Numerous articles have been written about the importance of spaying and neutering cats and the health benefits that are gained by doing so. Many people are aware that the sterilization process is a good thing and abide by the usual recommendations. However, every once in a while it is a good thing to write a reminder to those, who do not believe in spaying or neutering, about why they should.
Spring and summer is known across our country as the "kitten season." Many female cats will be giving birth and many kittens will be unwanted and end up in shelters or even put to death by their owners.
A female cat can come into heat as early as four months - especially in the springtime. Locking a cat in the house may seem like a great alternative, but it plays havoc with a cat's health.
The reproductive system that nature created in a female cat is amazingly efficient. Having kittens is a very natural part of a female cat's life and not having kittens, without the help of being spayed is very hard on a cat.
Male cats are always willing and able to mate, and if they do not have anyone to mate with, it does not present a problem. They will just sit around and wait until a female presents itself.
Female cats on the other hand have reproductive needs that have to be met, that is the way nature created the female cat. If you do not want kittens, it is important to have your female spayed by at least six months of age.
Why? The cat's breeding season is usually between January and October and females go into heat every two weeks until they are bred and have a litter of kittens. A female can produce a litter of kittens every 65 days!
If a female does not mate and repeatedly comes into heat, the danger of life threatening uterine infections and uterine and ovarian cancer can become a sad part of your cat's life. Spaying also reduces the risk of mammary cancer.
Spaying your female between four and six months is easier on them, as they have less postoperative complications, they suffer less bleeding, require less surgery time, their organs are seen more easily and they recuperate more rapidly.
Males that are not neutered can become aggressive toward their owners, will get into fights with other males as they search for amorous females. The frequent fights expose them to infectious diseases, abscesses from wounds and many males will spray pungent urine to mark their territory, which can and usually includes the house. It is recommended that males be neutered between nine and ten months of age, this is before they reach their sexual maturity.
I recently had our new male kitten neutered at six months, his surgery took less than five minutes, he needed only two minutes of anesthesia and we had him home by the end of the day, happy as he could be.
Veterinary research has shown that the earlier you neuter cats the less behavioral problems you will have. Sterilized cats tend to be friendlier.
Both male and female cats that are not spayed or neutered have a tendency to spray, wander off and are apt to get lost or hit by a car.
A single cat (spayed/neutered) has no need for sex and does not miss what is never has known. Even though a spayed/neutered cat has a lower metabolism there is no need for the cat to become overweight or obese, that blame falls on the owner's shoulders for over feeding. Our 12-year-old male has maintained his same weight for over the last 7 years and is beautiful, slim and trim.
Reduce your cat's health risks by spaying/neutering, the earlier the better and you will have one happy cat, less vet bills and when the news man on the television asks "do you know where your children are," you will know your cat(s) are home where they belong.
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