Female Cats – the Benefits of Spaying
Keeping Her Safe: When an un-spayed female cat comes into season, she will be pursued by un-neutered males from a wide area. Often, female cats in season are chased far from home by the males and end up lost, pregnant, and living rough. This is how feral cat colonies are formed. They struggle to survive, often hungry, and frequently becoming sick or injured. Every year, in ‘kitten season’ (April – October), shelters take in pregnant females, who have clearly been owned at some time. Keep your cat safe – have her spayed.
Keeping Her Healthy: Many stray, un-neutered males carry viruses such as FeLV (feline leukaemia) which can be passed on to female cats during mating. Un-spayed females are also more at risk of developing cystic ovaries and the potentially fatal pyometra. Keep her healthy – have her spayed.
The ‘one litter’ Myth: It’s just a myth that a female cat should be allowed to have one litter. Cats don’t want or choose to have babies in the same way that people do. It’s only her hormones which urge her to mate; she is not even aware it will result in kittens! Spaying your female cat will not make her feel like she’s ‘missed out’; in fact she will have a happier life, not being pestered by un-neutered males. Give your cat a happier life – have her spayed.
Helping the Wider Cat Population: If you allow your female cat to have a litter, and manage to find homes for the kittens, they have then used up homes that rescued kittens could have had. Some kittens wait many months in shelters for a home. Spaying your female cat helps to keep the wider cat population in balance, ensuring that more cats and kittens have a home. Help homeless cats – have her spayed.
Indoor Cats: Even if your cat stays indoors, it is kinder to neuter her, as she will still come into season, which is frustrating for her and for you. She may try to escape, and will begin ‘calling’ loudly for mates. Having her spayed at four months will stop her coming into season.
When to neuter? Kittens should be neutered at 4 – 6 months (16 weeks), as recommended above, but can be neutered at any age thereafter. To prevent unwanted litters, your kitten should be kept indoors until she is spayed.
Male Cats – the Benefits of Neutering
Keeping him Safe: When an un-neutered male reaches sexual maturity (from 4 months), he will feel the urge to wander off to find females, risking his life crossing busy roads. Those that roam too far and get lost, will join the UK’s estimated two and a half million strays living on the streets or in feral colonies, and face a very bleak future. Having your male cat ‘snipped’ means he will be less likely to wander off. Keep him safe – have him neutered.
Keeping him Healthy: Un-neutered male cats are very aggressive towards each other, and will get into fierce battles over territory and females. Their fights result in horrific bite injuries and viral infections. Protecting your cat from the urge to fight will also guard against preventable vet bills. Keep him healthy – have him neutered.
A pee-free Home: An un-neutered male cat is likely to spray (urine) in your house to mark his territory. The smell of un-neutered cat’s pee in your house – even a small amount – is very smelly and unpleasant. Keep your home pee-free – have him neutered.
Indoor Cats: If your male cat is kept indoors, neutering is still the best option. Neutering will prevent him from become sexually frustrated and continually trying to escape, and will also save you from the smelly problem of urine-spraying.
When to neuter? Male kittens should be neutered at 4 months (16 weeks), as recommended above, but can be neutered at any age thereafter. Neutering will protect your cat. It’s also helps reduce the stray cat population, and lower instances of fight-injuries, and the spread of viruses such as FIV and Feline Leukaemia.
REASONS TO NEUTER YOUR CAT? So here are the main important points as to why you should neuter your cat:
1. The most important reason is simply that there are too many unwanted litters of kittens. Millions of cats are euthanised each year. Of these animals, 90% would be acceptable for adoption into families. Unfortunately, there are simply not enough families looking for cats to give these animals a good home. A single unspayed female cat can produce three litters a year with an average of four to six kittens a litter!
2. Unwanted cats that are not euthanised or adopted are often abandoned and become feral. It is estimated that the feral cat population in UK is as large as the current number of cats that have homes. Feral cats can carry diseases as well as harm the populations of wild rodents and birds. As a result, a large feral cat population can have a damaging effect on the environment. By having your own cat spayed or neutered, you can ensure that your pet will not contribute to this growing problem. Also it is really no fun being a feral cat – life is short, sometimes cruel and you are always hungry! Believe me, it’s not wild and free for a feral cat who can suffer under the conditions they have to live in.
3. Unspayed female cats go into heat several times a year. By spaying your cat, you can prevent several unwanted behaviours including spraying and hours of yowling and you will not have to confine your cat for several weeks out of the year.
4. Male cats that have not been neutered are also more difficult to care for. Sexually mature male cats often feel a need to mark their territory. Also the mating instincts in unneutered cats cannot be curbed or controlled and often these male cats will wander off for days at a time in search of a female that is in heat. Sometimes when male cats wander they get lost and do not come home. By neutering your cat, you can prevent this. Often full toms wander just a bit too far and cross too many roads to become just another road traffic casualty. If they are not killed outright by a car then they may have wandered so far from home that you are unlikely to find them to do something about their injuries.
5. It is much better for your cat’s health to be spayed or neutered. For example, female cats that are spayed before their first heat will have a much reduced chance of mammary cancer and will be unable to develop pyometra which is a serious uterine condition, both of which are main causes of death in cats. Also an unwanted pregnancy in an already ill or aging cat can be fatal. Male cats who have been neutered have less chance of being injured in fights over females or of developing prostrate problems.
6. Spayed or neutered cats are often more friendly and affectionate with their owners as they are not so much driven by their instincts. And, as has already been mentioned, there are fewer unwanted behaviours for their owners to contend with. It’s much easier to have a good relationship with your cat when you don’t have to worry about all of the unfortunate situations that come up after your pet has reached sexual maturity.
7. Getting your cat spayed or neutered early will save you money in the long run. It can save you money by eliminating the need to replace furniture that has been damaged by a female cat in heat or a male cat marking its territory. Since the procedure is fairly cheap, it may save you a lot of money in future by preventing health problems that might otherwise occur in your pet. Very young female cats who fall pregnant are more likely to be at risk of having to undergo a caesarean, the cost of which can set you back several hundred pounds with no guarantee that mum or the kittens will survive.