Having your cat fixed is an important part of preventive care in order to not only protect them from serious diseases but also from having unwanted kittens. Our Laguna Beach vets share some reasons you should have your cat spayed or neutered and what the differences are.
Why Is It Important To Have Your Cat Spayed or Neutered?
The easy answer to this question is yes. You should have your cats spayed or neutered. Animal shelters throughout Laguna Beach are filled with 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. Not only will getting your new kitten fixed help to significantly reduce the number of homeless cats in your area, but it can also reduce your cat's risk of disease, and help to curb many undesirable cat behaviors.
When is it ideal to have your cat spayed or neutered?
It's best to spay and/or neuter your kittens at four months, or before they reach sexual maturity. Doing this offers the best protection against several health risks. Though, adult cats can 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.
What are the differences between spaying and neutering?
There are differences when it comes to spaying and neutering your cat because they are spay and neutering are different procedures for different gendered cats.
Spayed vs Neutered
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 is no longer able to father kittens.
Benefits of Having Your Female Cat Spayed
Controlling the number of unwanted cats in your area
Your cat may be able to have kittens of her own before she is even six months old. Not only that, 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
When you have your kitten spayed before she has her first heat 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
Spaying your female cat can help to keep male cats out of your backyard. When female cats are not spayed, they attract the attention of neighborhood male cats. Male cats that are not neutered can hang around your house and the garden can be problematic since these males tend to spray, fight and howl.
Benefits of Having Your Male Cat Neutered
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
Neutering can help to reduce cat aggression and may mean fewer injuries from cat fights, and a reduced risk of your cat contracting 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
Typically, male cats who have not been neutered yet, 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.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.