and Neuter: The Best Thing You Can Do For Cats!
By Anne Moss
number one problem of cats and dogs in the western world is that
of overpopulation. The Humane Society of the United States estimates
that 8-10 million dogs and cats are brought into shelters throughout
the country each and every year. About half of these are euthanized
in shelters for lack of good homes.
these may actually be the lucky ones. Many more cats and dogs die
on the streets every year with no food, medical care, or human attention.
do these pets come from? They come from homes where dogs and cats
were allowed to breed indiscriminately. As pet owners it is our
responsibility to try and reduce the scale of this tragedy. The
way to do this is simple: spay/neuter our cats and dogs
and urge our friends and acquaintances to do the same .
are Spaying and Neutering
and neutering cats are probably the most common procedures in any
cat clinic. Both are done while the cat is under general anesthesia.
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.
a female cat is an abdominal surgery, which entails the removal
of the cat's uterus and ovaries.
Benefits of Spaying a Female
your female cat will prevent unwanted litters. That is the fundamental
issue, because if your cat gives birth, you are the one faced with
the task of finding new homes for the kittens.
are some added benefits to spaying your female cat:
tumors and infections of the ovaries and uterus.
decrease the risk for mammary cancer.
Spaying a cat before she goes into her first heat is best, but
even spaying at a later age will dramatically decrease the risk
of mammary cancer.
the hassle of a female cat in heat.
Cats in heat can be very vocal and will attract a great many male
cats. If you think you can wait out the heat cycle, you're in
for a surprise. If the cat does not mate, she will keep going
into heat every few weeks.
Benefits of Neutering a Male
benefits of spaying a male are so significant, that it is possible
to say that unaltered male cats cannot make good house pets. If
you want to keep a male cat as a pet you simply must neuter him.
are some reasons, other than helping to fight the cat overpopulation
crisis, which may convince you to neuter your male cat:
Tomcats (unaltered males) spray foul-smelling urine around their
territory. Neutering a male cat before he reaches sexual maturity,
almost always prevents this behavior pattern from emerging. If
a tomcat had already taken to spraying, neutering is still likely
to stop or at least significantly reduce the habit. The urine
of a neutered cat is also less smelly.
Tomcats tend to roam long distances. This means they are often
away from home, sometimes for days on end. Roaming puts these
cats in danger, as they are more likely to be hit by a car, poisoned,
or be hurt by dogs and people.
injuries and disease.
Tomcats tend to get into catfights over females and territory.
This means they may get injured and are more likely to be infected
with disease. By the way, this also means that it is virtually
impossible to keep two or more unaltered male cats together.
Questions About Spaying And Neutering
are some common questions about spaying and neutering:
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 (AVMA) 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 the sexual maturity (usually before the age of 5-6 months).
my cat get fat and lazy?
Numerous studies have show 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 (the same applies to male cats!). Cats
become fat if they eat too much and don't get enough exercise, not
because of sterilization. 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.
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!
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.
there any risks involved?
As with any operation, there are some medical risks involved. However,
these pale in comparison to the medical and behavioral advantages
of spaying and neutering cats! As stated earlier, you will in effect
be extending your cat's lifespan and improving her or his quality
of life. Also, please bear in mind that these are among the most
common operations performed by veterinarians.
much does it cost?
The price of neutering and spaying may change according to where
you live and the veterinary clinic you go to. Vets today recognize
the importance of spaying and neutering cats as a means to fighting
the cat overpopulation crisis. Many vets may offer significant discounts
on these operations if financial difficulties are evident or if
you're treating several cats (your own or strays and feral cats).
you feel that financial difficulties are a problem, please contact
the Humane or Animal Welfare Society in your country. In the United
States, call SpayUSA's toll free number - 1-800-248-SPAY - for information on the nearest low cost spay and neuter
that spaying and neutering cats is always cheaper than caring for
generations of kittens!
really love kittens and I'm sure I'll find good homes for all of
them - why can't I let my cat breed?
of cats are euthanized each year in the United States alone. In
many countries, stray and feral cats are simply poisoned by state
and local authorities. The fact is that there are simply not enough
good homes for the numbers of cats born each year.
good homes for cats and kittens is difficult. Giving them away from
a cardboard box in your supermarket's parking lot is not considered
finding a good home! You need to make sure that the adopters are
willing to make the commitment to care for a cat for the next twenty
what if those people think like you and let their cats have kittens?
Next year there will be dozens of kittens looking for homes! Do
you really think you can find good homes for all of them?
are literally millions of wonderful cats and kittens waiting to
be adopted at shelters all over the country. If you're really good
at finding homes for kittens, why not start with some of those?
If you know anyone who's looking for a cat - great! Refer them to
your local shelter and help save a cat's life!
have a purebred cat. Surely I can breed her and find good homes
for the kittens?
read the answer to the previous question. The Humane Society of
the United States estimates that one of four cats in the shelters
is a purebred cat. Unfortunately, purebred cats are just as much
a part of the cat overpopulation problem as mixed-breed cats.
cats can be very complicated and requires professional knowledge
about the breed and its genetics. Don't become a backyard breeder
just because you own a purebred cat. You could end up with a bunch
of sick kittens with congenital defects. As a matter of fact, unless
the breeder who sold you the cat specifically told you otherwise,
your purebred cat is probably not suitable for breeding programs
and was sold to you as a pet.
you are truly interested in breeding cats, start by reading on the
subject, visiting cat shows, and discussing the technicalities and
problems with as many breeders as you can. Don't start by breeding
your cat without the required knowledge and expertise.
about feral cats?
question! Strays and feral cats are just as prolific as any house
cat. For the cat's life quality as well as for preventing future
generations of feral cats, spay and neuter any stray and feral cats
that you can. You can get help and advice about Trap-Neuter-Release
programs from these organizations:
these web sites for lots of additional information about the benefits
of spaying and neutering cats.
above article is written by an independent authors and may not represent
the views of The Refined Feline Cat
Tree. Reproduction is not allowed without consent.