If you have adopted a new kitten or adult cat, you may be wondering if you should get your new fur-baby fixed. Our Ocala 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 Ocala. 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, 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 at four months of age, before they reach sexual maturity, provides the best protection against a variety of health risks. Adult cats, however, 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 the best time to have your cat spayed or neutered.
How are spaying and neutering different?
When we talk about getting a cat 'fixed' what does that actually 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 a Spayed Female Cat
Controlling the number of unwanted cats in your area
Your adorable new kitten may be able to have her own litter before she is six months old. Furthermore, female cats can have up to four litters per year, with each litter consisting of up to ten kittens! This means that your cat could have up to 40 kittens per year! That's a lot of stray cats.
Reduce your cat's risk of disease
Prior to her first heat cycle, your kitten should be spayed to lower her risk of breast cancer later in life and to prevent the development of pyometra, a potentially fatal infection of the womb.
Protect wildlife in your neighborhood
Between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds are thought to be killed by cats each year in the USA. You aid in the preservation of small animals like birds and other small animals by lowering the number of feral cats.
Deter unwanted behaviors
To deter male cats from entering your backyard, spaying your female cat can help. Male neighborhood cats become interested in female cats when they are not spayed.Due to their propensity to spray, fight, and howl, male cats that aren't neutered and are hanging out in your yard or house can be a problem.
Benefits of a Neutered 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 more. Spraying and other territorial and mating behaviors can be avoided if your male kitten is neutered when he is young.