Spaying refers to surgically altering a female cat’s reproductive cycle by removing her uterus and ovaries, 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 spaying female cats.
Reasons To Spay your Cat
- When a cat enters her heat cycle she is very annoying, loud, and may act in a way some owners find annoying. Spaying ends the heat cycle.
- Spayed cats tend to wander less.
- Reduces chances of cat developing mammary cancer, especially if spayed before their first heat cycle.
- Prevents a common uterine infection, called pyrometra.
- Prevents many cancers, such as uterine, and ovarian cancer, since these parts are removed.
- 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 lower if a cat is spayed.
- Spayed cats have longer lifespans.
- No risk of complications during pregnancy, or delivery, such as a costly Caesarian section.
- In some areas, pregnant cats are sought after for the purposes of sale for euthanasia to be used for veterinary students for dissection.
- The cat will not contribute to the large number of unwanted kittens.
Reasons Not To Spay your Cat
- There is a 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.
All in all the benefits and reasons for spaying a female cat outweigh the reasons against it. People do not realize the contributions one cat can make to the population. In one year an unspayed female may have two litters of an average of four or five kittens each. 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 to some thirty, or more, cats.
Every kitten born which finds a home, takes a home away from another kitten, who will not be so lucky.
If a person has a male and female cat, and can only afford to fix one of them, it is 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, knowing that this can be difficult. Ultimately the number one thing a pet owner can do is be responsible.
The Humane Society of the USA reports euthanizing 4 million animals per year, mostly cats. This number could be greatly reduced if more people would spay their cat.