If you have just got a new kitten or adult cat, you may be wondering if you should get your new fur baby fixed. Our Oak Grove vets explain why having your cat spayed or neutered is beneficial for your cat and your community.
Should You Get Your Cat Fixed?
It's recommended to spay or neuter your cats. There are many homeless cats and kittens in animal shelters across Oak Grove. According to ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), around 3.2 million cats annually enter US animal shelters. Spaying or neutering your new kitten can help decrease the number of homeless cats in your vicinity, lower the risk of disease for your cat, and prevent unwanted cat behaviors.
When should you get your cat fixed?
Getting your kittens spayed or neutered at four months or before they reach sexual maturity is the best way to protect them against various health risks. However, adult cats can also undergo this procedure. If you are not sure when to get your cat fixed, consult your veterinarian for guidance and support in making the decision.
How are spaying and neutering different?
There are differences between spaying and neutering your cat because these procedures are specific to each gender.
Spay vs Neuter
When a female cat is fixed, 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 they are fixed. This means that the vet surgically removes the cat's testicles so that your cat can no longer father kittens.
Benefits of Spaying Your Female Cat
Controlling the number of unwanted cats in your area
Did you know that female cats can have kittens as early as six months old? Plus, they can have up to four litters per year, with each litter containing up to 10 kittens. That means your cat could have as many as 40 kittens in a single year. It's important to consider the potential consequences of not spaying your cat, including contributing to the overpopulation of unwanted cats.
Reduce your cat's risk of disease.
When you have your kitten spayed before she has her first heart 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).
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
Having your female cat spayed can prevent male cats from entering your backyard. Unspayed female cats attract male cats from the neighborhood. These unneutered male cats can cause issues in your garden by spraying, fighting, and howling.
Benefits of Neutering Your Male Cat
Reduced numbers of unwanted kittens
One male cat who is not neutered can make many female cats pregnant at the same time. 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
Having your cat neutered can reduce their aggression and lower the likelihood of injuries from fights with other cats. It can also decrease the risk of your cat contracting FIV or FeLV. Additionally, neutering can help control your male cat's urge to roam, which in turn reduces their chances of getting hurt by a car.
Helps to reduce the incidence of spraying
Male cats who have not been neutered tend to spray urine inside the home frequently and become more interested in going outside. Neutering a male kitten at a young age can prevent spraying and other territorial and mating behaviors from developing.