If you recently adopted a kitten or unfixed adult cat, you're probably wondering what the best practices are when it comes to spaying or neutering. In this post, our Villa Rica vets share what you need to know about getting your cat fixed and when you should do it.
Should you get your cat fixed?
According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), around 3.2 million cats visit US animal shelters each year. Having your new kitten fixed will help minimize the number of homeless cats in your neighborhood. Furthermore, spaying and neutering your cat reduces their chance of reproductive illnesses and cancer.
When should you get your cat fixed?
Most vets recommend spaying and neutering kittens at four months old as this is before they reach sexual maturity.
However, adult cats can be also be spayed or neutered. If you're unsure about when to get your cat fixed, just ask your vet, they can help you decide when to get your cat spayed or neutered.
How are spaying and neutering different?
Below are the differences between the two main reproductive procedures:
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 Spayed Cat
Controlling the number of unwanted cats in your area
Female kittens as young as 6 months old can get pregnant. Not only that, but female cats can have up to four litters every year, with each litter containing up to ten kittens! That implies your cat could have up to 40 babies each year! That is a large number of unwanted cats.
Male cats can impregnate several female cats in a row, leading to more potentially stray litters in your area.
Reduce your cat's risk of disease
Having your kitten spayed before her first heat cycle will lower your cat's risk of developing breast cancer later in life and avoid the likelihood of pyometra (a potentially fatal uterine infection).
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 help keep male cats out of your yard. Unspayed female cats attract the attention of male cats in the neighborhood.Unneutered male cats lingering around your house and garden can be a nuisance because they spray, fight, and cry.
Benefits of Neutered 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 your cat may result in fewer injuries from cat fights and a lower risk of your cat developing FIV (immunodeficiency virus) or FeLV (Feline leukemia virus). Neutering can also reduce your male cat's proclivity to roam, lowering his chances of being hit by a car.
Helps to reduce the incidence of spraying
Typically, unneutered male cats will spray urine inside the home more often than neutered males, and often try to get outside more. Having your male kitten neutered while he's young can help to prevent spraying and other territorial and mating behaviors from starting.