If you're welcoming a new kitty into your family, you might be wondering if getting them fixed is the best option for them. Here, our Concord vets explain why having your cat spayed or neutered is best for their health, and at what age you should have it done.
Should You Get Your Cat Fixed?
The short answer is yes, it is recommended to have your cats spayed or neutered. The issue of homelessness among cats and kittens is a significant concern in Concord and animal shelters are often overcrowded. According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), approximately 3.2 million cats enter animal shelters in the US each year.
By having your new kitten spayed or neutered, you not only contribute to reducing the population of homeless cats in your area but also lower the risk of diseases and mitigate unwanted behaviors commonly associated with cats.
When Should You Get Your Cat Fixed?
It's best for most cats to be spayed and/or neutered at four months old, or before they reach sexual maturity. Doing this offers the best protection against several health risks. Cats of any age can also be spayed or neutered if they are healthy. If you're unsure about when to get your cat fixed, just ask your vet, they can help you decide when to get your cat spayed or neutered.
How Are Spaying and Neutering Different?
There are differences when it comes to spaying and neutering your cat because they are spay and neutering are different procedures for different gendered cats.
When a female cat is fixed it's called spaying. Spaying means that the vet surgically removes the cat's uterus and ovaries, or sometimes just the ovaries so that your cat is unable to have kittens. Male cats are neutered or castrated when they are fixed. This means that the vet surgically removes the cat's testicles so that your cat is no longer able to father kittens.
Benefits of Spaying Your Female Cat
Controlling the Number of Homeless Cats
Your cat may be able to have kittens of her own before she is even six months old. Not only that, 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 kitten that need homes.
Reduce Risk of Diseases
When you have 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
Cats are considered threats to an ecosystem. In the USA it is estimated that cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds annually. Domesticated cats are also accredited with the extinction of at least 63 species. By reducing the population of homeless cats, you are also helping to protect birds and other small animals.
Deter Unwanted Behaviors
Spaying your female cat can help to keep male cats out of your backyard. When female cats are not spayed, they attract the attention of neighborhood male cats. Male cats that are not neutered can hang around your house and the garden can be problematic since these males tend to spray, fight and howl.
Benefits of Neutering Your Male Cat
Reduced Numbers of Unwanted Kittens
One male cat who is not neutered can make many female cats pregnant at the same time. 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 Health Problems
Neutering can help to reduce cat aggression and may mean fewer injuries from cat fights, and a reduced risk of your cat contracting FIV (immunodeficiency virus) or FeLV (Feline leukemia virus). Neutering can also curb your male cat's tendency to roam, reducing his risk of being injured by a vehicle.
Helps to Reduce Spraying
Typically, male cats who have not been neutered yet, will spray urine inside the home more often than neutered males, and often try to get outside more. Having your male kitten neutered while he's young can help to prevent spraying and other territorial and mating behaviors from starting.
Do your part to control the pet population and have your cat spayed or neutered.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.