Written by: Alison Laurie, Senior Consultant, Crown Vets Inverness
Here are some benefits to carefully consider regarding having your pet cat neutered.
Population Control: There are still sadly thousands of unwanted cats and kittens in the UK. Rescue Centres can still be full of unwanted cats and kittens looking for loving homes. It only takes one entire male cat in an area to create a lot of unwanted pregnancies. A female cat can become sexually mature and come into ‘season’ and be mated and then fall pregnant as early as 6 months old! The gestation period for a cat is just 9 weeks and a female cat can fall pregnant again as she is feeding a current litter! An entire queen can therefore have up to three litters per year and can have up to six kittens per litter, which can be eighteen kittens per year!! It is advised that a queen is neutered ideally before sexual maturity to reduce the risk of unwanted, repeated pregnancies which can in turn put her general health at risk.
Health issues: The benefits of Spaying your Female cat include: a marked risk reduction in reducing the risk of mammary cancer later in life if the queen is spayed by 6 months of age and there is also a complete prevention of the risks of infection of the womb (pyometra) and of preventing ovarian cancer as the ovaries and uterus are all removed during the procedure. In the male cat: there is a prevention of the risk of testicular cancer ... and in all cats there is a reduction in territorial fighting, the bites from which can become infected and cause abscesses and also there is a reduction in the spread of viral infection through infected saliva and blood of Feline Immunodeficiency virus and Feline Leukaemia virus in cats. With neutering there is also there is a reduction in the risk of your cats roaming and wandering and this in turn reduces the risks of them being involved in road traffic accidents or receiving other injury, or of fatigue and malnutrition, after wandering far from the comfort and safety of their own cosy home and feeding regime. Also kittens born as a result of interbreeding can have serious congenital birth defects. Also as with humans, pregnancy and giving birth is not always straightforward and can carry health risks if something does go wrong.
Nuisance factors: Entire male and female cats can be a nuisance and cause a fair degree of excessive noise during the whole mating procedure. The males can wander some distance far from home and they will continually ‘mark’ their territory with a very pungent marking ‘spray’ and they are much more likely to fight and so receive repeated injuries and bites which can become infected and be the cause of the spread of viral diseases. If a female ‘queen’ cat does not mate and become pregnant within her ‘season’ cycle she will then become extremely vocal and ‘call’ continually for a male mate and this will be repeated every three weeks until the whole mating season is over. These mating seasons are in the Spring and Autumn months. This female ‘calling’ behaviour can in turn lead to further male territorial spraying and marking and unwanted aggressive fighting and a continual noisy caterwauling resulting in a very annoying and noisy time for your neighbours!
Cost concerns: Although neutering may initially seem costly, complications during pregnancy and giving birth are actually much more costly, not to mention the cost of correct and advised preventative healthcare and the feeding of an entire litter, or more, of kittens and ensuring finding good, caring homes for them after weaning. Spaying and Castration are standard and fairly quick surgical procedures and generally your cat will come home to you that same day with good advice on post-operative care and diet. There are excellent local charities that can assist with the costs of neutering your cat. Also with our in house Pet Health Club we offer 20% discount on the neutering costs.
Any advice on male and female neutering procedures and costs can be given by our practice, so do call for good professional advice if you have any concerns.
Please do be a responsible pet owner and do not add to the ever growing number of unwanted cats and kittens, contact us to arrange and appointment to have your male or female cat neutered to avoid any unwanted pregnancies and health risks to your pet.