer.
If performed when cats are young, neutering can also alter behavior, making cats less aggressive and decreasing the likelihood of cat bite abscesses or contracting Feline Immunodeficiency Virus from cat fights.
Neutering also prevents your male cat from breeding and adding to the cat population. Unlike female cats, male cats do not need to go through heat cycles in order to breed.
In most cases, neutering is the responsible decision, as the number of feral cats and cats in shelters is very high.
What Other Complications Can There Be With Neutering
Male cats are at a high risk of becoming obese after theyve been neutered, and this can lead to further, long-term health problems. This can include joint disease, diabetes and urinary problems. If you decide to have your kitten neutered, keep a close eye on their calorie intake and engage them with playful activities to help manage their weight. Neutering can be a beneficial procedure for both your cat and your home environment. For more information, talk to your veterinarian who will be able to help you decide whether its right for your cat.
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Is It Wrong To Fix A Cat
Your cat is more likely to be healthy if you spaying it. Cats that are neutered tend to have less health problems than cats that are not neutered. There is a procedure to remove the uterus and ovaries. Ovarian cysts, uterine infections, and cancer of the reproductive tract are no longer a concern if these organs are not present.
Spay And Neuter Basics
Whether you are spaying your female or neutering your male cat, the sterilization process is done under general anesthesia and intubation. Your veterinarian will also monitor your cats vitals during the procedure.
Sterilization surgery is much quicker for male cats. Spaying involves the vet making an incision in the abdomen and completely removing the ovaries and uterus. They then close the incision with subcutaneous sutures and then glue, staples or sutures externally. During the neutering process, the vet will make an incision in the scrotum and remove the testicles. Unlike female surgery, the incision is not as invasive and heals faster.
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Neuter Home Recovery Kit
There are things you can do to prepare for your cats neuter, like creating a neuter home recovery kit. You will need:
A quiet room with clean, dry bedding
Litter box with the right kind of litter
Containing cats is notoriously tricky. So if possible, confine your cat to a room while he recovers from his neuter. This allows you to keep a close eye on him for signs of complications, and also helps ensure that he doesnt make a break for the outdoors. Provide him with clean, dry bedding and plenty of food and water.
Veterinarians recommend avoiding granular, clay, or clumping litter until the scrotal incisions have healedusually several days. Remember to spend some time with him throughout the day so he doesnt get lonely.
Difference Between Spaying And Neutering
The primary difference between spaying and neutering is in the gender of the cat. Female cats are spayed, and male cats are neutered or castrated.
- Neutering/Castration: This procedure is much simpler than spaying the female. Two small incisions are made into the scrotum, where the testicles are removed. This surgery is typically done under a light anesthetic and doesnt usually need stitches.
- Spaying: Spaying a female cat is a more complex procedure that usually requires a full general anesthetic, including a breathing tube . A small incision is made in the abdomens midline, where the ovaries and uterus are removed. The incision is always sutured up.
Both surgeries require preparation on the owners part beforehand and aftercare. And the outcome for both is complete sterilization, so the females wont be capable of becoming pregnant, and the males wont be able to impregnate any females.
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Why Do I Need To Spay Or Neuter My Cat
What are the benefits of neutering your male cat?
- Neutered cats are more affectionate focus more of their attention on their human families. Un-neutered cats pee and spray when a female in heat is near.
- Intact males mark with urine if you neuter your cat, in most cases they will stop spraying outside the litter box.
- Intact males are aggressive if neutered they become more loving and less aggressive.
What are the benefits of spaying your female cat?
- Felines go into heat every 4-5 days during breeding season.
- They yowl loudly when in heat will attract all the unneutered males in the neighborhood who will spray around your house.
- They urinate frequently when in heat.
- They will stop urinating outside the box if you spay, unless other factors such as litter box placement in an undesirable place come into play.
- Myth: female cats do NOT get fat just because of being spayed. They get fat when they eat too much food.
Unwanted cats and kittens
Should I Let My Cat Have A Litter Of Kittens First
Honestly? No. There are no proven health benefits to letting your cat have a litter of kittens before getting her neutered. It just means youll have a lot of kittens on your hands you need to find loving homes for! There are already so many cats and kittens in rehoming centres across the UK, so its best to get your cat neutered.
If you have more questions about neutering, its best to talk to your vet for advice. We also have a handy page of common neutering myths so you can get the facts about neutering.
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Neutered Pets Are Better Behaved
Once your dog or cat has been neutered, they are less likely to behave aggressively. They are also less likely to engage in territory-marking behavior such as spraying urine in your house. Finally, they will be less likely to try to mount everything they come into contact with after they’ve been neutered.
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.
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What If I Dont Spay Or Neuter My Cat
Some people choose not to neuter their cats. If you decide to keep your cat intact, bear the following points in mind:
- Unneutered cats roam away from home more often, so theyre at increased risk of being hurt in a traffic accident if you let your cat outdoors.
- Male unneutered cats are more aggressive than their neutered counterparts.
- Female cats go into season once every three months. While in season, theyre noisier, more anxious and far more demanding.
- Unspayed female cats have up to three litters per year, with as many as six kittens in each litter and that can get expensive.
- Many unspayed female cats develop mammary cancers by the time theyre six or seven years old. If you decide to leave your female cat intact, check her regularly for lumps and speak to your vet if youre concerned.
Common Questions About Spaying And Neutering
At what age should I have my cat spayed/neutered?
The rule is to spay/neuter before your cat reaches sexual maturity. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association now supports early spay and neuter for cats as early as 8-16 weeks of age. Consult your vet concerning your cat, but remember to have the cat altered before sexual maturity .
Will my cat get fat and lazy?
Numerous studies have shown that spaying and neutering are not a cause of weight gain in cats! You can and should spay your cat without allowing her to gain weight . Cats become fat if they eat too much and don’t get enough exercise, not because of sterilization. Read more about overweight cats. Your cat is not likely to get lazy or sedate either. The cat’s personality is determined by its genetic make-up and by external stimuli, not by its hormone glands.
I want to have a large cat – Will neutering stop my kitten’s growth?
No. Some studies indicate that early spaying/neutering actually makes the cats larger – not fat but rather taller and longer!Will my cat be deprived of manliness/the experience of motherhood?
Please don’t make the mistake of thinking about your cat in terms of human experience. Cats are not bothered by our social concepts of gender and gender-specific experiences.
Are there any risks involved?
How much does it cost?
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What about feral cats?
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