BENEFITS OF NEUTERING – WHY SHOULD MY CAT BE NEUTERED?
These illnesses may include:
Feline infectious enteritis (FIE) – this virus causes severe gastroenteritis and, in infected kittens, can often lead to death. Pregnant females who are infected with FIE, the virus can spread to her unborn kittens, causing them permanent brain damage.
If your cat is used to going outside and you keep them inside while they are in season to avoid unwanted kittens, this may lead to a significant compromise to their welfare, leading to a very stressed, frustrated and unhappy cat who is desperate to go outdoors.
Unneutered females may be very vocal and will attract unneutered toms to an area which could then be very disturbing and stressful for other neighbourhood cats, as well as a nuisance to local residents.
DISPELLING THE “MYTHS” SURROUNDING NEUTERING
MYTH: NEUTERING YOUNG CATS IS DANGEROUS
TRUTH -There is currently no evidence to suggest that there are any negative long-term effects on either the behaviour or development of neutering kittens as young as eight weeks. Neutering kittens from four months, or younger in some cases, is now becoming much more common among vets while advances in surgical techniques and better drugs mean that there are no longer the same concerns over earlier neutering as there used to be. If performed by a veterinary surgeon who has experience of carrying out kitten neutering, the procedure can actually be less invasive, quicker and safer to perform than when done on older cats. Cats neutered earlier may generally also have a quicker recovery rate than older cats.
TRUTH - There are no documented health benefits associated with this. Young mothers are at greater risk of complications during the delivery of their kittens.
TRUTH - Female cats can start to become sexually mature from as early as four months of age, so in effect, kittens can have kittens of their own. It is therefore important that your cat is neutered before they can go outside, even if they are a young kitten.
TRUTH - Cats don’t actively decide to have kittens – their hormones will drive them to pursue and mate with other cats, but they are not necessarily aware of the consequences of their actions. Allowing a cat to mate puts their ability to live a life free from disease and ill health at risk. Making a kitten or young cat have kittens also takes away their ability to grow and develop unhindered and without the stress of having to look after other cats.
TRUTH - Cats will mate with their closest relatives (i.e. brother and sister, mother and son, father and daughter) so neutering all cats who are going to come in contact with each other (whether related or unrelated) is very important. Kittens born from closely-related parents may also be more likely to suffer from genetic defects which would negatively affect their health.
TRUTH - Your unneutered male cat could be responsible for impregnating many unneutered female cats that you never see. These may be people’s pets or stray cats. Either way, he is contributing to an increase in the population of kittens – many of whom may not always be wanted and may struggle to find loving homes. Kittens born to stray females may also be at a greater risk of suffering from disease or infection.
TRUTH - The length of pregnancy in cats is just nine weeks and a female cat can often come into season again just six weeks after giving birth. A female cat can easily have as many as three litters of kittens a year – that’s potentially up to eighteen kittens in any one year. Estimates suggest that a single unneutered female cat and the subsequent offspring she produces can actually be responsible for around 20,000 other cats in just five years.