Every year, many cat owners decide to get their cat spayed or neutered. This decision is made for several different reasons, all of which illustrate why it is such a good idea.
The many problems caused by unspayed or unneutered pets each year are part of what has prompted numerous humane societies to require that any adopted animals be promptly spayed or neutered as a condition of adoption. Many of the problems that are listed below would be alleviated if more people took the time to get their pets spayed or neutered.
With that kept in mind, here are the top seven reasons to have your cat spayed or neutered.
1. The most important reason is simply that there are too many unwanted litters of kittens. Millions of cats are euthanised each year. 90% of these animals would be acceptable for adoption into families, unfortunately, there simply are not enough families looking for cats to give these animals a good home. A single unspayed female cat can produce three litters per year, with an average of four to six kittens per litter.
2. Unwanted cats that are not euthanised or adopted are often abandoned and become feral. It is estimated that the feral cat population is as large as the current number of cats that have homes. Feral cats can carry diseases as well as harm the populations of wild rodents and birds. As a result, a large feral cat population can have a damaging effect on the environment. By having your own cat spayed or neutered, you can ensure that your pet will not contribute to the growing problem.
3. Unspayed female cats go into heat several times a year. By spaying your cat, you can prevent several unwanted behaviours, including spraying, hours of yowling, and you will not have to confine your cat for several weeks out of the year.
4. Male cats that have not been neutered are also more difficult to care for. Sexually mature male cats often feel a need to mark their territory. Also, the mating instincts in unneutered cats cannot be curbed or controlled, and often these male cats will wander off for days at a time in search of a female that is in heat. Sometimes when male cats wander they get lost and do not come home. By neutering your cat, you can prevent this.
5. It is better for your cat's health to be spayed or neutered. For example, female cats that are spayed before their first heat will have a reduced chance of mammary cancer, and will be unable to develop pyometra, which is a serious uterine condition that can cause death. Also, an unwanted pregnancy in an already ill or aging cat can be fatal. Male cats which have been neutered have less chance of being injured in fights over females, or of developing prostate problems
6. Spayed or neutered cats are often more friendly with their owners than they would usually be. Not only are the cats more friendly, but as has been mentioned before, there are fewer unwanted behaviours for their owners to contend with. It's much easier to have a good relationship with your cat when you don't have to worry about all of the unfortunate situations that come up after your pet has reached sexual maturity.
7. Getting your cat spayed or neutered will save you money in the long run. First, it can save you money by eliminating the need to replace furniture that has been damaged by a female cat in heat, or a male cat marking its territory. Next, since the procedure is fairly cheap, it may save you a lot of money by preventing health problems in your pets.
Something to remember: You should still get your cat spayed or neutered, even if you don't think that you can afford the procedure. Look around in your area for cheap or even free services. If you are on low income in the UK, you should be able to get vouchers to help towards most if not all the cost from the RSPCA, Cat Protections or the PDSA.Spaying or Neutering Is Good for Your Pet
Spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.
Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce the incidence of a number of health problems that can be very difficult or expensive to treat.
Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, particularly when your pet is spayed before her first estrous cycle.
Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease.Spaying or Neutering Is Good for You
Spaying and neutering makes pets better, more affectionate companions.
Neutering cats makes them less likely to spray and mark territory.
Spaying a dog or cat eliminates her heat cycle. Estrus lasts an average of six to 12 days, often twice a year, in dogs and an average of six to seven days, three or more times a year, in cats. Females in heat can cry incessantly, show nervous behavior, and attract unwanted male animals.
Unsterilized animals often exhibit more behavior and temperament problems than do those who have been spayed or neutered.
Spaying and neutering can make pets less likely to bite.
Neutering makes pets less likely to roam the neighborhood, run away, or get into fights.Spaying and Neutering Are Good for the Community
Communities spend millions of dollars to control unwanted animals.
Irresponsible breeding contributes to the problem of dog bites and attacks.
Animal shelters are overburdened with surplus animals.
Stray pets and homeless animals get into trash containers, defecate in public areas or on private lawns, and frighten or anger people who have no understanding of their misery or needs.
Some stray animals also scare away or kill birds and wildlife.
Myths and Facts About Spaying and Neutering
MYTH: My pet will get fat and lazy.
FACT: The truth is that most pets get fat and lazy because their owners feed them too much and don't give them enough exercise.
MYTH: It's better to have one litter first.
FACT: Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age. Check with your veterinarian about the appropriate time for these procedures.
MYTH: My children should experience the miracle of birth.
FACT: Even if children are able to see a pet give birth—which is unlikely, since it usually occurs at night and in seclusion—the lesson they will really learn is that animals can be created and discarded as it suits adults. Instead, it should be explained to children that the real miracle is life and that preventing the birth of some pets can save the lives of others.
MYTH: But my pet is a purebred.
FACT: So is at least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters around the country. There are just too many dogs and cats—mixed breed and purebred.
MYTH: I want my dog to be protective.
FACT: Spaying or neutering does not affect a dog's natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog's personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones.
MYTH: I don't want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.
FACT: Pets don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet's basic personality. He doesn't suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.
MYTH: But my dog (or cat) is so special, I want a puppy (or kitten) just like her.
FACT: A dog or cat may be a great pet, but that doesn't mean her offspring will be a carbon copy. Professional animal breeders who follow generations of bloodlines can't guarantee they will get just what they want out of a particular litter. A pet owner's chances are even slimmer. In fact, an entire litter of puppies or kittens might receive all of a pet's (and her mate's) worst characteristics.
MYTH: It's too expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.
FACT: The cost of spaying or neutering depends on the sex, size, and age of the pet, your veterinarian's fees, and a number of other variables. But whatever the actual price, spay or neuter surgery is a one-time cost—a relatively small cost when compared to all the benefits. It's a bargain compared to the cost of having a litter and ensuring the health of the mother and litter; two months of pregnancy and another two months until the litter is weaned can add up to significant veterinary bills and food costs if complications develop. Most importantly, it's a very small price to pay for the health of your pet and the prevention of the births of more unwanted pets.
MYTH: I'll find good homes for all the puppies and kittens.
FACT: You may find homes for all of your pet's litter. But each home you find means one less home for the dogs and cats in shelters who need good homes. Also, in less than one year's time, each of your pet's offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population. The problem of pet overpopulation is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.
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