Millions of pets are euthanized every year in the shelters across the United States. There are organizations dedicated to reducing these numbers by working towards educating the public about the benefits of adopting from a shelter, and more importantly providing low-cost sterilization clinics to help reduce the number of unwanted pet pregnancies.
In order to vastly reduce the need for euthanizing, it is important for cat owners who do not wish to breed their companion animal to spay or neuter them.
Benefits of Spaying a Female Cat
- Pregnancy prevention & heat cycle elimination: By spaying a cat, one can eliminate the chance of pregnancy. At the same time, performing an ovariohysterectomy (the removal of the entire reproductive tract) the heat cycle and menstruation is also eliminated.
- Reduction in chances of developing mammary cancer: The cause of breast cancer in cats has one of its main contributors the hormones related to reproduction, ovulation, and pregnancy; with the reproductive tract removed, and along with it the production of these hormones, the chances of a cat developing mammary cancer after being spayed is reduced greatly.
- Elimination of reproductive tract infections: Female cats can suffer from severe bacterial infection in the reproductive tract. This possibility is also eliminated when a complete removal of the reproductive tract takes place.
- Elimination of behavioral and cleanliness issues: Aside from menstrual bleeding, a cat in heat will also have the tendency to spray urine to signal her readiness, which can be a big problem for an inside cat. Additionally, a cat in heat will seek out males, as well as attract them to her which may result in male neighborhood cats ending up at your doorstep or in your yard.
Benefits of Neutering a Male Cat
- Reduction in aggressive behavior: By neutering a cat, the lack of testosterone in his system will result in a much more docile pet, and eliminate most signs of aggression resulting from hormonal changes.
- Reduction in Spraying & Roaming: As in female cats, male cats will spray to not only mark territory, but to also let potential females know that they are available. This will help reduce the chances of your house and yard being urine-stained and foul-smelling. Neutering also reduces the desire of males to roam in search of a mate, which will make containing a cat much easier which will consequently result in fewer injuries due to dangers outside of the house.
The Best Age to Spay or Neuter Cats
The age most recommended by veterinarians for neutering or spaying a cat is before they are six months old, which will result in less roaming, which will reduce the chances of getting lost or being hurt, as well as reduce the chance of health issues developing in female cats.
Even if you have missed the recommended timeline for spaying and neutering, it is still important to sterilizer your companion animal in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the chance of injuries. Even though the benefits of sterilization in adulthood has reduced benefits, it is still worth the time and money, and highly recommended by both veterinarians and those working to reduce the number of euthanizations in shelters as a result of overpopulation.