8 Reasons Neutering Your Cat is Important
For cat parents, the decision to neuter or spay your furry friend is usually based upon two key factors: The health of your cat, and the desire to reduce the overwhelming overpopulation of cats in the world today.
But all cat parents have perfectly normal concerns about neutering. Common questions are: How will my cat handle surgery and recovery? Is the use of general anesthesia safe? Will neutering change my male cat’s personality?
Veterinarians wholeheartedly recommend spaying and neutering cats for the same reasons you’re wondering about it – your cat’s health. Here’s what veterinarians have to say about spaying or neutering your cat, and why it’s so important to the health and wellbeing of your male cat that you do it.
1. Your Cat Will Live Longer
Research shows that the life expectancy of a spayed female cat is 39% higher than unspayed female cats. That’s a lot more cuddle time. But the difference between neutered and unneutered male cats is truly staggering: Neutered male cats live a whopping 62% longer than unneutered male cats.
Why do they live longer? Because they’re healthier overall, and, importantly, they don’t roam.
2. Your Cat Will Have a Lower Risk of Cancer
Neutering your male cat virtually eliminates his risk of testicular cancer. This is because the testicles are removed during the neutering procedure. Just as important, the risks of prostate cancer and other prostate problems are significantly lower once neutering is completed.
Likewise, spaying your female cat eliminates the risk of uterine or ovarian cancer, because the entire reproductive tract, including the uterus and ovaries, is removed once spaying is completed.
Female cats who are spayed also have a much lower risk of breast (mammary) cancer, which, when it occurs, is very often malignant and metastatic, spreading to other organs in the body. Breast cancer in cats is much more aggressive than in other species.
Both male and female cats are typically spayed and neutered around five months of age. Veterinarians choose that age because your cat has grown to a good size and age to handle surgery and anesthesia – and because at that point in his life, your cat has become an integral part of a loving family – yours!
3. Your Cat Will Have Fewer Health Problems
Neutered male cats are less likely to contract infectious diseases, like FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). They’re also less likely to escape the house and get into aggressive fights with other cats or have traumatic accidents, such as car accidents.
Spayed female cats have zero risk of pyometra, a severe uterine infection that can be fatal, because their uterus has been removed. They also won’t experience complications from a heat cycle, pregnancy, and birthing kittens.
4. Your Cat Will Have Fewer Behavioral Issues
Have you ever lived with an unneutered male cat? The testosterone that drives unneutered male cats to seek out female cats in heat results in some serious misbehavior.
Your unneutered male cat will show breeding behavior, such as screeching and marking his territory with urine, inside your house. Becoming a ruthless escape artist in attempts to get out and about with female cats that are in heat.
A female cat goes into heat about once every three weeks, and the heat cycle lasts for about six days. Multiply that times the number of cats in your neighborhood, and you can see just how often your unneutered male cat will get out of the house and into trouble.
Once successful, your cat can quickly encounter other unneutered male cats intent on the same thing – finding that pretty female cat next door and they’ll fight. Not only can cat fights seriously injure your cat, but the bites and scratches are known to spread diseases, such as FIV and leukemia. Your male cat roaming the neighborhood in search of females puts your pet in danger.
Neutering will not only make your cat a much more peaceful pet but it’ll also keep them safe.
5. Modern Anesthesia Is Safe
Pet parents wonder: Is the risk of anesthesia worth the benefits of spaying or neutering? While the use of anesthesia is never 100% risk free, the answer overall is yes. Today’s veterinarians have modern monitoring equipment and anesthesia medications.
6. Spaying and Neutering Helps Reduce the Severe Overpopulation of Stray Cats
Cats reproduce at a rate 45 times higher than humans, and the number of stray cats in the world has skyrocketed. According to the ASPCA, 6.5 million animals are taken into their shelter and rescue system each year. Sadly, only 3.2 million of those make their way out of that system and into forever homes.
7. Your Cat Will Not Gain Weight Just Because of Neutering
Let’s dispel one of the most common myths about cat neutering: weight gain. Removing testosterone from your cat’s body will affect his metabolism, but that doesn’t translate into automatic weight gain. Your cat will lead a healthier lifestyle and be able to stay active without the risk of cat fights or running under cars.
8. Your Cat’s Personality Won’t Change Because of Neutering
This is another myth about neutering. Your cat won’t undergo a personality change just because of neutering. In fact, it will be much easier for your male cat to control his behavior, because they will no longer be living at the whim of the heat cycle of the female cat next door.
Call Boston Veterinary Clinic
When making the decision to neuter (or not) your male cat, considerations such as his health, longevity and lifestyle all come into play. Because it affects so many aspects of your pet’s life, neutering your male cat is one of the very best decisions you could ever make for them. Your cat will live longer, be healthier, and be a much happier cat inside your home – and your heart.