Cats are almost always spayed or neutered before you adopt them from an animal shelter. This may also be the case when you buy a cat from a breeder unless you are looking to breed your own cats. However, if you recently took in a stray or bought an intact kitten, you may find yourself having to make the decision of whether or not to spay or neuter on your own.
If you ever watched The Price Is Right with Bob Barker, you may remember the message he used to give to audiences each time he ended the show: “Have your pets spayed or neutered.” But what, exactly, are the benefits of spaying or neutering your cat? In this article, we have compiled six reasons why you should have your cat spayed or neutered.
6 Benefits of Neutering or Spaying a Cat
1. It Lowers The Chances Of Your Pet Wandering Off
Grown, intact cats are likely to roam away from home in search of a mate. Even indoor cats may try to find ways to get out of your house. When cats do wander off, they are at risk of being hit by a car, being injured by other, territorial cats in the area, or even being eaten by a predator. Spaying or neutering your cat will help relieve your cat of the need to run off and find a mate elsewhere, thereby keeping your beloved pet safe at home.
2. It Lowers The Risk Of Cancer
Spaying can help prevent breast tumors and uterine infections in up to 90 percent of female cats. The best practice for cancer prevention in females is to spay your cat before her first heat. In males, neutering can help prevent testicular cancer and health issues related to the prostate.
3. It Helps Improve Your Cat’s Behavior
You are likely to find that a spayed or neutered cat is a well-behaved cat. Cats that have not been spayed or neutered have a tendency to mark their territory, which can leave your home reeking of cat urine. Males, in particular, will benefit from neutering, as the surgery can help prevent embarrassing or aggressive behavior such as mounting on visitors.
4. It Reduces Cat Overpopulation & Homelessness In Your Locality
Cat overpopulation is an issue in many communities throughout the country. Not only does overpopulation lead to an abundance of cats without homes, but it can actually threaten the conservation of wildlife in your area. Over three million cats enter shelters each year, but shelters have capacities and cannot accept all animals that come to them. They also often cannot adopt out all of their animals, which sadly leads to the euthanization of over 500,000 perfectly healthy cats each year. Spaying or neutering your cat can help control your local cat populations, reducing the number of cats on the streets or in overcrowded shelters.
5. It Reduces The Spread Of Disease
Strays often don’t receive the medical care they require, including vaccinations that can help protect them from contagious diseases. Fewer stray cats on the streets means fewer cats that can spread harmful diseases such as Rabies or Feline Panleukopenia Virus and parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii or Toxocara cati. Therefore, you aren’t just helping to protect your cat when you get it spayed or neutered, but you are actually contributing to a greater societal good by keeping your cat off the streets and preventing it from interacting with or impregnating a stray.
6. It Increases Your Cat’s Lifespan
Did you know that animals that have been spayed or neutered actually tend to live longer than intact animals? One reason for this is because spayed or neutered animals are less likely to wander off and possibly be hit by a car, as discussed earlier.
Spaying or neutering your cat may seem cruel, but the truth is, leaving your cat intact can cause more harm than good. Cats are administered anesthesia during the surgery, so they will not feel pain. Don’t wait to get your cat spayed or neutered; kittens as young as 8 weeks can undergo the procedure, and you should ensure a female cat is spayed before the five-month mark. To learn more information about spaying or neutering your cat, talk to your veterinarian today.
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