If you have recently brought home a new kitten or adult cat, you may be considering whether or not to have them spayed or neutered. Our vets at Rosemarie Pet Hospital can explain the many benefits of this procedure for both your cat and the larger community.
Should you get your cat fixed?
Animal shelters throughout Stockton are filled with homeless cats and kittens. According to one estimate from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), around 3.2 million cats enter US animal shelters annually.
Not only will getting your new kitten fixed help to reduce the number of homeless cats in your area significantly, but it can also reduce your cat's risk of disease and help to curb many undesirable cat behaviors.
When should you get your cat fixed?
Getting your kittens spayed or neutered at four months of age before they reach sexual maturity is the most effective way of protecting them from various health risks. However, adult cats can also undergo the procedure. If you're uncertain about the right time to have your cat spayed or neutered, seek advice from your veterinarian, as they can guide you in making this decision.
How are spaying and neutering different?
What does the term "getting a cat fixed" actually mean?
When female cats are fixed, it is referred to as spaying. This procedure involves the surgical removal of the cat's uterus and ovaries, or sometimes just the ovaries, which makes it impossible for the cat to have offspring.
Male cats are neutered or castrated when we get them fixed. This means that the vet surgically removes the cat's testes so that your cat can no longer father kittens.
Benefits of Spaying Your Female Cat
Controlling the number of unwanted cats in your area
Your beautiful new kitten may be able to have kittens of her own before she is even six months old. Furthermore, female cats can have up to four litters a year, and each litter can be made up of as many as 10 kittens! That means your cat could have as many as 40 kittens every year! That is a lot of unwanted cats.
Reduce your cat's risk of disease
Having your kitten spayed before she has her first heat cycle can reduce your cat's risk of developing breast cancer later in life and eliminate the possibility of your cat developing pyometra (a potentially fatal infection of the womb).
Protect wildlife in your neighborhood
In the USA, it is estimated that cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds annually. By reducing the population of homeless cats, you are also helping to protect birds and other small animals.
Deter unwanted behaviors
If you spay your female cat, it can prevent male cats from coming into your backyard. When female cats are not spayed, they tend to attract male cats from the neighborhood. Unneutered male cats hanging around your home and garden can be troublesome as they often spray, fight, and make loud noises.
Benefits of Neutering Your Male Cat
Reduced numbers of unwanted kittens
One unneutered male cat can make many female cats pregnant. Having your male cat neutered can play a significant role in helping to reduce the number of homeless cats in your neighborhood.
Reduced risk of many common health issues
Having your cat neutered can reduce their aggressive behavior, lower the chances of getting into fights with other cats, and decrease the risk of contracting FIV or FeLV. Additionally, neutering can prevent male cats from wandering and reduce their risk of getting hit by a vehicle.
It helps to reduce the incidence of spraying
Male cats that have not been neutered have a greater tendency to spray urine inside the home and try to escape outside more often than neutered males. If you choose to fix your male kitten while he is still young, it can help prevent these territorial and mating behaviors, including spraying.