Today our Thomasville vets explain why spaying or neutering your kitten or adult cat not only prevents unwanted litters but can help to curb many undesirable behaviors.
The Importance of Getting Your Cat Fixed
Every year approximately 3.2 million cats enter US animal shelters, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Spaying or neutering your cat or kitten is essential for helping to reduce the number of unwanted cats in Davidson County shelters.
Beyond reducing the number of unwanted cats in your neighborhood, spaying and neutering can also help to curb some undesirable cat behaviors, and help to reduce your cat's risk of developing a number of serious feline health conditions.
Getting Your Cat Fixed - Neuter or Spay
Getting a pet 'fixed' is a generic term that covers both the neutering of male pets and spaying of female pets.
Neutering Male Cats
When you have your male cat neutered the cat's testes are surgically removed. This surgery is sometimes called castration.
Removal of the testes prevents the production of sperm. Which means that, after your male cat has been 'fixed' he will no longer be able to father kittens.
Spaying Female Cats
When you have your female cat spayed, the uterus and ovaries, (or sometimes just the ovaries), are surgically removed.
Your female cat will no longer be able to have kittens after she has been 'fixed'.
Benefits of Neutering Your Male Cat
Neutering male cats is absolutely essential when it comes to population control. While male cats don't themselves have kittens, just one unneutered male cat in your neighborhood could father hundreds of kittens! To prevent the birth of unwanted kittens, neutering male cats is as important as spaying female cats.
By neutering your male cat you can help slow the spread of Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) which are frequently spread between cats during fights. Neutered males tend to fight less than unneutered males, which may also help to reduce the number of injuries from fighting. Your cat's risk of being injured by vehicles may also be reduced by neutering since neutered males tend to roam less and generally prefer to stay closer to home.
Deter Undesirable Behaviors
Unneutered males spray to mark their territory and often fight with other male cats. This behavior can be smelly, bothersome, and very noisy. Having your male kitten neutered young can help to prevent your cat from spraying inside your home, and generally reduce your male cat's level of aggression towards people and other cats. Neutering your male cat can also help to prevent him from roaming over large areas in search of unspayed females to mate with.
Benefits of Spaying Your Female Cat
Before your adorable little kitten is even six months old she may be mature enough to have kittens. Your cat could have as many as 4 litters a year, and an average litter can range in size from 2 to 10 kittens. This means that, in just one year your cat could produce as many as 40 kittens! That is a staggering number of unwanted cats. Help to reduce the number of unwanted cats in Davidson County by spaying your female kitten before she is mature enough to have kittens of her own.
You help to reduce your cat's risk of pyometra (infection of the womb) as well as mammary tumors by spaying your kitten before she has her first heat. Female cats carrying infectious diseases can pass serious conditions on to their kittens who go on to spread the disease even further. So, by spaying your female kitten while she is young you help to prevent the spread of serious feline diseases. Pregnancy and birthing can be difficult for cats. Cat owners should be aware that caring for a female cat through her pregnancy, and throughout the birth process can be costly.
According to recent estimates, cats in the USA kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds each year. By getting your cat fixed you help to save the lives of countless birds and other wildlife creatures.
Deter Nuisance Behaviors
If you do not spay your female cat she will go into heat frequently throughout the year, attracting male cats to your home and garden from across the neighborhood. Unneutered male cats can be problematic since these males have a tendency to caterwaul, spray, and fight. To keep uninvited male cats away from your home, be sure to spay your female cat.
When Should You Get Your Cat Fixed?
Kittens can be spayed or neutered as young as four months old. Adult cats can be also be spayed or neutered. That said, every pet is unique and your vet will be able to advise you on when you should get your cat spayed or neutered.