You’ve probably heard people, especially animal rescuers and shelter workers, talk about the importance of spaying your female cat or neutering your male cat. But is it really that necessary? And would you be doing more harm to your cat by putting him or her through this surgery?
The truth is that spaying and neutering is an important component not only of population control but also of your pet’s overall health. These surgeries are so commonplace and safe that there is hardly any need to worry about side effects. Continue reading to learn some of the best reasons why you should make sure every member of your feline family is spayed or neutered at a young age.
Your Female Cat Won’t Go Into Heat and Will Be Healthier
Female cats who are intact will typically go into heat every three weeks, with the heat cycle lasting an average of four to five days, once the breeding season hits. During this time, your female will yowl to get attention and may even urinate all over the house in an attempt to find and secure a mate.
In addition to never having to deal with an annoying heat cycle from your female cat, your spayed feline will also be healthier, as she’ll be far less susceptible to breast cancer and will have no risk of uterine complications (during a spaying, the female’s uterus and ovaries are removed). To get the most protection from these disorders, have your pet spayed before her first heat.
Male Cats are Happier, Healthier, and Better Behaved
Removing the testicles of your male cat will eliminate the risk of him ever acquiring testicular cancer. Intact male cats are also a lot more likely to try to run away because they’re desperately looking for a mate. Neutered males, on the other hand, lose that desire to roam and are perfectly content staying indoors with you. Therefore, if you have an intact male cat who constantly darts for the door and makes his way outside, where he can get hit by oncoming traffic, get parasites, or fall victim to cruel humans or wild predators, having him neutered can completely transform his attitude and stop this reckless behavior.
Male cats who haven’t been neutered may also take it upon themselves to mark their territory by spraying foul-smelling and potent urine all over your house. Again, these cats are on the lookout for female cats. But neutered felines don’t feel the need to mark their territory, especially if they were neutered before that behavior set in. And they’re also more concerned with pleasing their human family and spending time with them.
Yet another reason to neuter your cat is to prevent aggression issues, which is common in intact males. Neutered cats are more at ease, less inclined to become aggressive, and better behaved overall.
There are Many Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Programs
If the potentially high cost of a spaying or neutering surgery is what’s keeping you back from getting your pet to the vet, bear in mind that there are many organizations that provide low-cost spaying and neutering services to people who would otherwise be unable to afford it.
And, when you really think about, having your pet spayed or neutered will also help you save money in the long run because of all of the health conditions it can prevent. Plus, you won’t need to worry about spending money on injuries incurred by intact animals who get into fights because they’re more aggressive or who run out of the house in an effort to roam and end up getting hurt in the process.
In addition to all of the benefits listed above, having your pet spayed or neutered will also ensure he or she will never be able to reproduce and create offspring that may end up euthanized in shelters because there are already millions of animals around the country looking for homes and not enough shelters to house them. In keeping your own pet happy and healthy, therefore, you can also save the lives of other animals. Remember to consider adopting your next companion rather than shopping for one so that you can save yet another life as well.
Lisa Selvaggio is a writer who has volunteered in animal rescue, caring for cats of all ages and learning their many quirks. She is certified in clinical pet nutrition, and enjoys helping pet parents give their fur babies the best care possible. Read more of her work online at LSA Writing Services.