If you have adopted a new kitten or adult cat, you may be wondering if you should get your new fur baby fixed. Our Fairfield, NJ vets explain why having your cat spayed or neutered is beneficial for your cat and your community.
Should you get your cat fixed?
Homeless cats and kittens fill animal shelters across Fairfield, NJ. According to one ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) estimate, approximately 3.2 million cats enter US animal shelters each year.
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 should you get your cat fixed?
Spaying and neutering kittens before they reach sexual maturity, at four months, provides the best protection against a variety of health risks. Adult cats, on the other hand, can be spayed or neutered. If you're unsure about when to have your cat fixed, simply ask your veterinarian; they can advise you on when to have your cat spayed or neutered.
How are spaying and neutering different?
When we talk about getting a cat 'fixed' what does that mean?
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 Spaying Your Female Cat
Controlling the number of unwanted cats in your area
Your adorable new kitten may be able to have her kittens before she is six months old. Not only that, but female cats can have up to four litters per year, with each litter containing up to ten kittens! That means your cat could have up to 40 kittens each year! That is a large number of unwanted cats.
Reduce your cat's risk of disease
Having 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
Cats are estimated to kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds in the United States each year. You are also helping to protect birds and other small animals by reducing the population of homeless cats.
Deter unwanted behaviors
Male cats can be kept out of your backyard if your female cat is spayed. When female cats are not spayed, they attract the attention of male cats in the neighborhood. Unneutered male cats hanging around your house and garden can be a nuisance because they spray, fight, and howl.
Benefits of Neutering Your Male Cat
Reduced numbers of unwanted kittens
A single unneutered male cat can conceive many female cats. Having your male cat neutered can help to reduce the number of homeless cats in your neighborhood significantly.
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 contracting 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
Unneutered male cats will typically spray urine inside the home more frequently than neutered males, and will frequently try to get outside. Spraying and other territorial and mating behaviors can be avoided if your male kitten is neutered while he is young.