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Should I Spay Or Neuter My Pet? - Part 1

Since humans have domesticated animals, we've created the tragedy of pet over-population. We now have the responsibility to spay or neuter our pets to prevent this situation. There are those who think that cats and dogs would eventually become extinct with required altering. But as a nation, we should take a hard look at a different annual statistic: the millions of dogs and cats given up to shelters or left to die on the streets.

Cats just seem to "show up" on your doorstep and we wonder if they are the result of being dumped. Cat owners that live in and around rural areas are more likely to feed free-roaming cats than are people who live in the cities. Cats don't hang around unless there's a really good reason to do so, and if you want an outside cat, you are pretty much going to have to wait it out until one comes along. A kitten raised indoors cannot be put out to live outdoors because it has never learned how to live outdoors.

As pet owners, it is our responsibility to try and reduce the scale of the tragedy of pet over-population. The way to do this is simply to simple spay or neuter your pet and urge our friends and acquaintances to do the same. Neutered pets do require fewer calories, but when placed on a proper diet and given adequate exercise, they maintain their trim figures with little difficulty. Pets acquired from animal shelters are already spayed or neutered or, as we know from experience, require that you visit a participating vet to have the procedure done at a very reasonable rate. Only a small percentage of pets are acquired from animal shelters though, so neutering these animals can only have a small effect on the overall population problem. My own veterinarian's recommendation to me, if you are not going to show the animal then by all means neuter at an early age. If everyone would follow this advice, a significant decrease in unwanted animals could result.

There are added benefits to spaying or neutering beside cutting down on the cat population. The procedure can increase the lifespan of your pet and has other numerous health benefits. It reduces the urge to roam. The female will cease bleeding on your carpet, your furniture, the interior of your car, and on the ground outside.

If you are on a fixed income and have a cat that you need to spay or neuter but you can't afford it, please don't hesitate to call the Humane Societies or animal agencies in your area and ask if they have any information about who might help with the cost. In our location, we have an agency by the name of the Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) that helps out with the cost of the surgeries. Keep in mind that without the operation, in less than one year's time, each of your pet's offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population.
NOTE: This article is for information only. See your veterinarian for medical advice.

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