Are you a new cat owner? If you've recently welcomed a kitten or adult cat into your home, you might consider having them spayed or neutered. Our La Pine vets explain why having your cat spayed or neutered benefits your cat and your community.
Should you get your cat fixed?
Animal shelters in La Pine face an overwhelming population of homeless cats and kittens. According to one estimate from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), around 3.2 million cats enter US animal shelters annually.
Choosing to have your new kitten spayed or neutered not only contributes to reducing the number of homeless cats coally, but it also lowers the risk of diseases for your cat and helps control undesirable behaviors.
When should you get your cat fixed?
For optimal health protection, it's recommended to spay or neuter kittens at four months of age before they become sexually mature. However, adult cats can also be spayed or neutered. If you're unsure about when to get your cat fixed, ask your vet; they can help you decide when to get your cat spayed or neutered.
How are spaying and neutering different?
The term "getting a cat 'fixed'" might sound confusing, so let's clarify:
When we fix female cats, 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 we get them fixed. This means that the vet surgically removes the cat's testes so that your cat is no longer able to father kittens.
Benefits of Spaying Your Female Cat
Controlling the number of unwanted cats in your area
Your adorable new kitten might have her own kittens before she's even six months old. Furthermore, 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 unwanted cats.
Reduce your cat's risk of disease
Having your kitten spayed before her first heat cycle can reduce the rsi of breast cancer and prevent potentially deadly womb infections (pyometra) later in life.
Protect wildlife in your neighborhood
In the USA, it is estimated that cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds annually. 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 deter male cats from your yard. Unspayred females attract neighborhood males, leading to spraying, fighting, and disturbance.
Benefits of Neutering Your Male Cat
Reduced numbers 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.
Reduced risk of many common health issues
Neutering reduces aggression, lowers the chances of injuries from fights, and decreases the risk of 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 the incidence of spraying
Unneutered males tend to spray urine indoors and roam more. Neutering your male kitten early can prevent territorial behaviors from starting.