Spaying refers to surgically altering a female cats reproductive cycle, making her unable to have kittens. It is commonly done around six months of age, but may be done earlier or later, depending on a veterinarians preferences. Even elderly cats can be spayed.
Neutering refers to the removal of the testicles in a male cat, to end their reproductive ability. It is commonly done to male cats, between six and ten months of age, but can be done to older animals as well.
This article is written in reference to neutering male cats.
Reasons to Neuter Your Cat
- Neutering reduces, or stops, a cats unwanted spraying, or marking of territory with their urine.
- Neutered cats tend to wander less.
- Removes the chance of the cat developing testicular cancer.
- Reduces the chances of prostate cancer.
- Reduces aggressive behavior, towards people, and other cats.
- May result in a friendlier, less aloof, cat.
- A cat who is not breeding, will not catch any feline sexually transmitted diseases.
- In some areas that require licensing of cats, the fees are often lower if a cat is neutered.
- Neutered cats have longer lifespans.
- Reduces the tendency for a male cat to get into fights, these fights often result in infections or spreading disease.
- The cat will not contribute to the large number of unwanted kittens.
- Neutered cats are far more likely to find homes if for some reason you have to give it up, than would an unfixed male.
Reasons Not to Neuter Your Cat
- There is a very small risk of complication, or death during surgery, usually due to reaction to the anesthetic. Veterinarians can test cats for allergies prior to surgery.
- A purebred, registered cat, who is an excellent example of the breed, and has attended shows to prove such, may be a good cat for breeding purposes. If you are intent on breeding your cat, he should definitely attend cat shows to prove his quality.
Some people claim that neutering a cat makes it fat or lazy. In fact cats settle down more at about the same age they get fixed at, so other than to eliminate wandering, neutering has not make the cat lazy. You must remember cats naturally sleep many hours of the day. As far as a cat getting fat, this is generally more the result of poor food, one with lots of fillers, or gravies, rather than from the neutering.
All in all the benefits and reasons for neutering a male cat outweigh the reasons against it. People do not realize the contributions one cat can make to the population. In one year an intact male may father many litters with an average of four or five kittens each. If there are enough females around, he could father hundreds of kittens in a year. If all of these kittens find homes, and only half get spayed, then in the second year, it is possible that the cat population, has increased by several hundred cats. One must remember that every kitten born which finds a home, takes a home away from another kitten, who will not be so lucky. In the United States alone, the number of cats euthanized every year numbers in the millions.
If a person has a male and female cat, and can only afford to fix one of them, is is far more important that they spay the female. If a person cannot afford to get a pet altered, they should not get a pet or can select to start with a cat that was already fixed, or keep their pet indoors only, but remember this can be difficult. Ultimately the number one thing a pet owner can do is be responsible, yes, your cat is undoubtedly wonderful, handsome beyond a doubt, and would have cute kittens, but there are already millions of cute kittens waiting for homes.