Have you just brought home a new adult cat or kitten? You are probably wondering if you should get them fixed. Today, our Delaware County vets explain when you should get your cat fixed and the benefits of the spay and neuter procedures.
Getting Your Cat Fixed
The animal shelters in Delaware County are full of homeless cats and kittens. It's estimated by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), that approximately 3.2 million cats enter US animal shelters every year.
Getting your new kitten fixed doesn't just help reduce the number of homeless cats in your area, but it can also reduce your cat's risk of certain diseases, and helps curb many undesirable feline behaviors.
When To Have Your Cat Fixed
Early or pediatric spay/neuter is done when a cat is six to eight weeks old, while standard spay and neuter procedures are typically performed at five to six months of age. However, these procedures can be performed at any time during your cat's life as long as they are healthy.
Many vets also believe that having your kitten spayed or neutered when they are approximately four months old (before they reach sexual maturity) provides them with the best protection against a number of health conditions.
If you're unsure about when to get your cat fixed, ask your veterinarian, they can help you decide when to get your cat spayed or neutered.
The Differences Between Spaying & Neutering
Here we explain what getting a cat 'fixed' actually means.
When we fix female cats it's called spaying. Spaying is when a veterinarian surgically removes a cat's uterus and ovaries, or sometimes just the ovaries so they can't have kittens.
When male cats are fixed they are neutered or castrated. This means that the vet surgically removes the cat's testes so they are no longer able to father kittens.
The Benefits of Having Your Female Cat Spayed
You help control the number of unwanted cats in your area
Your beautiful new kitten could give birth to kittens before they are six months old. In addition to this, female cats can have up to four litters a year, and each litter can include as many as 10 kittens! That means your cat could have as many as 40 kittens a year! That is a lot of unwanted cats.
Lowers your cat's risk of certain diseases
Having your kitten spayed before 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).
Helps protect the local wildlife
In the USA, it is estimated that cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds a year. By reducing the population of homeless cats, you are also helping to protect birds and other small animals.
Limits undesirable behaviors
Spaying your female cat can help keep male cats out of your yard. When female cats are unspayed, they attract the attention of neighborhood male cats. Unneutered male cats hanging around your house and garden can be problematic since these males have a tendency to spray, fight and howl.
The Benefits of Having Your Male Cat Neutered
Reduces the number of unwanted kittens
One unneutered male cat can make many female cats pregnant. Having your male cat neutered can play a significant role in helping to reduce the number of homeless cats in your neighborhood.
Lowers your cat's risk for a handful of common health conditions
Neutering can help reduce your cat's aggression and this lowers their risk of becoming injured in catfights. As a result, their risk of contracting FIV (immunodeficiency virus) or FeLV (Feline leukemia virus) is also reduced. In addition to this, neutering can also curb your male cat's tendency to roam, decreasing their risk of being injured by a vehicle.
Helps reduce your cat's spraying
On average, unneutered male cats spray urine inside the home more frequently than neutered males, they also attempt to sneak outside more often. Having your male kitten neutered when they are still young can help prevent spraying and other territorial and mating behaviors.