Routine neutering has a number of important benefits, not least in helping to reduce numbers of unwanted kittens. Cats are adept at breeding, even if kept indoors they can be experts at escaping and will happily mate with siblings. Owners of female cats can often be taken by surprise, and the responsibility falls on the owners to find suitable homes for a litter of Kittens! The important thing to remember when considering neutering is contrary to the old myth, cats do not need to have a litter before they are neutered.
Many owners also don’t realise that neutering will also significantly benefit a cat’s health.
- Neutered cats wander and stray less.
- Wounds and abbesses caused by fighting with other cats are also less likely in neutered cats.
- Neutered cats are at a much lower risk of contracting infectious diseases such as feline Immunodeficiency Virus (for which there is no vaccine available)
These health benefits are certainly not to be sniffed at as they mean that, on average, a neutered cat will live twice as long as an unneutered one. In addition to health benefits, living with an unneutered cat is, at times, simply not fun! Neutering helps to calm cats, and they become much more affectionate and easy to live with.
Neutering can be done any time from 5 or 6 months of age. The procedure is known as a spay in female cats and castration in male cats. Due to the recognised benefits, neutering is widely recommended for any cats not intended for breeding. However it does result in some physiological changes such as a 30% increased food intake and reduced energy meaning a much greater chance of obesity.