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Getting Your Cat Fixed: When & What To Know

Getting Your Cat Fixed: When & What To Know

Getting your cat fixed is not only a method of population control but it can also help keep your cat healthy. Our New Ulm veterinarians share some of the benefits of having your cat fixed and what you should know about the procedure.

Should you get your cat spayed or neutered?

In the U.S. there is a very large number of cats and kittens that reside in shelters. According to one estimate from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), around 3.2 million cats enter US animal shelters annually.

By having your cat fixed you can help to decrease this number as well as protect your feline friend from a number of diseases and behavioral issues.

What is the best age for getting a cat fixed?

It is recommended to have your kitten spayed or neutered when they are around 4 months of age. At this age, they still have not reached maturity and you will be more likely to have curbed the health and behavioral issues. However, adult cats can also be spayed or neutered. If you're unsure about when to get your cat fixed, ask your veterinarian, they can help you decide when to get your cat spayed or neutered. 

What is the difference between having a cat neutered or spayed?

What does the process of having your cat spayed or neutered mean?

The Spaying Procedure

Having female cats or kittens fixed is referred to as spaying. Spaying means that the veterinarian surgically removes the cat's uterus and ovaries, or sometimes just the ovaries so that your cat is unable to have kittens.

The Neutering Procedure

When your vet fixes your male cat they will have them neutered or castrated. This means that the vet surgically removes the cat's testes so that your cat can no longer father kittens. 

What are the benefits of having your female cat spayed?

Managing the local cat population

While they may still seem to be a baby, your beloved kitty is actually able to start having her own kitten around the age of 6 months. Furthermore, female cats can have up to four litters a year, and each litter can be made up of as many as 10 kittens! That means your cat could have as many as 40 kittens every year! That is a lot of unwanted cats.

Decrease the risk of your cat developing disease

Having your kitten spayed before she has her first heat cycle can reduce your cat's risk of developing cancer later in life, and eliminate the possibility of your cat developing pyometra (a potentially fatal infection of the womb). 

Protecting birds and small animals in your neighborhood

In the USA, it is estimated that cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds annually. When you help with managing the cat population you are also helping to protect the local wildlife.

Prevent your cat from displaying unwanted behavior

When you have your female spayed you can also help deter males that would otherwise smell your female and hang around your home. When female cats are unspayed, they attract the attention of neighborhood male cats. Unneutered male cats hanging around your house and garden can be problematic since these males tend to spray, fight, and howl. 

What are the benefits of having your male cat neutered?

Prevent them from fathering kittens

It only takes one male cat to get a number of female cats pregnant. Having your male cat neutered can play a significant role in helping to reduce the number of homeless cats in your neighborhood. 

Lower the risk of various veterinary health conditions

Neutering can help to reduce cat aggression and may mean fewer injuries from catfights, and a reduced risk of your cat contracting FIV (immunodeficiency virus) or FeLV (Feline leukemia virus). Neutering can also curb your male cat's tendency to roam, reducing his risk of being injured by a vehicle. 

Lower the instances of territorial spraying

Typically, unneutered male cats will spray urine inside the home more often than neutered males and often try to get outside more. Having your male kitten neutered while he's young can help to prevent spraying and other territorial and mating behaviors from starting. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Would you like to learn more bout spaying and neutering cats? Contact our New Ulm veterinarians today to book an appointment.

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