by: Larry Chamberlain
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 un-spayed or un-neutered 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 un-spayed 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. Un-spayed 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 un-neutered 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 that 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 friendlier, 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.