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6 Benefits of Neutering or Spaying a Cat: Vet-Reviewed Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats are almost always spayed or neutered before being adopted from an animal shelter. This may also be the case when you buy a cat from a breeder unless you want to breed your 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 gave 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’ll discuss six reasons to have your cat spayed or neutered.

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The 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 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 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 in up to 90% of female cats. The best practice for cancer prevention in females is to spay your cat before her first heat. In males, neutering can prevent testicular cancer and health issues related to the prostate.


3. It Helps Improve Your Cat’s Behavior

You will likely find that a spayed or neutered cat is well-behaved. 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 will benefit immensely from neutering since the surgery can prevent aggressive competition-driven behaviors.

male silver tabby american shorthair cat lying on back
Image Credit: Apisit Hrpp, Shutterstock

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 3 million cats enter shelters each year, but shelters have capacities and cannot accept all the 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 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 them spayed or neutered, but you are contributing to a greater societal good by keeping your cat off the streets and preventing them 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 tend to live longer than intact animals? One reason is that spayed or neutered animals are less likely to wander off and possibly be hit by a car, as discussed earlier.

Spaying or neutering is only one of many vet procedures your pets may need over the course of their lives. All of those vet visits can be pricey, but you can manage the cost with the help of a good pet insurance plan. The customized options from Spot may help you keep your pet healthy at a reasonable price. 

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Final Thoughts

Spaying or neutering your cat may seem cruel, but the truth is that leaving your cat intact can cause more harm than good. Cats are administered anesthesia during the surgery and 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 5-month mark. You can talk to your veterinarian today to learn more about spaying or neutering your cat.


Featured Image Credit: ozanuysal, Shutterstock

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