Hearing the words “spay” or “neuter” can be quite daunting. For some, it’s because they believe it’s an unsafe and unnecessary procedure that can put their cat in a risky situation, while for others, it simply costs more than they’re willing to pay. But, unless your veterinarian has told you that your cat is too ill to survive the necessary anesthesia before going under the knife, spaying and neutering will actually benefit your cat in many ways.
By spaying and neutering your cat, you’ll help control the cat population. The rise in the number of homeless and unwanted cats often results to millions of healthy cats being euthanized each year just because there are not enough homes to go around. Spaying and neutering your cat also has many medical and behavioral benefits that will help them live happier and longer.
BEHAVIORAL BENEFITS OF SPAYING AND NEUTERING:
- Female cats won’t go into heat
Spayed female cats will no longer go into heat, meaning they won’t look for mates anymore. Depending on their cycle, un-spayed female cats can go into heat for four to five days every three weeks during mating season. This means they will yowl in the middle of the night and urinate all over the house to spread their scent in an effort to attract male cats.
- Male cats won’t have the urge to escape and find a mate
Fixed males will be less likely to wander away from home. An intact male cat will have a very strong urge to find a mate and will do just about anything to escape from the house to find the love of their life. As romantic as that sounds, a free roaming cat is at risk of being hit by a car, getting into fights and possibly even contracting a contagious disease from other outdoor animals.
- A neutered male cat will be better behaved
Neutered male cats will be more focused on their human families than finding the perfect wife. It may sound a little selfish, but it’s actually not. Neutered male cats will no longer experience the stress that comes with the urge to mate, making them a lot more physiologically stable and less moody. They will also be less likely to mark their territory by spraying foul smelling urine around the house and will generally be less aggressive.
MEDICAL BENEFITS OF SPAYING AND NEUTERING:
- Spayed female cats live longer, healthier lives
Spayed female cats will not be able to develop uterine cancer and will be less prone to urinary tract infections. In addition, their risk for breast cancer and tumors, which are malignant in ninety percent of cats, will automatically be reduced by twenty-five percent. The most ideal time to get female cats spayed is before they reach their sexual maturity or before their first heat.
- Neutered male cats live longer, are much healthier and are less aggressive
Neutered male cats will not be able to develop testicular cancer and live forty percent longer than their un-neutered counterparts. Un-neutered cats may also become more aggressive towards other cats, making them more likely to contract feline diseases that can be transmitted from bite wounds, such as FIV or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, which currently has no known cure.
Plus, spaying or neutering your cat costs far less than the cost of caring for an entire litter.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
- Spaying or neutering will help keep your cat’s hormone levels stable, and therefore, help reduce behavioral issues caused by hormonal imbalances. But, it’s not a quick fix for all behavioral problems and will not do much in preventing your cat from continuing less than favorable habits—this is something you have to train them to stop doing.
- Spaying and neutering will not cause your pet to become overweight—overfeeding and lack of exercise will.
- Kittens that are about 8 weeks old are generally safe to be spayed or neutered.
- It’s best to schedule the surgery before your cat reaches five months of age or before they go into their first heat.
If you’re considering getting your cat spayed or neutered, talk to your veterinarian to determine the best time to do the surgery. They’ll also be able to tell if your cat is strong enough to go through with the surgery or not and answer any questions you might have about either procedures.
Once your cat is checked and is confirmed to be healthy enough for the surgery, your veterinary clinic will guide you through all the pre-surgical and post-operative instructions that you will need to follow to ensure a successful healing process for your cat.