Neutering Cats
The first and most obvious reason to neuter your cat is to PREVENT UNWANTED PREGNANCY!!
From 5-8 months kittens reach sexual maturity and are capable of producing kittens themselves. Female cats can have up to 3 litters a year! Neutering cats helps hugely in population control, it may seem obvious to neuter females but it only takes 1 male to get a lot of females pregnant and it is a simple, safe and cost effective procedure for both males and females.
Huge numbers of unwanted kittens are born every year and this creates a massive welfare issue as these cats are not cared for and often suffer from serious infectious diseases as a result of being unvaccinated, roaming and fighting. They are also frequent victims of road traffic accidents and poisonings.
There are however lots of other benefits to neutering both male and female cats, most of these being for the health and welfare of the cat themselves
Males
• Decrease roaming – males that are seeking out females will travel large distances and are at increased risk for road traffic accidents and getting lost.
• Decrease fighting – intact males get into lots of fights and frequently come home with injuries such as cat bite abscesses which can be really nasty and require frequent trips to the vet (much greater cost than a one off neuter!)
• Serious infectious diseases such Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV, the feline equivalent of HIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) are also spread by fighting and mating.
• Curb unwanted behaviours associated with sexual maturity – “spraying” territorial marking of the house and environment with VERY pungent urine, aggression, and disinterest in home life (more concerned with finding females than spending time at home with owner!)
Females
• Health – unneutered female cats are at risk of developing serious uterine infections (pyometra) and mammary cancer (fatal in 90% females cats) and can pass on infectious diseases to kittens
• Unwanted behaviour – “calling” when in heat; yowling (making noise and rolling around as though in pain), urinating, desperate to get out and find a male (more risk of road traffic accidents and getting lost). Unless they become pregnant they will go into heat every 3 weeks for 4 or 5 days all the way through the breeding season.
• Wildlife protection – stray or feral cats will hunt to feed their kittens