What is Neutering?
Neutering is surgically preventing animals reproducing. In males the operation is called Castration and in females is called Spaying.
There are 21,000 reasons why you should get your female cat spayed
Because that is potentially how many offspring could result from one female cat and her dependants in just seven years!
Castrating your male cat and spaying your female cat is the best and most humane way of reducing the stray cat population. A female cat should be spayed at between 4 and 5 months old, but they can be spayed at any age after that. It is a complete myth that a female cat should be allowed to have one litter. There is no biological or psychological benefit to the cat whatsoever.
If you allow your female cat to have a litter and manage to find homes for the kittens, they have then used up homes that kittens in rescue centres could have had. Cats are prolific breeders and females can start breeding from the age of 6 months, but it is not unheard of for female kittens as young as 4 months to become pregnant.
Cats can have 3 to 4 litters a year, producing 4 to 6 kittens each time. Cats don’t get the menopause, so they can breed throughout their life span. Fertility may gradually decline over time but there is no age after which a female cat can no longer become pregnant.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the cat population is so out of control. If neutering your cat in the cause of controlling the cat population is not sufficient incentive, then think about the personal benefits to both cats and humans.
When female cats come into season they become sexually active, this can last from days to weeks, and start calling for Tom cats. The calls are very loud shrieks as if she is in pain. She may also become aggressive and start spraying her territory, including inside her home. Yes, female cats can also spray!
An outdoor female cat in season will start to wander looking for Tom cats and the risk of her getting lost is quite considerable, as she could get chased from her home by un-castrated male cats and end up completely lost, pregnant and living on the streets. This is how cat colonies are formed. They struggle to survive and are often hungry, frequently becoming sick and injured.
Even if your cat is an indoor cat, it is kinder to have her spayed, as she will still come into season, which is very frustrating for her and for you. Spaying your cat will also reduce the risk of mammary cancer as she ages.
MALE CATS… If you love them, get them castrated
The best age to have your male cat castrated is at between 3 and 4 months, but they can be neutered at any age after that.
An un-castrated male will spray an extremely unpleasant smelling urine and he doesn’t care where he sprays! Tom cats are more aggressive, especially to other un-castrated males, which often results in serious fights. Cat bites are dangerous because they almost always become infected.
Those cats that roam too far looking for females could get lost and join the strays living on the streets. They often fight with other un-castrated males and become injured and with no one to take them to the vets, many injuries become infected and often result in death.
Statistics from various animal welfare organisations clearly show that castrated male cats tend to live longer than un-castrated male cats. Having your cat neutered will extend its lifespan by 2 to 3 years.
Also, neutering a cat makes them more affectionate and they take more interest in their owners. They also don’t wander off as much, they love to be made a fuss of and have lots of cuddles……….unless the cat was very anti-social to begin with.
How do I know if it’s been “done”?
All wild and feral cats that have been caught, neutered and returned have had the tip of their left ear cut off. This is to avoid the same cat being caught again. This practice is international and is carried out in most countries.